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RFID Adoption Is Spreading

Companies from a wide variety of industries, including health care, apparel, children’s products and airlines, are embracing RFID technologies.
By Mark Roberti
Aug 28, 2006A year ago, all the commentary about radio frequency identification was about mandates from major retailers and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Technology analysts were down on the technology, saying there were no benefits to using it.

Today, the picture is a lot different. Each week, RFID Journal publishes articles about companies that are finding new and creative ways to use RFID to deliver business benefits.

Take a look at our headlines from last week:

What all these stories have in common is they are about companies that are not being required by customers to use RFID. They want to use the technology because it can improve the way they do business.

It’s an exaggeration to say mandates are no longer relevant to RFID adoption, but the fact is that many end users have either moved beyond mandates or are not subject to them. These companies now understand what RFID can and can’t do, and where it can be applied successfully. And these companies will no doubt find more ways to use RFID as they deploy interrogators and the network infrastructure needed to capture and use RFID data.

The challenge companies will face over time is integrating projects within their four walls with RFID systems for tracking goods within the supply chain. To meet the challenge, companies should use standards-based systems where appropriate, and they should look at dual-use equipment where possible. For instance, utilizing EPC technology to track tools or work in process makes sense if you expect that, in time, you will be using the EPC technology to track raw materials being received from suppliers or shipments being sent to customers.

The hope of some RFID vendors that mandates would drive rapid adoption throughout the global supply chain might not be met any time soon, but what’s important is that RFID delivers real business value, and companies are clearly finding ways it can do that.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.
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