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Business People Speaking About Technology

Despite the event's name and the perception that some RFID companies have, RFID Journal LIVE! is not really a technology conference.
By Mark Roberti
Apr 26, 2018

We just concluded our 16th annual RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition. One thing that still surprises me, after all these years, is that some companies selling radio frequency identification products still think of the event as a technology conference that primarily attracts RFID companies. I realize that we have a type of technology—RFID—in the event's name, but the focus, from the first moment it was conceived until today, has been on the business value the technology creates. We have always designed the event around serving the needs of firms seeking to improve the way they do business.

I was thinking about this during the General Motors keynote address at this year conference, held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla. First, Ronald Mills, GM's director of asset services, put up a slide (below) which was an image we had posted on our site of him and his co-presenter, Bob Blankenburg, GM's GBS asset-management and vendor-tooling manager, at LIVE! 2016. We did not know it was them, of course—it was just a shot of the audience, and they saw themselves in it.

Then Bob said this: "I've been with GM for a long time—about 34 years. The first third of my career was in manufacturing, so I built cars. The second third I was on a design team… and for the last ten years or so, I've been working in vendor tooling." He added that he was excited about his job because it now involved using RFID to solve a problem "we've been trying to get our arms around for the past 100 years."

The truth is, many of our speakers have nothing to do with technology. Here are just a few of the names and organizations that spoke at LIVE! 2018:

• Michael Crawford, transportation specialist, U.S. Transportation Command
• Marco Cunha, supply chain director, Sonae
• Greg Czerpak, senior VP of merchandise planning and allocation, Lids Sports Group
• Sicco Drion, marketing program manager, Mettler-Toledo Rainin
• Vipin Gandhi, head of corporate strategy and excellence, Welspun
• LJ Howell, warranty and special projects manager, Weir Oil & Gas

We do, of course, provide technical preconference and post-conference seminars, and we have a track focused on technology. But the vast majority of the program is made up of end-user companies speaking about how they are using RFID to gain real business benefits—and it is these speakers that attract attendees from major automakers, retailers, manufacturing firms, hotel chains, hospitals, oil companies, amusement parks, airlines, national defense agencies and so on.

Are the attendees from these end-user companies technologists? In some cases, yes. In many cases, no. For those who are interested, I have posted some sample titles from this year's attendee list below my bio. You will see the titles vary greatly, which proves my point that LIVE! (and RFID Journal more broadly) are not focused on technology—everything we do is focused on how to get business value from the technologies we cover.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or the Editor's Note archive.

• Account Development Manager
• Aerospace AIT Technical Lead
• Aerospace Engineer, Safety, International Space Station
• Aerospace Strategic Account Manager
• Air Transportation Business Manager
• Analyst
• Area Manager, Downstream
• Asset Management
• Associate
• Associate Director of Research and Development
• Associate VP of Research
• Assistant Aerospace Engineer
• Avionic Systems Engineer
• Branch Manager
• Business Analyst
• Business Associate
• Business Consultant
• Business Development Director
• Business Development Manager
• Business Operations Manager
• Business Process Manager
• Business System Analyst
• Business Technical Leader
• Chief Solutions Architect
• Chief Solutions Officer
• Clinical Director, Innovation
• Commercial Director
• Construction Automation Specialist
• Customer Solutions Project Manager
• Data Management Specialist
• Deputy General Manager
• Director, Asset Management
• Director, Asset Protection
• Director, Data Security Technology
• Director, Global Retail Capabilities
• Director, Implementation Services
• Director, Logistics and Value Analysis
• Director, Marketing, RFID Solutions
• Director, Navy AIT, IUID and Joint Systems
• Director, New Technology
• Director of Alliances
• Director of Art and Design Entertainment
• Director of Business Development
• Director of Electronic Development
• Director of Engineering
• Director of Industry Engagement, Apparel and General
• Director of RFID and Process Development
• Director, Product Marketing
• EGM, Global Business Services, Asset Management
• Engineer
• Engineering Project Manager
• Engineering Specialist
• EVP Planning/Allocation, Merch Ops
• Executive Director
• Executive Vice President
• Firefighter
• Flight Commander
• General Manager
• General Manager, Auditing, Loss Prevention
• Global Market Development Manager
• Global Technical Sales Manager
• Head of Asset Management
• Head of Asset Protection and Risk Management
• Healthcare Business Lead
• Industrial Engineer
• Industry Analyst
• Infrastructure Architect
• Infrastructure Support Specialist
• IoT and Auto-ID Innovation Manager
• IoT Solutions Architect
• IT Applications/Systems Consultant
• IT Logistic Specialist
• IT Manager
• IT Manager, U.S. Plants
• IT Program Manager
• Logistics Management Specialist
• Logistics Officer
• Manager
• Manager
• Manager, Global Labeling
• Manager, Vertical Marketing
• Managing Director
• Manufacturing Engineer
• MES Manager
• Microbiologist
• Network Designer
• Network Security Engineer
• NPD Manager
• Office of the CIO Analyst
• Operations Manager
• Optimization Analyst
• Owner
• Parts Engineer
• President
• President, R&D
• Principal Engineer
• Product and Solution Manager
• Product Lead
• Product Manager
• Production Manager
• Program Manager
• Programmer
• Project Manager
• Research Associate
• Research Engineer
• Safety and Loss Program Manager
• Sales and Marketing Manager
• Scientist
• Segment Retail
• Senior Analyst
• Senior Analyst, Ramp Operations
• Senior Business Analyst
• Senior Business Process Analyst
• Senior Director, Hardware Engineering and Manufacturing
• Senior Engineer
• Senior Manager, MX Technology and Performance
• Senior Manager, Supply Chain Development
• Senior Manager, Technology and Partnerships
• Senior Marketing Manager
• Senior Material and Process Engineer
• Senior Operations Manager
• Senior Principle Engineer
• Senior Product Engineer
• Senior Product Manager
• Senior Project Director
• Senior Researcher
• Senior Solutions Architect
• Senior Supply Chain/Asset Visibility Consultant
• Senior Systems Engineer
• Senior Vice President
• Senior VP, Logistics
• Senior VP, Sales and Business Development
• Services Coordinator
• Software Engineer
• Solution Architect
• Solution Manager
• Solutions Engineer
• Stowage Analysis Engineer
• Strategic Buyer
• Strategic Development Manager
• Supply Chain Project Manager
• Sustainment Integrator
• Systems Analyst
• Team Lead, Reliability Focused Operations
• Technical Advisor
• Technical Director
• Technical Systems Associate
• Technology Manager
• Technology Sales Manager
• Tire Electronics Pre-Development Manager
• Transportation Specialist
• UDI Program Manager
• Undergraduate Teaching Assistant
• Value Stream Compliance Manager
• Vice President
• VP, Business Development
• VP, Head of System Memory Company
• VP, Industry Engagement, Apparel and General Merchandise
• VP, Industry Solutions
• VP, Information Technology
• VP, Innovation
• VP, Inventory Control and Loss Prevention
• VP, Marketing
• VP, Merchandise Operations
• VP, Operations
• VP, Quality and Innovations
• VP, Research and Development
• VP, Retail Apparel and General Merchandise
• Warehouse Manager

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