Leading Retailer Enables Suppliers in Hong Kong to Participate In its RFID-Driven Supply Chain
THOROFARE, N.J., May 23, 2007 — Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CKP), a leading manufacturer and marketer of identification, tracking, security and merchandising solutions for the retail industry and its supply chain, today announced its participation in METRO Group's "Tag It Easy!" pilot. The pilot is part of the initiative "Advanced Logistics Asia" (ALA), which the METRO Group started in order to jointly enhance the logistical processes with its Asian suppliers by using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The "Tag It Easy" pilot enables the consumer goods industry to apply RFID labels on the shipments from Hong Kong to Germany. The kick-off with a solution outline and demonstration for 30 key partners took place today at the Hong Kong Science & Technology Park.
METRO Group is widely recognized as a technology leader and a driving force in international retailing. With this pilot, the company now is enabling its Asian suppliers to participate in its RFID-driven supply chain. Most of METRO Group's suppliers in this region have limited technology capabilities at their production sites, and so require assistance in printing RFID labels to affix to their export packages. Through a partnership with Checkpoint Systems, METRO Group has established a platform to allow these suppliers to place label order requests and receive pre-printed labels.
"Checkpoint Systems is one of the technology leaders when it comes to RFID applications," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, Managing Director of MGI METRO Group Information Technology. "For this reason we are convinced that Checkpoint is the right technology partner for a forward-looking pilot project dealing with RFID in an international supply chain." The Asian suppliers of the METRO Group will be placing RFID tags on all categories of consumer goods, ranging from toys to office equipment to clothes.
The METRO Group expects that the RFID pilot will optimize efficiency and transparency in the international flow of goods. Access to more-accurate, real-time shipment data will help the retailer improve control over its international supply chain, resulting in lower warehousing costs and reduced out-of-stock situations.
"Jointly, METRO and its suppliers want to guarantee that goods are always available to our customers," said Dr. Wolfram. "In particular, it's important for promotional items to be in the right place at the right time."
METRO Group has standardized on UHF EPC Gen 2 tags for compliance to all regional requirements: 917 - 922 MHz for China; 920 - 925 MHz for Hong Kong; and 865.6 - 867.6 MHz for Europe. The RFID tags on the labels provided by Checkpoint will store the Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), which will be read at several points along the supply chain from Hong Kong to Unna, Germany. The METRO Group will receive an electronic delivery note in advance of the shipment, detailing the container content. The supplier also benefits, by gaining detailed proof of package delivery.
The pilot will run for three months, and the METRO Group expects to extend the project to include several other Asian suppliers at a future date if the concept proves to be feasible. "Metro has always been a progressive and practical user of technology, and over the last several years, they have developed one of the industry's most efficient global supply chains," said George Off, CEO and chairman of the board of Checkpoint Systems. "We believe their plans for the use of RFID and our CheckNet track and trace capabilities is the next giant step forward for more precise supply chain management and ultimately enhanced satisfaction for the consumer."
About The Metro Group
METRO Group is one of the most important international retailing companies. In 2006 the group reached sales of about € 60 billion. The company has a headcount of some 270,000 employees and operates about 2,400 outlets in 30 countries. The operating business is performed by the sales brands which operate independently in the market: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry — world market leader in cash & carry wholesale, Real hypermarkets and Extra supermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn — market leader in consumer electronics centers in Europe, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores. More information is available at: www.metrogroup.de.
About Checkpoint Systems Inc.
Founded in 1969, Checkpoint Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of RF- and RFID-based solutions for identification, tracking, security and merchandising applications. With a presence in more than 80 countries and a network of more than 30 service bureaus worldwide, the company is the global leader for scalable, sure-performing 8.2 MHz, UHF, HF, EPC and ISO-based EAS and RFID labeling products, systems, maintenance and support services.
For additional information, visit the Checkpoint Systems web site at www.checkpointsystems.com.