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Connecting End Users and RFID Providers

Every day, companies seek RFID solutions. New cost-effective Web site capabilities allow vendors to advertise their products and services only to those who need their help.
By Mark Roberti
Oct 15, 2012At our last RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, a gentleman from a large manufacturing company asked me about tagging metal structures at short range. I told him he'd need a passive low-frequency (LF) solution. "Great," he said. "Who offers that?" I told him, "That company right there. You just walked right by their booth."

This scenario is all too typical. To address the issue, I wrote last week about some new tools developed by RFID Journal to help attendees at LIVE! 2013—to be held from Apr. 3 to May 2, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.—locate the RFID providers offering the products and services they need to deploy the technology successfully (see Helping End Users Find RFID Solutions).

We also plan to introduce a speed-networking session on the first day of the event. The goal is to match companies seeking solutions with those offering the appropriate technologies. The meetings will be short—approximately five minutes each—but end users should be able to meet eight companies that match their needs during the course of one hour. They could then set up additional in-depth meetings during the conference with those that seem most likely to be able to help.

But it's not just at our LIVE! events that end users feel at a loss, not knowing to whom they should turn. Every day, I receive phone calls or respond to e-mails from end users seeking solutions. Yesterday, a person called me looking to find out how to integrate RFID into scales so that he could weigh items and automatically record those weights. A few weeks back, a gentleman from Montreal called to inquire about firms that offer retail software solutions for managing inventory and replenishment. I provided him with a list, and he called each one to request a presentation at his office.

Most RFID providers do not have budgets to conduct branding campaigns—or, if they do, they haven't yet discovered the benefits of marketing. As a result, end users do not know what most providers offer. I do my best to point people to the businesses that offer RFID solutions that will work for their applications, but I am not the answer to this problem, especially as a growing number of companies seek RFID solutions. (And frankly, I don't know about every single product that every single vendor offers.)

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