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The World Is Different

Efficiencies once unimaginable are now being achieved by companies using radio frequency identification technology.
By Mark Roberti

Brascol has also reduced the amount of goods in its inventory by approximately 35 percent. This is because it knows what it has, and thus does not need to store as much safety stock, which has allowed the retailer to free up space to sell more goods and make a greater amount of money.

In addition, there has been an improvement in sales and a reduction in employee theft and shoplifting. Brascol achieved a return on its investment (ROI) during its first year of using the RFID system, and it doesn't yet utilize all the RFID data it is collecting to improve its product mix and achieve other potential benefits. Once it does that, Almeida says, the ROI will be even greater.

When I talked about RFID's potential following the Gillette purchase in 2002, many scoffed. The truth is, many companies in myriad industries are still skeptical of RFID's potential. They can't see that the technology is changing the way in which companies worldwide conduct business. Brascol is just one example in the retail industry. The firm reduced the number of employees working on a particular task by 50 percent and also doubled throughput, achieving a 300 percent improvement in productivity. That is real change.

I can point to manufacturers, such as Airbus, which has complete visibility of parts and tools on its aircraft production lines (see Airbus Expands RFID Part Marking Across All of Its Aircraft Families). And to Bechtel, which can track and manage thousands of components of three liquefied natural gas plants that it is building off the coast of eastern Australia (see RFID Helps Bechtel Manage a Megaproject). And to dozens and dozens of hospitals that can locate, within seconds, medical equipment that nurses once had to scour the halls to find. There isn't time to list all the companies that are enjoying benefits once thought impossible to achieve (you can read about them on our website). But take my word for it—the world has, indeed, changed.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog, the Editor's Note archive or RFID Connect.

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