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The List of Sam's Club RFID Compliance Solutions

This article provides a listing of packaged solutions and services offered specifically to help suppliers to Sam's Club meet RFID shipment tagging requirements that the warehouse-club retailer announced in January, 2008.
Mar 03, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 3, 2008—RFID Update recently described the market for systems that help Sam's Club suppliers meet their RFID product tagging requirements (see A First Look at Sam's Club RFID Compliance Solutions). This follow up provides a listing of packaged products and services offered specifically to meet Sam's Club supplier needs.

The offerings listed below typically include an RFID printer/encoder, a supply of unencoded Gen2 smart labels, and software for formatting and designing compliant labels. Readers may also be included. The offerings are frequently marketed as "kits" or "solutions" and are designed to be installed in just a few days, but few RFID vendors would suggest the technology is truly plug and play. A variety of services are also available, including off-site label production that doesn't require the customer to install any RFID hardware.

Vendors say major differentiators among compliance solutions include scalability, the amount of manual intervention and hands-on time required to produce and apply RFID labels, and the degree of integration with legacy systems and processes. Scalability is an especially important consideration since many manufacturers must quickly expand beyond their initial tagging requirements to support higher product volumes, additional distribution centers, and perhaps more SKUs.

Currently-available solutions that specifically address Sam's Club requirements are listed below, presented alphabetically by vendor. The list will be updated periodically and maintained here (bookmark that page). Vendors not already included in the list are encouraged to submit their Sam's Club compliance solutions for consideration to samsclub@rfidupdate.com.
 
Accu-Sort
Offering: FAST Tag for Sam's Club Suppliers
Date announced: Originally April 2004, updated January 2008
What's included: Accu-Sort offers a version of its existing FAST Tag solution suite -- which includes hardware, software, and services -- that is delivered to Sam's Club suppliers preconfigured for compliance with the new mandates.
What they say: "From manual tag generation, application, and verification to fully automated in-line tagging, all of Accu-Sort's products in the FAST Tag solution suite include the necessary hardware, software, and project services required to ensure an easy path to meeting RFID mandates. For Sam's Club, the FAST Tag software will come preconfigured to generate RFID pallet tags and can be reconfigured by the end user, without requiring assistance from Accu-Sort, when it's necessary to create case and pallet tags per the retailer's scheduled rollout."
 
Acsis
Offering: ProducTrak Compliance Edition (CE)
Date announced: March 5, 2008
What's included:
  • Case and pallet serialization and RFID tagging
  • RFID label printer support
  • Mobile device or workstation support for process initiation and management
  • SAP integration (if desired)
  • EPC serial number management via Acsis EPC Manager or SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure
What they say: "Consumer product manufacturers are looking for a simple and easy way to comply with retailer RFID tagging programs. ProducTrak CE is an out-of-the-box, low-cost, customizable option for manufacturers to rapidly comply with the requirements that will not disrupt existing processes and work streams." -- Andre Pino, chief marketing officer.
 
Avery Dennison Printer Systems
Offering: Avery Dennison Printer Systems Division RFID Solution for Sam's Club Compliance
Date announced: January 2008
What's included:
  • Monarch 9855 RFMP printer/encoder with Ethernet
  • Roll of 500 Gen2 4X6 Monarch RFID labels
  • Roll of 4" wide ribbon
  • RFID multi-protocol reader
  • Two circular antennas
  • SmartEPC software
  • 1 year Monarch RFID TIPP (Technology Investment Protection Program ensuring free upgrades to printer)
  • 1 year software maintenance
  • On-site installation (2 days estimated)
  • Plus access to Avery Dennison's Award-Winning Service Team
  • Lab support
  • Consultative services
  • (Supplies are covered by the Monarch Smart Label Performance Guarantee -- 110% refund for unreadable labels)
What they say: "This kit has everything needed for companies to get their RFID compliance programs up and running quickly and easily. It is an affordable complete solution that is robust and scalable to grow with increasing RFID shipments. Service, support, and installation are all included."
 
Domino ISG
Offering: Compliance 1st; Compliance NextSteps; HIDE-Pack
Date announced: February 5, 2008
What's included: Domino ISG has three tiers of solutions. Compliance 1st is intended for companies that want to quickly meet minimum compliance requirements. It includes a printer/encoder to produce shipping labels. Options include software for producing Sam's Club RFID shipping labels out of the box, an RFID reader, and installation services. Compliance NextSteps includes an automated label applicator, advantageous for higher-volume operations. HIDE-Pack incorporates RFID tags directly into product packaging and is a key part of the company's product line.
What they say: "With our three tiers of solutions we provide RFID systems that meet immediate needs, and are truly scalable to different levels of integration." -- Dwain Farley, CEO.
 
epcSolutions
Offering: RFIDTagManager for Sam's Club
Date announced: January 22, 2008
What's included: The new Sam's Club version of this product includes the software needed to produce compliant shipping labels plus a SQL database and connectivity to the EPCIS service for managing EPC data. Multiple RFID printer/encoders and readers are supported, which are available in bundles with the software.
What they say: "RFIDTagManager for Sam's Club, built on epcSolutions' SensorOS, allows the ability for end users to meet current Sam's Club RFID pallet tagging requirements as well as meeting the future case tagging requirement, with a simple out of the box solution requiring no additional software. RFIDTagManager for Sam's Club includes a full SQL database, EPCIS and connectivity to all the RFID hardware."
 
Lowry Computer Products
Offering: Lowry Quick Comply Kits
Date announced: January 28, 2008
What's included: Hardware, software, and label media are bundled to give users everything they need to produce Sam's Club-compliant RFID labels. Customers have their choice of RFID printer/encoders and readers from leading manufacturers.
What they say: "These kits allow Sam's Club suppliers to comply with the requirements at a low cost and scale the application as tagging volumes ramp up." -- Jeff Tazelaar, RFID Product Manager.
 
NCR
Offering: NCR RFID Retail Compliance
Date announced: Originally November 2006, updated February 2008
What's included: The solution consists of NCR application software, an RFID printer, a bar-code scanner, and a startup supply of Gen2 labels. Also included is a year of software telephone support. The software platform is based on TransitionWorks, which NCR acquired from IDVelocity in 2006.
What they say: "NCR RFID Retail Compliance delivers the cost-effective, 'ready, set, go' solution companies need -- from an experienced and trusted partner." -- Ken Hamlin, general manager of NCR's AIDC Solutions Group.
 
ODIN technologies
Offering: SAVES (Scalability, Accuracy, Value, and Ease for Sam's)
Date announced: January 1, 2008
What's included: SAVES includes hardware, software, tags, and on-going support with complete integration into Websphere, SAP, Oracle, and other applications.
What they say: "ODIN is proud to offer Scalability, Accuracy, Value, and Ease for Sam's -- SAVES. A turn-key solution from the leading RFID company, who is focused 100% on creating global RFID systems. ODIN has excelled at more than 175 RFID projects, and been lauded with awards and client accolades for our focus on client satisfaction and creating optimal solutions based on physics and scientific method."
 
SATO America
Offering: Ready-Set-Solved!
Date announced: January 25, 2008
What's included: Sato bundled its GL4e Series printer/encoder, Label Gallery 2 TruePro label design software, smart label media, and printer ribbons. Integration services are available as an option. The software supports the new Sam's Club RFID label formats plus bar code and RFID shipment labeling formats for the DoD, Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart, and the DoD's Unique Identification (UID) item marking program.
What they say: "For those users not facing immediate compliance, SATO offers a full, turnkey solution including RFID middleware, integration, service, and data collection, and we manufacture the printers and labels and provide the software." -- Mike Beedles, director of integration service and development.
 
Ship2Save
Offering: OMS EPC Compliancy
Date announced: Originally April 2006, updated March 2008
What's included: Ship2Save offers an EPC compliancy bundle with a handheld, a printer, a roll of labels, OMS EPC Compliant Software, and RFID training course.
What they say: "It is clear that the immediate need for most compliancy-weary organizations is to implement a basic reliable solution at the lowest possible cost. Without cutting corners, we have developed such a package by leveraging our strategic alliances with hardware leaders, and the modular architecture of the Operation Management System (OMS®). The software is scalable and requires minimal configuration at this level, offering a huge potential to the user without overwhelming him." -- Amninder Singh, director of product development.
 
Xterprise
Offering: Sam's Club Pallet Tagging Service
Date announced: January 11, 2008
What's included: The solution is a hosted service that users access through a browser. Users have the option of using the software to produce their own Sam's Club labels on site with a Zebra Technologies printer/encoder provided by Xterprise, or having Xterprise print the labels and ship them overnight. The solution is configurable to support different tagging and enterprise integration needs. Xterprise also offers RFID Strategic Assessment (RSAX), a consulting service to help suppliers determine their tagging and solution needs.
What they say: "This SaaS [software-as-a-service] offering is an excellent option for those suppliers needing to get up and running quickly, but are sensitive to TCO. The solution provides an easy upgrade path for customers, as broader requirements continue to move toward case-level tagging."
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