A startup mannequin supply business in Oakland, California, was having difficulty keeping track of its inventory of recycled mannequin parts and where the goods were in the process of being shipped to various boutiques, department stores and even museums and schools. However, by employing a new RFID-based data collection method, the business owners told Forbes, they were not only able to get a better picture of what was in stock, but also were able to accelerate business growth.
The business takes parts of old mannequins, such as those discarded by clothing retailers, and repurposes them. In one year alone, the company recycled 100,000 pounds of mannequin parts, including hands, legs and heads, Forbes reported. While the volume of recyclables the company handles helped earn it a certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency for being a green business, it also meant there were many items to constantly keep track of.
However, with the data collectionsoftware implemented, thousands of mannequins and mannequin parts could be easily tracked as they moved around the country, from trade shows to fashion events and to retailers. This information helped the business widen its customer base, the article stated. It also meant the company did not have to keep the warehouse fully stocked to be confident in what mannequins were available at any given time, as mannequins could be tracked as they shipped from client to client, saving the business time and money.
“We work with different suppliers throughout the country, and each of them has their own unique mannequin inventory,” the business owner told Forbes. “The [data collection] technology allows us to offer a wide variety of merchandise without necessarily having to house it in our warehouse.”
The full inventory is also kept online on the company's website, making it easy for potential customers to see exactly what the company has available at any given time.