Case Study Scotch & Soda

Optimizing supply chain efficiency with RFID

About this project

In early 2022, Scotch & Soda launched a new omnichannel strategy with new flagship stores, expansion into new countries with its online stores and a rebranding. Full stock visibility and an efficient order fulfillment process are crucial to reinforce this. Therefore, Scotch & Soda decided to deploy RFID in their warehouse after successfully deploying iD Cloud in their stores.

Fashion, including shoes and accessories
Supply Chain, Inventory Management
From fragmented inventory siloes towards a single point of stock
Used Products
iD Cloud Supply Chain, iD Cloud Store

Scotch & Soda is a high-end fashion brand, established in 1985 and headquartered in the Netherlands. Operating 246 stores worldwide, Scotch & Soda is a fast expanding retailer and currently ships to over 70 countries.  The fashion brand previously maintained multiple warehouses to serve different channels. Orders were picked by hand, which was slow, costly and very error-prone. 

Customer challenge

The Supply Chain Challenge of Scotch & Soda

Scotch & Soda used to have different warehouses, seperated per sales channel: one for retail, one for wholesale and another one for e-commerce. This made processes complex and often redundant. Additionally, the inventory was kept siloed. As a result, Scotch & Soda was facing missed sales as they kept inventory that could have otherwise been sold in a silo that wasn’t accessible. This is one of the reasons why Scotch & Soda decided to create a single pool of stock.

For example, a pink t-shirt in size S carried in the retail silo wasn’t replenished in the store network due to a lack of demand, but it was sold out online. Not having enough insights in these separate stock pools resulted in a missed sale. To avoid this, Scotch & Soda executed time-consuming, manual checks. This is now automated.    

A fully integrated RFID supply chain was the plan from the very beginning. As a first step, Scotch & Soda started source tagging and deploying iD Cloud in their global store network in 2021. Jonatan van der Geest: “RFID was already working in the stores, so it was logical to apply this technology in our warehouse as we were transforming our logistics.” Niek Wattel adds: “The main reason we use RFID is that it makes our inventory more accurate. Therefore we can better serve our customers because we have a better understanding of what we can deliver. And that is the ultimate goal: unmatched customer experience.”

"Our logistics have been professionalized tremendously. We were still picking from paper a year ago, and where people work, mistakes are easily made. Now with all technology in place, we can eliminate consequential costs, and avoid other errors in the future."

Jonatan van der Geest
DC, IT & Processes Coordinator
Our solution

How Scotch & Soda Uses Nedap iD Cloud

With the main objective of creating a single stock pool, Scotch & Soda took it literally and decided to build a new warehouse as a confluence of all stocks. With a new Warehouse Management System and a newly implemented allocation tool, RFID will shape the base layer of Scotch & Soda’s new omnichannel approach.

In 2022 Scotch & Soda opened a 27,500-square-metre warehouse in Hoofddorp, in the outskirts of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Here, inventory is now being brought together into one centralized stock, both physically and technologically by implementing RFID in logistics. This allows for tracking and tracing products along the entire supply chain on unique item level. 
The new-built warehouse puts Scotch & Soda in the position to move from a fragmented fulfillment approach towards a fully integrated omnichannel distribution model serving all channels.

“The sooner errors are identified in the chain, the better. For e-commerce, correctness and reliability are just as important. Is what you ship in line with what it actually should be, or are there differences? And are you sure you have the products available that you need for e-commerce? RFID allows us to fulfill with confidence.”

Niek Wattel
Consultant Supply Chain & Operations
Use Cases
Exception Handling
Packaging Verification
Value Added Service Tagging (VAS)
Data & Integrations
EPCIS repository

The RFID-enabled “receiving verification” aims to identify and quantify errors and inaccuracies caused by the suppliers. All incoming shipments are (seamlessly) scanned and checked within an automated RFID tunnel. The process ensures that received goods correspond with the expected target list on SKU (style, size, color) and quantity level.

Exception Handling

After the verification, the RFID system automatically conveys shipments to OK or Not-OK (NOK) lines. In the case of “NOK”, the box will be moved to an exception handling point. Detected inaccuracies will be followed up within a (manual) exception-handling process, including RFID tagging. 

Packaging Verification

The Outbound (Packing Verification) process verifies the content of packed shipments, right after the picking process to enhance outgoing shipment accuracy. In the warehouse, there are multiple workstations equipped with RFID readers where boxes can be scanned seamlessly. This results in a 100% accurate and super-fast registration and verification of items leaving the warehouse, no matter the channel.

Value Added Service Tagging (VAS)

Various workstations are equipped with RFID printers. All devices are internet-connected and print jobs can be created in a browser-based app, e.g., in case of creating new labels.

Data & Integrations

The RFID system is integrated with Scotch & Soda’s ERP system (master data), supplier portal (ASN data), and WMS (transaction data). 

EPCIS repository

The iD Cloud platform includes an EPCIS repository that holds all unique product IDs (Electronic Product code = EPC) to keep track of all item movements and status changes. All RFID read-events are stored and processed through the iD Cloud platform. A web-based dashboard shows the performance of the use cases, e.g. receiving accuracy as well as the entire “lifecycle” of every individual by analyzing all read events of an EPC (“what”) in chronological order (“when”), including the location (“where”) and the process (“why”). 

The Results

RFID is a key enabler in the supply chain transformation at Scotch & Soda and is supporting the implementation of our “one stock vision.” RFID plays a crucial, fundamental role in making this transformation a success.  

Scotch & Soda has added RFID-based scanning and verification processes to their receiving (inbound) and packing verification (outbound) processes. Consequently, the (automated) checking of all deliveries and shipments enables the warehouse to operate on 100% accurate stock information. 

Looking at the way we want to work and the responsiveness we want to offer to our customers, a supply chain without RFID is simply not an option, because you would spend so much money and time to want to apply those same controls throughout the supply chain.


Speeding up receiving

The productivity of the receiving process is 600 boxes per hour operated on one single tunnel with typically one person who feeds and a second person who unloads the tunnel. Jonatan: “We used only to count the number of received boxes before we started professionalizing our warehouse processes. Now we perform 100% item-level RFID-based inbound checks, which saves us a lot of time while also improving accuracy.”

Info security

Enabling future developments

Now that Scotch & Soda has a solid baseline in place, the door to future use cases is wide open. One of these is detecting fraud based on RFID data. “We can get much more out of EPC-level tracking. For example, identifying the origin of returns. In the future, we should know exactly where an item came from, whether it came from a store, customer or another outlet,” says Jonatan.


Checking all shipments on item-level

While incoming shipments were only partially checked in the past, based on random checks, now 100% of incoming and outgoing shipments are scanned, checked and verified on the item level.


Making deliveries fully accurate

All outgoing shipments are verified on RFID workstations, resulting in a 100% shipment accuracy, which has much value for store replenishment and e-commerce. Furthermore, adding RFID to the workstations enabled Scotch & Soda to use existing materials and space more productively.