Climb every mountain, read every tag!

Swiss outdoor clothing and equipment brand Mammut has begun to deploy Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID technology to boost customer interactions and increase supply chain transparency. According to Tim Hegglin, Mammut Sports Group's head of corporate communication, the solution needed to help create an ecosystem that would feature inventory visibility, according to the report in RFID journal, as well as communicate with consumers

The technology consists of Smartrac's Smart Cosmos Enablement System and Internet of Things (IoT) platform to capture and manage data about each product, along with Smartrac's NFC tags containing chips provided by NXP Semiconductors, which are sewn in each product at the point of manufacture.

“The company was looking for a convenient solution that adds value at every point in the product life cycle," says Karin Fabri, Smartrac Technology Group's marketing and communications head, "from manufacturing through retail to the consumer." The company also hopes to create greater visibility for each product along its post-sale customer journey.

Smart Cosmos allows the creation of a unique ID number for each product, then tracks the history of that item's movements throughout the supply chain, at the store and after the product is brought to a customer's home. The solution captures data related to each NFC tag read event, enabling a link between that ID number and secure, product-specific data sets.

The system creates digital twins of each product by marrying the unique NFC tag ID with an item's associated metadata. The data is uploaded and made available to Mammut's IT systems.  As the product moves through the supply chain personnel can interrogate the tag along the way, providing supply chain transparency.

At  stores, workers employ Mammut's dedicated smartphone app, known as Mammut Connect, to access in-depth product information. Each product comes with a paper hangtag that explains the presence of the NFC tag and directions regarding its use. The tag can be used for after-sales content and experience, for example users can watch videos showing their gear in action.

The Mammut Connect system, using NFC tags, was taken live in January for the summer 2019, This summer, approximately 30 products are expected to come with tags, increasing to 80 in the winter, and 120 by next summer. In the long term, Hegglin says, the company plans to "roll out nearly the entire product portfolio."

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