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New Distributor Forms with Exclusive RFID Focus

Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID is a new company that formed to be a value-added distributor of RFID products. The Montreal-headquartered company is focused exclusively on RFID technology and software that supports it.
Feb 09, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

February 9, 2009—Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID, a new value-added distributor focused exclusively on RFID products, officially launched this month. Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID will sell to resellers and only distribute RFID-related products and services. It will focus heavily on helping resellers add RFID technology to their offerings and helping independent software vendors (ISVs) increase their distribution channels.

"We are very interested in helping technology companies enter the RFID industry," Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID executive director of business development Mark Shapiro told RFID Update. "Less than one percent of resellers offer RFID, but a lot of their customers could benefit from it."

Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID is a subsidiary of Liaison Can/U.S., a Montreal-based transportation and logistics provider. It has a separate operating division that distributes industrial power supplies. That division uses RFID to manage its inventory of industrial batteries, and the logistics operation also has some RFID experience. Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID plans to use its parent company's experience as an RFID end user and industrial distributor to grow the market for RFID technology by improving the distribution channel. The full organization has more than 100 employees. Shapiro did not say how many are fully dedicated to Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID, but said it is staffed for tech support and other operations, and has relationships with RFID training providers.

Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID plans to offer a complete range of RFID and RTLS frequencies and technologies. It currently has distribution agreements with six vendors, who all provide passive UHF technology or software: ADASA, Alien Technology, AWID, Convergence Systems, Printronix and Ship2Save. Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID is actively seeking additional hardware and software vendors to distribute.

Shapiro said his company spoke with more than 200 RFID resellers and vendors while planning to launch Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID. "We recognized a void in the RFID industry for a distributor that is exclusively focused on the technology," he said. "We think the industry could really benefit from a value-added distributor."

Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID must compete with larger, more established distributors with extensive RFID product lines, such as BlueStar, ScanSource and the RFID USA business unit of Dynasys. Shapiro said Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID will compete successfully against these firms because of its exclusive focus on RFID.

"We are one hundred percent focused on RFID, so growing the RFID market is our number-one priority. It will not be overshadowed by any other product category, which sometimes happens at larger distributors."

A key to the company's success will be recruiting ISVs who support RFID in their solutions, according to Shapiro. Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID can help resellers develop complete solutions more quickly and cost effectively by making available to them a broad range of software that has already been developed. "R&D can be leveraged across multiple clients," he said. "Typically, resellers are limited in the solutions they can offer customers because there are limited software and services available for the hardware they carry. We'll have all the pieces to the puzzle."

See the Can/U.S. Enviro-RFID announcement.
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