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Wal-Mart CIO: Strong Initial RFID Results

Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman reported to last week's National Retail Federation convention with mostly positive results on the retailer's RFID initiative that went live earlier this month.
Jan 24, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 24, 2005—Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman spoke at last week's National Retail Federation convention in New York, updating an eager crowd on the progress of the retailer's RFID initiative:
  • A little more than half of the mandated "Top 100" suppliers have gone live.
  • Read rates are above 90% in most cases, and at almost 100% for tagged pallets.
  • Tagged cases on full pallets proved the most troublesome, with successful reads happening two-thirds of the time.
  • RFID generated data is being made available within 30 minutes on Retail Link, Wal-Mart's extranet site for suppliers.
Despite these mostly positive results, hesitation in deploying RFID remained persistent among many of the retailers present at the show, with expensive costs being the primary reason.

It is worth noting that historically cited reasons -- standards and read rates -- were conspicuously absent. With GEN 2 ratified and read rate reports strong (not only Wal-Mart's, METRO's too), two of the three hurdles to widespread RFID adoption have been significantly diminished. Now it is just a chicken-and-egg dilemma: RFID costs will fall when the number of deployments accelerates; companies will only start deploying the technology in force when prices fall.

Computerworld quotes price-conscious stragglers
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