EXCERPT from Brian Hartmann, William P.King, and Subu Narayanan's August 2015 article in McKinsey, "Digital manufacturing: The revolution will be virtualized"
Leading consumer-packaged-goods companies are using digital tools to improve distribution and build bonds with consumers. Global fashion retailer Zara is already renowned for developing and shipping new products within two weeks. It is now using digital tools to respond even faster to consumer preferences and reduce supply-chain costs, attaching reusable radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to every item of clothing in more than 700 of its 2,000-plus stores. Ten staff members can now update a store’s inventory in a couple of hours—work that used to take 40 employees more than five hours—by waving small handheld computers at racks of clothing. The retailer expects to complete the shift to wireless inventory in 2016. We believe the falling costs of RFID hardware and associated software are likely to aid this transition.