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German Study Finds Most RFID Deployments Deemed a Success

University of Freiburg researchers, interviewing several hundred RFID users, found more than 70 percent expect to amortize their investment within four years.
By Rhea Wessel
Oct 23, 2008A recent report from the University of Freiburg finds that most German companies currently employing RFID view their deployments as successful, run more than one RFID application and use the technology for more than just replacing manual processes.

Jens Strüker, an assistant information systems professor currently on a one-year sabbatical from the university, conducted the project from April to August 2007. He says he launched the research project because he was fed up with studies available in 2006 regarding Germany's RFID market.


Jens Strüker
The studies Strüker found at that time did not drill into RFID's use, he says, nor did they address issues companies face when implementing the technology. Instead, those studies had focused on multiplying technology suppliers' sales figures to predict that the market for RFID would be worth billions of euros in the coming years, or made predictions based on the examples of individual RFID applications by extrapolating those to entire industry sectors.

Strüker says he decided to conduct his own research, and to write a report that would be useful for guiding government policy and business decisions, by examining the status quo of how radio frequency identification is employed, as well as the problems companies face with RFID. Individual elements of the study were pre-published in technical, peer-reviewed journals, confirming the study's methodological rigor.

The report, published in May and available here for free, includes data from 283 respondents whose companies utilize RFID. Strüker and a team of researchers at the university's Institute of Computer Science and Social Studies contacted a random selection of 20,000 companies to solicit responses. They also advertised the study to attract respondents that presently use or plan to employ RFID, and contacted known RFID users as well.

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