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RFID-ROI-SME Project Promises Big Help for Small Business

Eight pilot deployments are designed to show how RFID can become a productivity tool during a time of financial recession, especially for companies that operate under constrained budgets.
By Sebastiano Toffaletti and John Soldatos
Jun 14, 2010Three months ago, a group of European companies launched a two-year project intended to showcase the potential benefits of radio frequency identification for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs). Toward this goal, the project takes a practical approach that involves the organization, deployment, coordination and evaluation of eight RFID pilots in six European countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). Each pilot will be deployed by an SME RFID systems integrator for an SME end-user, and will be operational for a minimum of 12 months.

The project, known as RFID-ROI-SME launched an RFID initiative co-funded by the European Commission (EC) through its Policy Support Program (ICT-PSP) and coordinated by the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (UEAPME). Its main goal is to boost and promote the adoption of RFID technology within European SMEs.

Sebastiano Toffaletti
At the same time, these pilots will stress both the economic and societal impact of RFID. In terms of economic impact, RFID-ROI-SME intends to show how the technology can become a productivity tool during a time of financial recession, particularly for SMEs that operate under constrained budgets. In terms of societal impact, the project will illustrate that RFID could contribute to improving products and services.

The eight pilots target different sectors and related RFID applications:

Logistics: Cablecommerce, a Bulgarian distributor of electric cables and related products, will deploy an RFID system at its warehouse. The goals include improving the management and planning of orders and materials, optimizing the use of cable spools and leftover cable, and tracking each spool's location. Systems Balkan Services Ltd. will serve as the pilot's systems integrator.

John Soldatos
E-Ticketing: In a pilot designed by systems integrator RFID-Specialisten, Dansk Ungdomsferie ApS (Danish Youth Holidays Ltd.), a Danish travel agency and tour operator, will store and manage individualized information regarding RFID tickets, in order to facilitate ticketing and provide value-added services to customers.

Apparel Retailing: RFID integrator SENSAP will help STAFF Jeans & Co., a Greek clothing retailer, extend its existing RFID infrastructure (established by SENSAP as part of the FP7 [Seventh Framework Programme] project ASPIRE), in order to automate processes across the supply chain, from factories in Bulgaria to warehouses and retail stores in Greece (click here to view a video describing the deployment).

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