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Supply Chain Technology Supply Chain Technology Presentation Transcript

  • Supply Chain Technology RFID Monthly American Apparel RFID Project - Case Study Research Supplement June 2009 Reik Read 414.298.1030
  • Table of Contents (Use the links below to navigate. To return, click on page header in the upper left corner.) Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………….1 American Apparel: Company Profile …………………………………………………………………….1 Pilot Approach ……………………………………………………………………………………………………1 Benefits Achieved ……………………………………………………………………………………………….2 Pilot Challenges ………………………………………………………………………………………………...3 RFID Value Add – ROI Analysis …………………………………………………………………………...3 Next Steps …………………………………………………………………………………………………………4 Case Study Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………5 Acknowledgements …………………………………………………………………………………………….6 Baird’s RFID Contacts …………………………………………………………………………………………9 (Please refer to Appendix – Important Disclosures and Analyst Certification on page 7)
  • American Apparel: RFID Case Study Executive Summary American Apparel successfully piloted RFID at the item level and, once Each company store has on average roughly 12,000 stock keeping funding is secured, expects to roll out RFID to all of its 260 stores over units (SKU) on its retail floor, and it is company policy to have only one the next eighteen months. Our analysis suggests the per-store payback of each SKU on the retail floor at all times. Replenishment inventory is on the RFID project is about 4.5 months given increased sales from housed in the store stockroom, typically located in the basement. In fewer out-of-stocks and reduced labor. RFID boosted revenue by total, the average store has about 38,000 items, with about 12,000 on providing improved inventory visibility and automation that enabled the store floor and 26,000 in the stock room. Once an item is sold, process changes to ensure a full complement of product offerings were company policy requires store personnel to immediately replace that available on the retail floor at all times. This was accomplished with item on the retail floor shelves or clothing rack. Replenishment orders reduced labor for weekly cycle counts and inventory searches. The to the factory are generated daily based on the goods that are company began a proof-of-concept test in one store to validate RFID transferred to the retail floor. Today, this process relies on bar code could help improve out-of-stock inventory, and the project was later scanning to perform inventory transfers from the stockroom to the retail increased to eight stores to conduct a full pilot. floor and on scanning data at point-of-sale. Company Profile In order to ensure compliance with company policy of a full American Apparel, headquartered in Los Angles, California complement of inventory on the retail floor, store personnel perform a manufactures, distributes, and sells at retail basic fashion apparel for twice-per-week physical inventory count by visually inspecting each men, women, and children. The company primarily offers t-shirts, rack or shelf. Historically, any missing items are physically circled on a denim, sweaters, jackets, and other casual wear at its roughly 260 copy of the store inventory checklist. Physical inventory counts and retail stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. sales floor inventory replenishment historically require about 240 man American Apparel also owns a wholesale business that supplies t-shirts hours each month to perform. With this system, about 100-300 items and other casual wear to distributors and screen printers and sells on average are discovered to be missing at each cycle count. goods on line. All manufacturing is done at a single location in Los Angles where the company produces roughly 1.5M apparel pieces per Pilot Approach week. The company generated revenue of $545.1M in 2008, or growth Given the relatively higher-than-desired number of missing items at of 41%. At retail, where the RFID system is used, revenue was retail, the company became concerned with potential lost sales due to $382.4M in 2008, which grew 58%. Comparable store sales were up out-of-stocks, and began to evaluate RFID as a potential solution. The 21% in 2008, and the company saw good expansion, adding 78 net company initially fitted its Columbia University store in New York in new stores worldwide. However, given the challenging retail November of 2007 as a test pilot to confirm the technology would work. environment, where same-store sales are now down, American The company elected to use UHF Gen 2 technology given the Apparel is being cautious with its capital spending budget in 2009 with automated nature, and deployed two tabletop antennas from Vue with $20M-$25M in planned expenditures versus $68.7M in 2008, two fixed Motorola XR440 readers in its storeroom, and one Vue suggesting project funding will be selective. RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 1
  • American Apparel: RFID Case Study antenna and a Motorola XR440 fixed reader between the store room properly staged, they are moved to the retail floor, where a reader and the retail floor and two Vue table top antennas and a fixed located between the store room and retail floor reads items in transit Motorola XR440 reader at point-of-sale. The table top readers were and compares them against the staging inventory. A monitor allows fitted with homemade “bucket” housings to direct the RF energy thus personnel conducting the inventory transport to visually confirm the eliminating false reads outside of the desired read zones. All existing correct items are being moved to retail to ensure proper replenishment. store inventory was tagged manually. American Apparel employed Once confirmed by transport personnel, the system updates the retail Vue’s TrueVue software platform for the trial. Tags were Avery floor and staging inventory in RetailPro. The previous process of Dennison’s AD-222 hang tag. staging and moving goods to the retail floor required manually scanning each barcode tag, which necessitated more time and provided less In terms of process flow, new merchandise is tagged at the factory or ability to confirm the proper replenishment process. manually upon arrival at the store. Note that since American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, it is easier to source tag at Benefits Achieved manufacturing, including commissioning to associate the item with the As a result of the RFID process, inventory is updated more frequently tag. While not critical to driving value for this project, we view this as a with less manual intervention. The system provides a real-time view to key enabler for incremental supply chain applications that could provide store managers and senior management regarding out-of-stock increased value in the future. Upon arrival, each article is scanned with positions in aggregate or by store, allowing for corrective action as an RFID reader to receive the item. Once this process is complete, needed. Further, management gets a more up-to-date look at goods are moved into general storeroom inventory. Replenishment for merchandising trends. American Apparel has indicated that inventory the retail floor is triggered by the sale of an item, where the RFID tag is accuracy from the system is running above 99%. To provide some read at point-of-sale (POS). Each RFID tag can provide information on context, prior to the project, management estimated American Apparel a specific item when read at POS, which may enable future help with was suffering from 10% in lost stock, and once the visibility was merchandising or loss prevention. Previously, this information was improved with RFID, they discovered the problem of lost stock was generated with a bar code scan. Please note, the company is seeking actually closer to 20%. to reuse a portion of tags, and once removed from the item, they are housed in a metallic container next to the POS station to prevent At each store, Motorola MC-9090 handheld readers allow store unwanted re-reads. personnel to perform bi-weekly cycle counts and associated inventory replenishment using about 52 man-hours per month, versus the The POS process provides an alert in the storeroom that an item must manual process, which took roughly 200 hours per month for two be replaced on the retail floor. Storeroom personnel pick the item from general weekly cycle counts and sales floor inventory replenishment, inventory, and read the item’s RFID tag on a second RFID-enabled plus an additional 40 hours per month for selected styles cycle table in the storeroom, which confirms to the application software, counting. Total labor savings are 188 hours per month, which will RetailPro, that the item is moved from stock inventory to staging for require fewer people to man each store. In addition, management retail replenishment. Each item is placed on a hanger or properly folded indicated stock room associates were only spending 50% of their time at the staging area. Once a sufficient number of items have been RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 2
  • American Apparel: RFID Case Study on stockroom organization and transfers as cycle counting required With the one store, the company found success with its RFID 50% of their time. With the RFID-based system, 75% of time can be system and was able to overcome early obstacles. However, the spent on tasks that help improve revenue, including faster receipts, company believed that a true pilot would need to be conducted in stock room organization, transfers and customer service. Given these many stores simultaneously to understand all the key issues and efficiencies, American Apparel is able to manage two stores for every how they would be managed. This is particularly true as stores are “store manager” compared to a one-to-one ratio for traditional stores. in many different locations, have diverse sizes, varying traffic patterns and offer a unique assortment of merchandise. The As a result of the system, each store has fewer out-of-stock items, company outfitted seven additional stores (six in New York and one down below 10 per cycle count, and sales have increased just over in Santa Monica, California), and found several additional 14% per square foot on average. The methodology employed to challenges to be overcome, including systems management, data determine the revenue increase was to compare revenue from the aggregation and scalability. eight RFID implemented stores against two sets of metrics-against the same eight stores for the same time period a year earlier With multiple stores open, the IT department could no longer focus (adjusted for cannibalization from new American Apparel store on just one store and take rapid corrective actions. Systems openings), and against similar non-RFID stores in the same management needed to be centralized, store personnel had to be geographic region. The two high and low outliers were discarded and further trained and third-party support was required for servicing. the remaining store average demonstrated an increase of 14.4%. The company also realized that software updates and provisioning would need to be centrally done, rather than terminal-by-terminal, Pilot Challenges which would be overly time-consuming. The new implementation As part of the process, the company uncovered several initial saw a large and regular number of “emergency calls.” After only a challenges, including basic employee training, modest process few months, the number of these calls dropped significantly as the changes and equipment layout. Given American Apparel’s relatively American Apparel staff addressed these issues and further younger store employee base, the technology training was relatively institutionalized the RFID process. The staff now has good well accepted and successful. With respect to process changes, there knowledge of what will be required to fully deploy the system. were a few added steps, such as tag commissioning, and a few variations on existing processes, such as moving items around when RFID Value Add – ROI Analysis scanning to ensure full reads. With respect to equipment layout, key After running with eight stores fully since November 2008, issues included outfitting tables with housings to direct RF energy, American Apparel was able to asses its RFID system against its reader mounting, and cabling and changes to metal shelving to existing technologies and processes. The analysis shows an ensure tags could be read. The shelving issue was solved with a low- average payback of roughly 4.5 months per store. On average, cost layer of bubble-wrap and particle board which created an sales per store increased 14% as a result of more key items in effective air-gap between the tag and shelf. stock (fewer out-of-stocks) and given store personnel had more time to interface with customers. Further, each store saved over RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 3
  • American Apparel: RFID Case Study 188 hours per month in labor given reduced cycle counting and replaced. Application costs were no different between the traditional tag storeroom search time. Based upon American Apparel’s average and the RFID tag. We assumed each store would need on average mature store revenue, found in the company’s most recent 10-K filing, 72,200 tags per year, given an average item count per store of 38,000 and our estimates, we forecast an average store net operating income and 1.9x inventory turns each year. We further assumed a 50% reuse benefit (tax adjusted) of $126,900 in its first year of implementation. rate on the tags. Given this, annual per store tag costs are $2,708. We The initial investment was about $47,400 per store, which included the factored in annual maintenance costs per year equal to 10% of the original tag fitting, the readers, associated equipment and installation, initial hardware costs, and we assumed $200,000 in annual corporate the software, and initial training and store inefficiencies. support costs. We depreciated the initial costs over three years for an annual expense of $15,780; any benefit above this level was taxed at With respect to our analysis, we worked with American Apparel to the U.S. corporate tax rate. This was more conservative than simply determine several key inputs, extracted information from investor applying taxation on benefits above the total project cost in the first presentations and the 2008 American Apparel 10-K filing with the year; however, if applying this methodology, the payback period would Securities and Exchange Commission. We also made some additional be 0.4 months faster. We also assessed a capital charge of $6,154 assumptions on our own. In terms of benefits, we applied the 14% based on a 13% cost of capital. revenue increase to average retail store sales and boosted gross profit by the average retail margin in 2008 of 65.9%. This generated This analysis assumes the system deployment is financed by American $172,528 in incremental gross profit benefit per store on average. We Apparel. Our understanding is that a potential lease option exists to estimated fully burdened labor to be $12 per hour, which provided include all hardware, software and service costs for $2,700 per month annual savings of $27,072 per store on average. Our analysis did not per store over a three-year period. This assumes a residual value on assess the potential for better merchandising strategies from the hardware at roughly 10%-20% of original cost. incremental data, or evaluate loss prevention applications. With the new system, American Apparel is discovering data that allows the Next Steps company to hone in on theft, which has already resulted in several American Apparel worked in conjunction with Xterprise to develop a recoveries. Further, our analysis does not include any potential benefit scalable software package that also addresses incremental application by using RFID between the factory and stores or for the returns requirements. Xterprise software is written on top of Microsoft’s BizTalk process and we do not include any potential inventory reductions. Platform. This new software was initially tested in a single store in late Given the vertical nature of American Apparel’s operations, we expect January for roughly 90 days. American Apparel is now ready to roll out good value can be attained on these incremental applications for a to its entire store base, which is expected to begin this summer. relatively modest incremental expenditure. Assuming current economic conditions will permit funding, the rollout would likely begin with 8 pilot stores in the U.S. and an additional 38 in The initial costs, which included all hardware, software, cabling, project Canada. The company hopes to take advantage of new integrated management, initial training (and associated labor inefficiency) and reader/antenna technology to further lower its initial deployment costs. support costs were calculated to be $47,370. With respect to The company hopes to have all stores complete by the end of 2010. incremental operating expenses, the net tag costs were $0.075 each, or $0.10 for the RFID tag costs, less $0.025 for the traditional tag being RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 4
  • American Apparel - RFID Implementation ROI Analysis ----------Per Store Return Analysis---------- Initial RFID Outfitting Costs (per store) Tags* $ 4,180 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Reader Infrastructure Operational Benefits Fixed reader (Motorola) with antenna (1 - between store room and retail) 3,000 Labor savings $ 27,072 $ 27,072 $ 27,072 Table readers (Motorola) with Vue antenna (3 - receipt, staging, POS) 9,250 Incremental gross income from increased revenue 172,528 172,528 172,528 Handheld reader (2) 6,000 Total incremental benefit to operating income 199,600 199,600 199,600 Cabling/Installation costs 1,500 Total reader 19,750 Operational Costs of RFID Software 14,000 Incremental tag costs 2,708 2,708 2,708 Other services/infrastructure investment 1,000 Annual equipment maintenance - 1,500 1,500 Capital cost 6,158 6,158 6,158 Allocated corporate overhead costs (IT/Ops, etc.) 4,000 667 606 Total average store outfiting costs $ 38,930 Total incremental costs 12,866 11,032 10,972 Project management 3,000 Initial maintenance and support 3,000 Net incremental benefit to annual store operating income 186,735 188,568 188,628 Training and labor inefficiency 2,440 Tax expense on net operating income benefit# 59,831 60,472 60,493 Total investment per store $ 47,370 Total net benefit to store net income $ 126,904 $ 128,096 $ 128,135 Capital deployment $ 47,370 Incremental RFID Operational Costs (annual per store) Items to be tagged each year 72,200 Payback (months)## 4.5 Tags reused 36,100 Discounted ROI## 135% 117% 92% Net new tags purchased per year 36,100 Cost per tag (includes application cost) $0.08 Stores implemented (to allocate corporate expenses) 50 300 330 Annual new tag spending $2,708 Note: Incremental depreciation expense (to calculate taxes and discounted ROI) $ 15,790 $ 15,790 $ 15,790 Annual equipment maintenance and support (hardware and sofware) $1,500 #Taxes are applied to any benefit exceeding the incremental depreciation charge. Incremental RFID related Benefits (annual per store) #Note: Since payback is calcluated as the duration for the actual benefit to pay off the capital deployment, the payback Labor savings (annual hours) 2,256 calculation excludes depreciation. It does, however, include a tax assessment on incremental benefit over depreciation Labor savings $ 27,072 expense to approximate the added income tax expense. However, for purposes of assessing a discounted ROI, the analysis assumes an accrual accounitng approach. Therefore, depreciation is used in this calculation. Revenue boost $ 261,701 Gross margin boost $ 172,528 ## Also, please note: The average revenue at the NY stores where RFID has been tested is higher than the company average, suggesting an initial payback of 3.8 months in the NY stores. Assumptions Average store SKU count 38,000 Source: American Apparel Tag re-use rate 50% Source: American Apparel Inventory turns 1.9x Source: 2008 10-K (average inventory turns in 2008) Incrememental (net) cost per tag, including application* $0.075 Source: American Apparel Initial training costs per store $ 1,000 RWB estimate Average hourly labor rate (fully burdened) $ 12.00 RWB estimate Average number of RFID-related employees per store (to asses training costs and labor inefficiency) 4 RWB estimate Labor inefficiency during first week of implementation 75% RWB estimate; assumes in store labor only performs at 75% of normal during the week implmentation occurs Maintenance cost (% of hardware/software infrastructure) 10% RWB estimate Hardware replacement cycle 4 years RWB estimate Corporate overhead costs (annual) $ 100,000 RWB estimate Allocated salary cost 100,000 RWB estimate Total corporate costs $ 200,000 RWB estimate Labor savings per month per store (hours) 188 Source: American Apparel Revenue boost per store 14% Source: American Apparel Average retail revenue per established store (2008)** $ 1,822,429 Source: 2008 10-K and American Apparel investor presentations. Average gross margin per store (excluding wholesale) 65.9% Source: 2008 10-K; does not assume any operating leverage from increased revenue Long-term tax rate 35% U.S. Corporate tax rate Cost of capital 13% RWB Estimate Depreciation term (years) 3 RWB Estimate *RFID labels are replacing an existing label, thus the net cost is the purchased RFID label cost, less the existing label cost. Application cost of the labels is equal. However, the costs to initally tag store inventory is higher due to incremental labor required. Reik Read **Our analysis focuses on mature stores and, thus strips out new store additions in 2008. New stores only generate $1.3M in their first year of operation on average. (414) 298-1030 RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 5
  • Process and Acknowledgements Our write-up was based on our ability to have meaningful discussions with the end user, in this case, American Apparel, on key aspects of the pilot program, including an overview on business processes, implementation costs and challenges, and project benefits. We also leverage conversations with key vendors to add detail behind the analysis. Given this, we would like to thank Zander Livingston, Director of RFID at American Apparel, for his willingness to provide us with insight into key business processes and an overall perspective of the RFID project. We would also like to thank Darrin Clark with Xterprise for his time in providing additional detail and insight. RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 6
  • Appendix – Important Disclosures and Analyst Certification Robert W. Baird & Co. and/or its affiliates expect to receive or intend to seek investment-banking related compensation from the company or companies mentioned in this report within the next three months. Investment Ratings: Outperform (O) - Expected to outperform on a total return, risk-adjusted basis the broader U.S. equity market over the next 12 months. Neutral (N) - Expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next 12 months. Underperform (U) - Expected to underperform on a total return, risk-adjusted basis the broader U.S. equity market over the next 12 months. Risk Ratings: L - Lower Risk - Higher-quality companies for investors seeking capital appreciation or income with an emphasis on safety. Company characteristics may include: stable earnings, conservative balance sheets, and an established history of revenue and earnings. A - Average Risk - Growth situations for investors seeking capital appreciation with an emphasis on safety. Company characteristics may include: moderate volatility, modest balance-sheet leverage, and stable patterns of revenue and earnings. H - Higher Risk - Higher-growth situations appropriate for investors seeking capital appreciation with the acceptance of risk. Company characteristics may include: higher balance-sheet leverage, dynamic business environments, and higher levels of earnings and price volatility. S - Speculative Risk - High-growth situations appropriate only for investors willing to accept a high degree of volatility and risk. Company characteristics may include: unpredictable earnings, small capitalization, aggressive growth strategies, rapidly changing market dynamics, high leverage, extreme price volatility and unknown competitive challenges. Valuation, Ratings and Risks. The recommendation and price target contained within this report are based on a time horizon of 12 months but there is no guarantee the objective will be achieved within the specified time horizon. Price targets are determined by a subjective review of fundamental and/or quantitative factors of the issuer, its industry, and the security type. A variety of methods may be used to determine the value of a security including, but not limited to, discounted cash flow, earnings multiples, peer group comparisons, and sum of the parts. Overall market risk, interest rate risk, and general economic risks impact all securities. Specific information regarding the price target and recommendation is provided in the text of our most recent research report. Distribution of Investment Ratings. As of May 29, 2009, Baird U.S. Equity Research covered 531 companies, with 39% rated Outperform/Buy, 59% rated Neutral/Hold and 2% rated Underperform/Sell. Within these rating categories, 9% of Outperform/Buy-rated, and 6% of Neutral/Hold-rated companies have compensated Baird for investment banking services in the past 12 months and/or Baird managed or co-managed a public offering of securities for these companies in the past 12 months. Analyst Compensation. Analyst compensation is based on: 1) The correlation between the analyst’s recommendations and stock price performance; 2) Ratings and direct feedback from our investing clients, our sales force and from independent rating services; and 3) The analyst’s productivity, including the quality of the analyst’s research and the analyst’s contribution to the growth and development of our overall research effort. This compensation criteria and actual compensation is reviewed and approved on an annual basis by Baird’s Research Oversight Committee. Analyst compensation is derived from all revenue sources of the firm, including revenues from investment banking. Baird does not compensate research analysts based on specific investment banking transactions. A complete listing of all companies covered by Baird U.S. Equity Research and applicable research disclosures can be accessed at You can also call 800-792-2473 or write: Robert W. Baird & Co., Equity Research, 24th Floor, 777 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202. RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 7
  • Appendix – Important Disclosures and Analyst Certification Analyst Certification The senior research analyst(s) certifies that the views expressed in this research report and/or financial model accurately reflect such senior analyst's personal views about the subject securities or issuers and that no part of his or her compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views contained in the research report. Disclaimers Baird prohibits analysts from owning stock in companies they cover. This is not a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any company, industry or security. The opinions expressed here reflect our judgment at this date and are subject to change. The information has been obtained from sources we consider to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON COMPANIES MENTIONED HEREIN IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, S&P 400 and Russell 2000 are unmanaged common stock indices used to measure and report performance of various sectors of the stock market; direct investment in indices is not available. Baird is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license. Baird is regulated by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and various other self-regulatory organizations and those laws and regulations may differ from Australian laws. This report has been prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations governing United States broker-dealers and not Australian laws. Copyright 2009 Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated Other Disclosures UK disclosure requirements for the purpose of distributing this research into the UK and other countries for which Robert W. Baird Limited holds an ISD passport. This report is for distribution into the United Kingdom only to persons who fall within Article 19 or Article 49(2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (financial promotion) order 2001 being persons who are investment professionals and may not be distributed to private clients. Issued in the United Kingdom by Robert W. Baird Limited, which has offices at Mint House 77 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AF, and is a company authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. For the purposes of the Financial Services Authority requirements, this investment research report is classified as objective. Robert W. Baird Limited ("RWBL") is exempt from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license. RWBL is regulated by the Financial Services Authority ("FSA") under UK laws and those laws may differ from Australian laws. This document has been prepared in accordance with FSA requirements and not Australian laws. RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 8
  • Baird’s RFID Contacts Research Investment Banking Reik W. Read John Moriarty 414.298.1030 650.424.9311 Mike Avila 650-424-9312 RFID Monthly Supplement American Apparel – RFID Case Study Robert W. Baird & Co. June 2009 Page 9
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