M&S RFID policy shows benefits


M&S RFID policy shows benefits

Will Hadfield

Three of Marks & Spencer’s largest food suppliers are starting to realise business benefits from using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in their supply chain.

Northern Foods, RHM and World Wide Fruit have tagged the pallets that they send to Marks & Spencer since the retailer mandated pallet-level tagging for all 115 of its food suppliers in 2004.

The three food producers are using RFID to control the movement of pallets through their own supply chains.

“We are now able to monitor 700,000 tags per week, via one centralised read-and-write system, making it possible to trace every tray from time of fill at manufacture through to the time it is out-loaded and at which particular depot,” Northern Foods’ lead architect and RFID project manager Paul Matthews said.

Northern Foods uses Siemens to supply its RFID system. The food producer has used RFID readers to track the pallets at all 19 of its production sites since April this year.

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