THE METRO GROUP AND SAVI NETWORKS LAUNCH REAL-TIME INFORMATION SERVICE ON INVENTORY SHIPPED FROM ASIA TO EUROPE
DUSSELDORF, Germany and SUNNYVALE, Calif., 11/29/2006 -- The METRO Group, one of the world’s largest retailers and a world leader in commercial Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) deployments, has launched the Advanced Logistics Asia (ALA) project with Savi Networks to monitor in real-time the location and security of inventory shipped from Asia to Europe.
The ALA project, managed by METRO Group Buying Hong Kong (MGB Hong Kong), will utilize SaviTrak™, a web-based, real-time information service that leverages automatic data transmissions from Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compliant passive and active RFID tags, among other wireless devices, on shipments transported throughout the global supply chain. MGB Hong Kong manages METRO Group imports from sourcing to delivery at distribution centers in Germany.
Under the ALA project, SaviTrak will monitor a variety of retail products while they are transported through a global RFID reader network, stretching from a consolidation center in Hong Kong, through the Port of Hong Kong, to the Port of Rotterdam, the inland Port of Duisburg in Germany and finally to a METRO Group distribution center in Unna, Germany. Active, battery-powered RFID tags on containers will be utilized to automatically transmit information into the SaviTrak information service.
As a six-month pilot, the ALA project is designed to evaluate improvements in the visibility, management and security of inventory while it is transported end-to-end. The project will further evaluate investment returns in reduced lead times and inventory, improved customer service as well as supply chain and financial performance.
“This innovative project with Savi Networks helps METRO Group to move closer to our vision of having a competitive advantage through a fully digitized supply chain,” said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, managing director, METRO Group Information Technology. “Ultimately, we want a completely transparent supply chain from smart factory floor to smart store shelf, and solutions around both passive and active RFID are playing an increasingly important role in reaching that vision.”
“As our global network expands and customer base grows, the value of the real-time information services we can deliver to international shippers such as METRO Group also will continue to increase,” said Lani Fritts, chief operating officer of Savi Networks.
The SaviTrak information service is built upon an open, international standards-based network platform, including compatibility with ISO standard 18000-7 for active RFID devices and draft ISO standard 18185 for electronic container security devices, both operating at the 433.92 MHz radio frequency. The global Network accommodates multiple and interoperable Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) technologies – such as barcodes, EPC-compliant passive and active RFID technologies, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) – used to manage inventory in the supply chain
Savi Networks, the operator of a global network providing real-time information services on in-transit inventory, is a joint venture between Savi Technology, Inc., a Lockheed Martin company [NYSE: LMT], and Hutchison Port Holdings. To learn more about Savi Networks, visit: www.savinetworks.com .
METRO Group is one of the most important international retailing companies. In 2005 the group reached sales of Euro 55.7 billion. The company has a headcount of about 250,000 employees and operates more than 2,200 outlets in 30 countries. The performance capability of the METRO Group is based on the strength of its sales brands which operate independently in the market: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – world market leader in self-service wholesale, Real hypermarkets and Extra supermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – market leader in European consumer electronics centers – and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.