Supply chain typology for configuring cost-efficient tracking in fashion logistics

Ville Hinkka, Maiju Häkkinen, Jan Holmström, Kary Främling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    – The purpose of this paper is to propose a typology of radio frequency identification (RFID)-based tracking solution designs to fit differing fashion supply chains. The typology is presented as principles of form and function contributing toward a design theory of configurable RFID tracking for fashion logistics.
    – The typology is developed based on a case study of a logistics service provider (LSP) interested in designing a tracking solution for different customers in fashion logistics. In addition to the LSP, four fashion retailers were involved in the study. The case study was carried out using a review of existing RFID tracking implementations in the fashion industry, analysis of an RFID tracking pilot conducted by the case company, and interviews with representatives of the retailers.
    – By varying three design parameters (place of tagging, place of tracking start and place of tracking end) a tracking solution can be configured to fit the requirements and constraints of different fashion supply chains. In the fashion logistics context under investigation, such parameterization addresses retailer requirements, brings concrete and quantifiable benefits to both LSP and its customers, and enables incremental adoption of RFID tracking.
    Research limitations/implications
    – Although the typology is developed in the specific setting of a case company developing RFID tracking solutions for fashion logistics, the design parameters identified in the study can be used when considering configurable tracking solutions also in other domains and settings. However, further research is needed to evaluate the proposed typology in those settings.
    Practical implications
    – The proposed typology enables fashion companies to consider which configuration of RFID tracking best fits the requirements and constraints imposed by their particular supply chain. For fashion companies, who find adoption of RFID tracking difficult despite the obvious benefits, the proposed typology enables incremental implementation of supply chain-wide tracking.
    – The developed typology, describing how RFID-based tracking solutions can be adjusted to fit the needs of fashion companies with differing supply chains and requirements, is novel. The typology is generalizable to most fashion logistics settings and probably to numerous other logistics domains.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-60
    JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • RFID
    • reatail trade
    • supply chain management


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