Frequently Asked Questions

10 Tips for Complying with the SGTIN RFID Retail Mandate

Wave Retail Ticket Hang Tag with RFID

1. SGTIN RAIN RFID is the same as the UPC Barcode

An SGTIN is a serialized global trade identification number. A GTIN (global trade identification number) is the same as a 12 digit UPC (universal product code) in the United States found on nearly every item in a supermarket or department store. A GTIN can also refer to the EAN (international UPC, essentially) or an ISBN (book reference number).

As used in SGTIN RFID in the USA, we are talking about converting your UPC (aka GTIN) to an SGTIN.

The conversion process is simple: Using the UPC, we add a serial number and program that into a low-cost RFID tag. This tag is small and thin enough to fit inside the paper lining of existing barcode labels. This process creates an SGTIN-encoded RFID tag. When an RFID inventory system scans that tag, it converts the SGTIN back into a UPC for fast, accurate counting.

RFID tags can be scanned at a rate of 1,000 per second and through boxes of products or stacks of jeans. This high-speed, accuracy, and very low-cost of RFID tags is the reason retailers are mandating a switch to SGTIN RFID from UPC.

2. Everyone that is shipping to a retailer is required to add SGTIN RFID.

This is a stretch, but it's close to accurate.

For the best tagging guidance, we recommend googling "walmart supply chain packaging guide rfid". We hot linked the latest edition (last update Aug 2022) but it updates every few months and there may be newer references.

Other retailers include: Target, Macys, Dillards, Nordstrom, Dicks. We know of dozens more that will actively be updating their purchase orders to include SGTIN tagged RFID in future orders.

3. There is no contract-specific data in an SGTIN RFID tag.

The only information contained in an SGTIN RFID tag is the UPC code of the product.

There are more complex versions and use cases for the SGTIN. Avoid them.

4. You can get your tags shipped to you, Same-Day.

If you plan on making future shipments to a retailer, you should buy a supply of labels. Stocking up will save you money on shipping costs. Since there is no contract information stored in an SGTIN RFID tag, it is always safe to buy extra based on UPC quantity forecasts.

5. Follow the Walmart tagging guidelines.

Walmart made a fantastic guide on how to tag with RFID. Your product isn't magically unique -- follow their guidelines to success.

6. Verifying tags can be done in-house with a handheld RFID scanner.

Adding RFID quality processes can reduce your chargebacks significantly. With RFID, you can scan each box to ensure it has the correct count and size before releasing the order. You can use the Wave RFID handheld reader for auditing shipments.

We do recommend at least some RFID analysis in your business process and planning.

7. RFID Tags must come from an approved by Auburn vendor

Auburn publishes a list of certified RFID tags.

Confirm the RFID tags you are purchasing come from this approved list.

These tags have been vetted as 'meets the minimum requirement.'

Warning: There are unscrupulous manufacturers selling old, defective, or non-compliant inlays for less. While these aren't the 'best' inlays -- they are better than grey market items you may find by going off-menu. Don't get duped.

8. Printing tags in-house yourself can save you money over time

If you are shipping over 100,000 items per year, the cost-savings on blank tags vs. pre-programmed tags is worth evaluating. RFID tag production compared to barcodes is far slower and this will require some planning.

Service bureaus for tag delivery have high speed encoders that can process thousands of RFID tags per minute. It's worth doing a cost analysis.

9. Don't Panic, but order early

If this is your first time using RFID and you are in a rush, you should use pre-programmed SGTIN RFID labels.They are shipped the same day, nearly any quantity. All the work is done for you. SimplyRFiD can answer any other questions you have about the mandate and help you get exactly what you need.

Contact SimplyRFID for an online account login for ordering SGTIN RFID tags.

10. Incorporate RFID tagging into manufacturing planning

Mass volumes of tags (millions) will require planning. If you've already produced 1,000,000 items and they need RFID tags -- you've got a problem. Get your tags and incorporate this into your production manufacturing process -- not into final stage. Typically, your SGTIN RFID tag is included with your joker or other hang/UPC tag application.

It's not too late and RFID can be added but the failure rate increases and value decreases. For the next run, look at the best place to put it into production.

What's next?

Armed with these tips, call SimplyRFiD and get started with your SGTIN RFID tagging program.

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