Rolling out RFID at Pacific Cycle

Bike company deploys Symbol solutions to track products from DCs to retailers' backrooms

Bike company deploys Symbol solutions to track products from DCs to retailers' backrooms

Dallas — March 3, 2005 — Bicycle company Pacific Cycle has deployed radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions from Symbol Technologies to track its bicycles as they move from its distribution centers (DCs) to the backrooms of the nation's leading retailers.

Headquartered in Madison, Wis., Pacific Cycle, a division of Dorel Industries, is a leading supplier of bicycles in North America. The company, which designs and imports a range of bicycles and recreation products under such brand names as Schwinn, Pacific Outdoors and Roadmaster, has distribution centers in Olney, Ill., and Vacaville, Calif.

Pacific Cycle will use the Symbol MC9000-G with RFID, a rugged mobile computer that combines RFID capabilities, bar code reading, imaging and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Symbol's fixed RFID readers (Symbol AR400 series) and EPC Class 0 read/write tags.

"The Symbol RFID solution gives us unparalleled visibility for our products throughout the supply chain," said Ed Matthews, information systems director of Pacific Cycle. "We have experienced near-perfect read rates with Symbol's RFID readers and tags, far surpassing the results of other equipment we tried. And Symbol's ability to go beyond our needs has made our experience with RFID one that we're looking forward to building on as the technology matures."

"RFID technology is clearly the future of retail supply chain tracking, and Pacific Cycle has clearly taken a lead in this application," said Phil Lazo, general manager and vice president of RFID marketing at Symbol. "As major retailers begin to employ the speed, reliability and efficiency of RFID, suppliers are realizing benefits that the technology can bring to the bottom line."

The focus of RFID as a retail application is currently on "the supply chain to the store backroom," which includes tagging pallets, cartons and reusable containers to track the movement of goods throughout the distribution system. Users are just beginning to assess the impact of tagging individual items on the retail sales floor.

Matthews said that Pacific Cycle anticipates that RFID will not only enable the company to monitor its bikes in real time as they move from manufacturing to retail inventory, but also will give the company an accurate picture of what's out on the floor at any given moment. "That will mean higher shipment accuracy, a reduction in our inventory and lower labor costs," he said, adding, "It will revolutionize the way we do business."

Additional Articles of Interest

For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification, follow this link for an extensive listing of articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.