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End Users Plan to Invest Strategically in RFID in 2009

An RFID Journal survey reveals companies are deploying radio frequency identification technologies to help them weather the economic downturn by cutting costs and improving internal processes and operations.
Feb 09, 2009A recent survey of 100 end users and potential end users of RFID indicates most view the technology as a tool that can help them cut costs now, as well as improve long-term efficiencies and gain a competitive advantage.

RFID Journal surveyed its readers to determine how the global recession will impact their businesses. Respondents hailed from North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Of those who responded, 70 percent indicated that in past recessions, their companies benefited from investing in information and other technologies.

End users in a wide range of industries—including aerospace, consumer packaged goods, health care, manufacturing and retail—shared their companies' plans for investing in RFID this year. When RFID Journal asked firms currently deploying RFID systems about their goals for 2009, 65 percent indicated they hoped to improve internal processes and operations, while 40 percent said they wished to reduce expenses. The survey also reveled that 50 percent of businesses are still evaluating the benefits that could be achieved by investing in additional RFID technology.

"Given these statistics, and the fact that 68 percent of end users said their company views technology as an investment in productivity, 2009 might not be such a gloomy year for the RFID industry," says Mark Roberti, founder and editor of RFID Journal.

Three-quarters of respondents revealed plans to slow or reduce their RFID deployments this year due to the current economic conditions. However, 47 percent said they would do so only "somewhat" or "a little," while 20 percent predicted the economic downturn would not impact their deployments at all.

"Companies need to control spending," Roberti says, "and end users are looking to RFID to help them save money now. But the data indicates businesses are also looking toward the future. Some 35 percent of respondents said their companies are deploying RFID to gain a competitive edge, while 48 percent said they are choosing RFID applications that can deliver both a short- and long-term return on investment."

The full survey results have been published in the January/February issue of RFID Journal magazine, and are now available online (see Companies Re-evaluate RFID Deployments).
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