Perfection is usually a lofty goal. To Phelps the Uniform Specialists of Muscatine, Iowa, it’s now well within the realm of the expected. The family company credits radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging for enabling their people to fill orders with 100 percent accuracy. Particularly they are pleased with the “bundle reader” that makes it easy to ensure that clothes are properly tied out for delivery.
Introduced during the fourth quarter of last year to the industry by Positek RFID (Norristown, Pa.), the unit takes advantage of multiread RFID tag technology to quickly scan groups of clean garments on hangers. A tie-out employee manually passes the twist-tied garments over the reader to get the all-clear signifying that each one in the bundle belongs to a single wearer and that the group is complete. Phelps sees this effort as a small price to pay for the satisfaction of knowing that all wearers will receive exactly what they’re due on their next drop-off.
The ability to provide such a sense of complete satisfaction sold Phelps on investing in the tags and associated equipment in 2005. At the time, the bundle reader wasn’t yet off the drawing board, but the company knew Positek would make it happen. They recognized the RFID provider had exceptional innovative capabilities, having pioneered semiautomated clean garment sorting.