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T3Ci Maps Out Route to RFID ROI

Based on its experience analyzing RFID for Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Gillette and other early RFID adopters, the firm has issued a white paper outlining what companies need to do to derive value from RFID data.
By Claire Swedberg
May 16, 2006It's all about the data. That's the key message from RFID analytics company T3Ci about how suppliers of retailed goods can move beyond the hows of implementing RFID technology to achieving a return on their RFID investment.

T3Ci has worked with Proctor & Gamble (P&G), Unilever, Gillette and other early RFID adopters over the past two years. The firm provides a service analyzing RFID data for six of these early adopters. Based on its experience, T3Ci recently issued a white paper, "First Steps Towards Achieving Value From Your RFID Investment," outlining what companies need to do to derive business value from RFID data.

Jared Schrieber, T3Ci
Jared Schrieber, director of services at T3Ci, likens today's retailers to product manufacturers prior to automating the management of their shop floors. A decade ago, a factory was like a "black box," providing a manufacturer with little control or knowledge of where its products were as they moved around the manufacturing area. "I think that's a lot how suppliers today feel," he says. "They are looking into a black box. They see stuff coming in, and they see stuff coming out, but they don't see what happens in between."

In addition, many suppliers have implemented RFID systems in response to mandates from their customers, but have had little opportunity to determine how RFID data would help them see a return on their investment. "The problem is a lot of companies out there are looking at early data from their RFID systems, and wondering what to do next," Schrieber explains. To that end, T3Ci suggests following four stages of RFID data management that will help firms learn to use the information their RFID system provides.

Phase one involves validating data—determining how the RFID system works, what data it is or is not providing and what gaps may exist in the available data. "The value is in the data," Schrieber says. With phase one, a company can ensure it is receiving the data it needs.

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