Blog: Leonie BarrieLabelling is not an afterthought

Leonie Barrie | 15 March 2011

Shawn Neville, Avery Dennison group vice president, Retail Branding and Information Solutions, and Dr Klaus Walterscheid, Lord Mayor of Sprockhoevel, opening the company

Shawn Neville, Avery Dennison group vice president, Retail Branding and Information Solutions, and Dr Klaus Walterscheid, Lord Mayor of Sprockhoevel, opening the company's Customer Design and Innovation Center.

As a taste of what was to follow, the grand opening of Avery Dennison's first Customer Design and Innovation Center in Europe yesterday was marked not by the traditional cutting of a ribbon with scissors - but by the wave of a handheld scanner across an RFID-enabled sash.

It was a fitting launch for the centre, which the $1.5bn turnover company wants its apparel and footwear customers to use as a testbed for its range of labelling, packaging, price ticketing, brand protection and RFID-enabled inventory solutions.

The over-riding message is that these products, which are traditionally something of an afterthought in the product design process, deserve a bigger and more prominent role. Not only can they boost the image of a brand, but they can command a higher price and even seal a sale. RFID tickets and tags can also increase the speed and accuracy of the supply chain, and help eliminate theft and counterfeits.

And crucially, getting all these things right leads to a happy customer - especially when the correct product and size are available at the point of purchase.

Visitors and journalists attending the opening in the German town of Sprockhövel were shown the possibilities from start to finish across a simulated supply chain complete with Avery Dennison's own Uniti demonstration apparel brand. And we all left with customised T-shirts bearing our publication's logo and a hangtag with our faces on it!

All in all it was an impressive display, and comes at a time when taking layers out of the supply chain is key to improving competitiveness for apparel firms. The new centre is the first in Europe, but the second worldwide after the concept was unveiled last November at Ohio in the United States. Avery Dennison says it plans to open two to three additional Customer Design and Innovation Centers around the world in the next 18 months.

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