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Eat Your Own Dog Food

RFID technology providers could create greater confidence in RFID's benefits by more aggressively using the technology internally.
By Mark Roberti
NCR has already begun eating its own dog food. The company, which sells point-of-sale terminals, payment kiosks, self-serve point-of-sale equipment and ATMs to the retail market, has begun tagging cartons and pallets of its electronic products as they are shipped out of its Atlanta warehouse, destined for a global retailer (see NCR Tags Its Own Shipments).

Hewlett-Packard has launched a high-profile project at its printer factory in Brazil, which won the first RFID Journal Award for best implementation (see Best RFID Implementation: Keeping Tabs on Printers). Meanwhile, IBM, Intel and others have used RFID in their operations, but few technology companies have committed to a major deployment, which might lead some senior executives among potential users of RFID to ask: "If this technology is so great, how come you're not using it?"

The unfortunate reality is that some executives at RFID technology companies are having trouble convincing senior management in their own companies that they should invest in RFID. It's hard to understand, because these companies could achieve significant improvements in efficiencies, not to mention gaining an advantage over competitors that don't learn from using the technology extensively themselves, and benefiting in the long-term as the market for RFID technologies grows.

Right now, there is a lot of skepticism about RFID's ability to deliver real business benefits. Eating one's own dog food won't transform the market overnight, but it will help move things forward. So dig in.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.

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