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Schiff Improves Efficiency With New IBM RFID


ARMONK, NY - Schiff Nutrition International, a U.S.-based manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, and IBM have announced a new Radio Frequency Identification pilot to better anticipate current and future customer needs and improve efficiency. This makes Schiff the first mid-size manufacturer to execute such a program, giving it a competitive advantage in the market and illustrating that RFID is sustainable for small- and medium-sized businesses.

After researching RFID technology, Schiff turned to IBM Global Services and Business Partner, OATSystems, for the initial design, testing and implementation of their RFID infrastructure. Remaining compliant with retailer mandates while also having a strategic vision of extended uses of the technology, Schiff required an RFID partner with deep expertise in integration and open standards. It chose OATSystems’ tag@source solution, OATxpress, and IBM’s WebSphere RFID Premises Server as middleware, which forms the foundation of a flexible and scalable end-to-end architecture. OATSystems’ solution platform will enable Schiff to go beyond tagging to monitoring new product introductions, promotions and out-of-stocks with Real-time Promotion Execution and Shelf Availability.

“Improving operational efficiencies within the four walls of a Schiff-owned and operated distribution center was not enough. Schiff wanted a solution that not only offered enhanced productivity, but was also interoperable with other supply chain partners, highly scalable and replicable for future customers and their unique specifications,” said Scott Burroughs, Sensors & Actuators Solutions Executive, IBM Software Group. “IBM and Business Partner, OATSystems deliver services and solutions that promote business evolution and efficiency, so SMBs can focus time and resources on the innovation that will advance their business capabilities.”

To begin, IBM Global Business Services conducted an RFID Solution Development Workshop to educate Schiff’s staff on the technology and customize its solution to align with current business processes. To ensure smooth running of Schiff’s order-fulfillment operations, IBM Global Services will continue to deliver services through 2007. Schiff also had full access to IBM’s RFID Lab and Business Partner network to address any issues of physics and to achieve the highest read rates.

“We turned to IBM for their RFID testing facilities, expertise in software and data integration and extensive partner network -- they could deliver the whole package, and did, on time and below budget,” said Rod Farrimond, Manager Business Analysis, Schiff Nutrition. “Access to IBM’s testing labs was a major differentiator for us when deciding on an RFID technology partner.”


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