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ODIN Tracks Its Own Assets, and Those of Its Clients

At its new lab, the RFID services provider and systems integrator is using an EPC Gen 2 UHF system to protect the security of equipment, streamline the taking of inventory and demonstrate the technology's benefits.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 07, 2009When visitors arrive at the new headquarters and laboratory of RFID services provider and systems integrator ODIN Technologies in Ashburn, Va., they are met at the door by an RFID interrogator deployed by the company to track its own assets, and those of its clients. The reader is part of an RFID-based security and asset-tracking installation that Patrick J. Sweeney, ODIN's president and CEO, calls "eating our own dog food."

Designed by ODIN, the system utilizes Intermec fixed readers, as well as handheld interrogators from Intermec and Motorola, enabling the company to track its own assets, as well as those of its clients, throughout the 11,000-square-foot building. The system also employs ODIN's EasyMonitor software, which tracks the readers' health by measuring read performance, along with InSync's asset management and inventory software, that provides such business processes as matching assets with employees and sending alerts. The data is then stored in ODIN's SQL database.

ODIN staff member Krisztina Scherer, standing next to a doorway RFID portal, points to an EPC Gen 2 tag used to track a laptop computer.

ODIN Technologies celebrated the opening of the new facility in December 2008 (see ODIN Technologies Opens New RFID Lab) to test passive RFID technology systems for its clients. The lab simulates real-world environments for customers seeking an RFID solution, a large percentage of which work for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Designing its own RFID system for asset tracking and security provides three functions, Sweeney says: security for its own and its clients' assets, a reduction in hours previously spent by employees conducting manual inventory checks, and proof that the systems ODIN sells are able to work in the real world.

In the case of security, many of ODIN's clients bring in equipment that is either highly valuable, at a high risk for theft, or a threat to public safety or national security, such as servers, heart catheters or weapons. "We often work with equipment that is sensitive to national security," Sweeney states.

Another reason ODIN was prompted to adopt the RFID system was its desire to control its own inventory as the company grows along with the number of assets. The firm reports that its 2008 revenues were 125 percent higher than those of 2007; as a result, ODIN has hired additional employees and acquired more assets. With that growth, it became increasingly cumbersome to track each item, such as electronics kept in storage closets or allocated to employees, or to conduct an inventory of all equipment at ODIN's previous office and lab, a task the company undertook only once each year. With RFID, Sweeney says, inventory-taking could now be accomplished monthly or quarterly.

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