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Everyone Benefits When RFID Companies Focus on Specific Applications or Industries

RFID Global Solution and a handful of other providers are targeting customer segments—and winning business as a result.
By Mark Roberti
Sep 30, 2013

During a recent blog, I wrote about a gentleman who claimed to have some interesting radio frequency identification technology, but had no clue about how to sell it (see Technology for Sale). I noted, at the time, that marketing is just as important as technology development—a point exemplified by last week's announcement that RFID Global Solution and CodeSource had won a $3.3 million contract from the U.S. Social Security Administration (see Social Security Administration Awards $3.3M RFID Contract).

RFID Global Solution and a handful of other solution providers have focused on a few core industries and RFID applications. Instead of trying to be all things to all potential customers, these technology providers have developed solutions for specific industries facing particular issues, or have focused on a horizontal RFID application that is very specific in nature. This allows them to tailor their offerings to meet the needs of the target market.

RFID Global Solution, for example, is focused on aerospace, health care and industrial manufacturing, and on a single horizontal application: IT asset tracking. The company's marketing is focused on these sectors, and is backed up by versions of its Visi-Trac software tailored for these industries and for IT asset tracking. This is the disciplined kind of approach I've been advocating for most small and midsize RFID companies for years.

OATSystems, now part of Checkpoint Systems, has also been disciplined in its approach. OAT focuses on industrial manufacturers, particularly in the aerospace sector (Checkpoint focuses heavily on retail, for which it already has a strong customer base). Leveraging its learnings from Airbus and other early adopters, OATSystems has tailored its solution and won contracts with Bell Helicopter, Rockwell Collins and other companies (see Bell Helicopter's On-Time Delivery Rate Climbs Higher and Rockwell Collins Explores Ways to Benefit From RFID).

Ekahau is another good example. The company sells a real-time location system that leverages existing Wi-Fi networks. Many sectors could use this technology, but Ekahau focuses primarily on health care (as does AeroScout, one of its chief competitors). Success with one hospital enables the firm to convince other medical facilities that they, too, can benefit from asset tracking.

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