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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for September

Baird has released its September report. The 21-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Sep 22, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

September 22, 2008—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for September. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 21-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 15 and following are the Key Developments:
  • Larger Players Rolling Out Gen2. This past month DHL and Walgreens made public disclosures regarding meaningful Gen2 deployments. While it has been well known that these two players have been working with RFID, this is the first time either organization has indicated meaningful progress and publicly supported RFID. We view this as a positive indicator given the many other companies that have been piloting Gen2 may perhaps be close to seeing increased rollout activity.
     
  • Apparel and IT Asset Management Remain Promising. At RFID World, we clearly heard good enthusiasm given the strong activity levels in apparel and IT asset management. We are seeing more vendor resources dedicated to these areas. American Apparel is looking to completely deploy RFID by the end of 2009, and we are hearing of several strong pilots in Europe and Latin America that could see rollouts in 2009. We are also seeing a more formal standards development process and increased pilot activity in IT asset management. We expect to see increased activity ahead of full standardization.
     
  • Software Weak, But Increased Development Apparent. Perhaps the largest issue we hear arising from vendors, system integrators and end users is the weak software capability associated with Gen2 and many BAP applications. Many view the applications as lacking a robust capability and are concerned with the ability to achieve any meaningful scale. However, software vendors and system integrators are increasing levels of resources with respect to application advancement.
     
  • Sam's Club Mandate. The Sam's Club mandate of adding pallet tagging at six new distribution centers and case level tagging at its De Soto, Texas distribution center will begin October 30, and the overall intent by suppliers whether or not to comply seems to be mixed. A good portion of suppliers expect to comply, while some are willing to pay the Sam's non-compliance charge of $2.00 per pallet. Many of these players still view the technology as cost prohibitive, but are working to understand some benefit. A few suppliers are truly dragging their feet to see the level of commitment by Sam's.
     
  • HF Development Continues. We are seeing more product development around the ISO 14443 Type A&B standard as well as ISO 15693, and more evidence by carriers that NFC is a desired technology by end users, particularly for ease of payment and coupons. We expect to see increases in pilot activity in this area. We are also encouraged to hear that the Gen2 version of HF continues to progress with ISO; most industry players indicate publication could happen by September of 2009.


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