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A Consumer Approach to RFID
Moving from pieces and parts systems to packaged solutions can help end users achieve a faster ROI—and accelerate RFID adoption.
Oct 05, 2009—Want to buy a mobile phone? No problem—just go to counter #1 to choose your LCD, counter #2 to get your main board and #3 for the keypad, then go home and put it all together and download the software from the Web to make it work.
The problem is that until recently, putting an asset-tracking system in place required bringing a lot of different components together—tags from one vendor, interrogators from another company and software from yet another—and hiring someone else to install all the equipment and make sure it worked. RFID vendors were selling pieces and parts, and they were focused on the technology, not the solution.
This is good news for end users who don't care how the system works, as long as it will solve their specific problems and deliver value to their business. But end users do need to choose a solution provider that's an expert in their market. And they need to partner in the solution to make sure it can grow with both their near- and long-term needs, which can help lower the total cost of ownership.
At RFID Global Solution, we believe that the packaged-solution approach is beneficial not only to customers but also to the RFID industry. If vendors don't have to reinvent the wheel with each deployment or learn on the end user's dime, we'll be able to provide faster, more cost-efficient deployments, with realistic expectations of system performance.
We'll also be able to provide a solution that's transparent to the end user and easy to maintain. And we'll be able to solve specific business problems, and prove and quantify the ROI. This is what end users want. And until the vendor community can meet their needs, the RFID industry will continue to move more slowly than expected into the adoption curve.
Joe Leone is president and chief technology officer of RFID Global Solution, which provides turnkey and custom asset-visibility solutions for defense, government and commercial customers. Photo illustration: John Hull
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