Item Level RFID Workgroup  

Inventory accuracy is foundational to delivering unified omni-channel commerce and the “always-on, always-open” consumer experience. EPC-enabled item level RFID is the key driver for implementation success in every product category—because you can’t sell, what you can’t see, or don’t really have in stock.

The industry is nearing an adoption and usage tipping point! EPC-enabled RFID has moved beyond inventory replenishment. It is an essential component to enable the supply chain visibility and inventory accuracy needed to know what’s available, where it’s located, and how to best deliver it—helping meet consumer expectations anytime, anywhere. A growing number of retailers and brand owners are already using this transformational technology across several lines of business and reporting great success—reducing receiving/packing costs, improving shipment validation, implementing flexible omni-channel fulfillment options, increasing margins, optimizing forecasting and replenishment, and driving sales lift.

The GS1 US Item Level RFID Workgroup is focused on building industry awareness and supporting the adoption of EPC-enabled RFID technology. It provides a forum for peer-to-peer outreach and implementation lesson sharing to:

  • Develop guidelines and best practices 
  • Ensure sustainability of investments
  • Demonstrate the technology’s ongoing benefits across business processes
  • Reinforce the responsible use of the technology

The GS1 US Item Level RFID Workgroup is comprised of two very active subgroups:

  • Executive Peer-to-Peer Discussion Group: Comprised of leading retailer and supplier executives who meet regularly to jointly develop industry implementation, education and communication outreach strategies that assist retailers and suppliers in integrating the technology into their operations.
  • Industry Implementation Task Group: As adoption grows throughout the industry, there is a need for coordination and guidance on implementation practices. This group is focused on solving those challenges by developing, testing and publishing guideline documents focused on the adoption and use of RFID technology in the apparel and general merchandise sectors.
    • Workgroup participants include leading retailers, suppliers, solution providers, academia, and industry associations—those who are implementing and/or investigating item level RFID. These members are dedicated to quantifying the benefits of item level RFID, and to exploring how EPC-enabled RFID can improve business processes along the retail supply chain. The collaborative efforts of the group will develop standards-based guidelines, best practices, case studies, research and thought leadership.

The retail industry is working to grow adoption in a number of general merchandise categories, including, but not limited to: Sporting Goods, Do-it-Yourself, Consumer Electronics, and Home & Garden. If you are a retailer or brand category member, we encourage you to join the Initiative and our Workgroup(s).

Participate in the workgroups that are most important to your organization by visiting the GS1 US Community Room.

Implementation Tools & Resources:

  • Tagged Item Performance Protocol (TIPP) Guideline - The TIPP Guideline is a set of documents that outline and explain the tagged item grading definition, test protocol and test configuration for specifying and verifying tagged item performance between retailers and suppliers. The guideline allows retailers the flexibility to set performance levels for their use case using a simple tagged item grade and suppliers the flexibility in how they meet grade levels from multiple retailers.
  • Tagged Item Performance Protocol Guideline Training Webinar - Join us for a free training webinar and learn how your business can begin to use the new TIPP Guideline to meet the inventory demands of the omni-channel shopping experience. Retailers will learn how to use TIPP to set performance levels for their use case using a simple tagged-item grade and suppliers will learn how to use TIPP to meet grade levels from multiple retailers.
  • Infographic: GS1 US Standards (RFID) Usage Survey: GS1 US Survey Shows Manufacturers and Retailers Embrace RFID to Enhance Inventory Visibility. Apparel and general merchandise trading partners are using EPC-enabled item level RFID to enhance inventory visibility and respond to consumer demands for omni-channel options.
  • Infographic: EPC-enabled RFID Delivering the Omni-Channel Experience - As omni-channel increasingly defines the future of retail, businesses are finding they must adopt new standards and technologies or risk losing sales, their stores, and their customers. EPC-enabled RFID helps deliver the omni-channel experience by taking item identification a step further—connecting the digital and physical worlds that consumers continue to straddle in their browsing and shopping experiences.
  • Case Study: Auburn University’s EPC-enabled Item Level RFID Research Results - Retailers and brand owners are increasingly turning to EPC-enabled item level RFID technology to deliver exceptional omni-channel shopping experiences. Through its series of retail studies, Auburn University’s RFID Lab team has uncovered and quantified a host of business benefits—upstream and downstream—that EPC-enabled RFID provides for retailers, brand owners and other supply chain trading partners.
  • The GS1 US EPC Item Level Readiness Program - Provides the education, training, tools, and community support that the apparel industry needs to implement EPC item level tagging into day-to-day operations. 
  • Free GS1 US RFID Adoption Workshops - GS1 US, working in collaboration with supply chain stakeholders and incorporating their insights and expertise, has developed many tools and resources to help you get engaged, educated and involved. In our Free RFID Adoption Workshops attendees will receive step-by-step guidance on what is required for a successful RFID deployment. Our workshops include representatives from leading retailers, who are on-hand to provide insight on specific trading partner requirements.  
  • EPC Adoption Roadmap - Outlines the steps necessary to successfully implement an EPC-based solution.
  • RFID Brief: Commonly Asked RFID Questions: Dispelling the Myths - The Retail Sector began strategically deploying item level RFID in late 2008. Since that time there have been misunderstandings about the technology, its use case feasibility and its ROI benefits. This brief sets the record straight on RFID—providing definitive answers to the industry’s most common questions about what RFID is and what it can do.
  • Using the EPC Symbol - Learn more about the GS1 Consumer Privacy Guideline and to download the artwork for the EPC Symbol.
  • EPC-enabled RFID Serialization Management for SGTIN-96 - Describes options and methods for assigning globally unique identification to individual instances of trade items, using a Global Trade Item Number® (GTIN®) plus a unique serial number.
  • Manufacturer’s Tool Kit - Educational materials and staff training information to assist manufacturers in implementing GS1 EPCglobal® Guidelines on EPCs for consumer products.
  • Retailer's Tool Kit - Educational materials and staff training information to assist retailers in implementing GS1 EPCglobal Guidelines on EPCs for consumer products.
  • EPC Tag Placement Guidelines - Outlines the implementation details on the format and symbol placement of the EPCs.
  • Case Study: Levi Strauss & Co. Reports EPC-enabled RFID Success - Highlights Levi Strauss’ EPC-enabled RFID Pilot Successes in its Mexico operations.
  • Case Study: Source-to-Store Solutions Overview - Highlights the results of research conducted in 2011 by the University of Arkansas Information Technology Research Institute and illustrates how EPC-enabled RFID can help products and information flow through touch points from source to shelf. 
  • Case Study: Item-Level RFID: A Competitive Differentiator Visibility Data Enables the Apparel Supply Chain - A study from the VICS Item-Level RFID Initiative (VILRI), a group of advocates for the use of EPC-enabled RFID in the retail supply chain, suggests that adoption of RFID is reaching a "tipping point", with 80 percent of surveyed retailers having initiated pilots using RFID to track item sales in their stores. The report, which includes input from Accenture and a survey of 58 suppliers and 56 retailers in North America, confirmed that item-level adoption of RFID is gaining traction.
  • Case Study: Maidenform - Global apparel manufacturer Maidenform adopts EPC-enabled RFID item-level tagging to meet trading partner needs and improve efficiency.
  • Videos and Demos – Videos that illustrate how EPC-enabled RFID technology works and its key benefits.
  • EPC-enabled RFID Basics – An Overview and FAQs of EPC-enabled fundamentals.
  • RFID Research - Access a library of research papers about RFID and the results it can help companies achieve. Thanks to funding provided in part by GS1 US, researchers at the University of Arkansas’ RFID Research Center Lab are studying the benefits that stakeholders in the apparel industry can achieve by adopting RFID based on GS1 Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards. They are quantifying the effects of EPC-based tracking on improving inventory accuracy, productivity, costs, and revenues.
  • EPC Encoder/Decoder - A Gen 2 RFID tag holds a variety of data in its four memory banks, encoded into a highly compact binary form. This interactive application translates between different forms of the Electronic Product Code (EPC®), following the EPC Tag Data Standard 1.9. You may enter data in any box, and the other boxes will automatically update to show the translation. Translate between different forms of the EPC.
  • Whitepaper: Counterfeit Goods Create Real Problems ~ Learn How GS1 Standards Help Industry Reduce Imitation Merchandise Online - In today’s retail marketplace where the consumer can buy a product through a host of different channels, it’s more important than ever for brands to protect product authenticity by implementing proactive anti-counterfeit strategies. GS1 Standards help reduce the proliferation of counterfeit goods by tracking products across the supply chain and tracing their histories from factory to consumer, making it much easier to verify product authenticity and ensure satisfied consumers. GS1 Standards generate supply chain visibility, efficiency, safety, and collaboration.