RFID Victory For Furniture Maker

Victory Land says it has made a return on an initial $75,000 investment in the technology and is ready to expand its use of RFID

Laurie Sullivan, Contributor

May 7, 2005

2 Min Read

Furniture company Victory Land Group Inc. says it has made a return on its initial $75,000 investment in radio-frequency identification technology and it's ready to expand beyond limited use of RFID tags.

Victory Land, a $150 million-a-year supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc., says it will begin shipping more of its product line with RFID tags on boxes and pallets as Wal-Mart expands use of the technology to distribution centers in June in two Texas cities, Palestine and New Braunfels, followed by Searcy, Ark., and Opelousas, La., in October.

Victory Land began shipping one RFID-tagged product line, a 24-inch barstool, to Wal-Mart's Sanger, Texas, distribution center in January. It was one of about 35 small suppliers to volunteer for the retailer's RFID project to tag select cases and pallets a year before Wal-Mart's plan for widespread use of RFID in its distribution channel.

Product data is sent from Victory Land's ERP system into an RFID label printer, Magloire says.

Many of the supplier's products are manufactured in Asia and shipped to Victory Land's Schaumburg, Ill., distribution center for final assembly. For the initial RFID project, each pallet holds 16 boxes, each containing a barstool, and every pallet and box is tagged.

The barstools' item and order numbers are pulled from the company's enterprise-resource-planning system, based on Exact Software N.V., and put into a Zebra R4M-Plus RFID label printer, says Hudson Magloire, operations analyst at Victory Land. It took R4 Global Solutions Inc. roughly five months to design and install the application that pulls and sends data to the printer.

When product is moved by forklift through Victory Land's shipping doors and onto trucks, the tags on the pallets and boxes are identified by a reader supported by four antennas. By transmitting data-shipment information back to the ERP system, Victory Land says it can better forecast product demand, which improves the bottom line.

When Victory Land breaks ground next spring on a 400,000-square-foot facility in Bartlett, Ill., it expects to have all of its products shipping with RFID tags. It plans to ask its materials suppliers to begin shipping their products with tags, too.

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