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RFID Yard Management Provider Lands $4.5m

PINC Solutions, a provider of RFID yard management solutions based in Berkeley, California, has received $4.5 million in Series C funding. PINC's flagship offering is Yard Hound, an asset visibility solution for distribution center yards based on passive RFID.
Apr 17, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 17, 2007—PINC Solutions, a provider of RFID yard management solutions based in Berkeley, California, has received $4.5 million in Series C funding, according to PE Hub. Horizon Ventures led the round, joined by return backer Sutter Hill Ventures.

PINC's flagship offering is Yard Hound, an asset visibility solution for distribution center yards based on passive RFID. Ruggedized Gen2 RFID tags are attached to a yard's movable and mobile assets such as trailers. The trucks that tow the trailers from one location in the yard to another are equipped with RFID readers which are able to calculate their own locations. As a truck is moving a trailer, its reader records the event and relays the activity and location data back to a central server via a standard wireless LAN connection. That information is incorporated into the web-based graphical representation of the yard, allowing the yard manager to see in real-time the location of all trailers and trucks.

PINC indicates that the system has a very light footprint and can be deployed in as a little as three to four days. The company also claims that the time and labor saved by yard check automation, exception alerts, improved asset utilization, and real-time asset locationing make for a compelling business case; customers typically see a return on investment within one year.

The Yard Hound solution is indicative of a trend that will likely accelerate as closed loop and asset tracking RFID applications become more mature. Many such applications today are homegrown, assembled piecemeal by an end user or with the aid of a systems integrator. As applications emerge that are especially compelling -- like yard management -- startups or opportunistic systems integrators will productize them for delivery to a very focused niche. The trend is most evident in healthcare, but look for similarly focused "off-the-shelf" RFID solutions targeted at niches such as manufacturing and transportation.
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