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RFID First-Movers: To Share or Not to Share?

At last week's RFID ROI Conference in London, RFID early adopters were strongly encouraged to publicly share what they have learned from their experiences.
Feb 02, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

February 2, 2005—At last week's RFID ROI Conference in London, those companies on the front lines of RFID pilots and deployments were strongly encouraged to publicly share what they have learned from their experiences. According to director of European research for Boston-based AMR Research, Nigel Montgomery, widespread adoption of RFID is being stunted because those with implementation experience are keeping their new expertise to themselves: "Unless companies open up and become more honest, this area of technology will always be held back."

This charge highlights a difficult quandary for the first-movers. They obviously don't want to simply give away the competitive advantage laboriously and expensively earned by taking the risky RFID plunge before their counterparts. But they also realize that the vision of RFID-enabled supply chain transparency -- which they have spent so dearly taking the first steps to attain -- can only really happen when the technology is adopted on a larger scale. Thus, do you give away your competitive advantage, helping your competitors implement RFID more quickly, cheaply, and painlessly than what you suffered? Or do you guard your RFID "learnings," knowing that the widespread adoption will happen eventually anyway, and you will have maintained a valuable head start?

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