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Wal-Mart CIO to Speak on RFID

Linda Dillman will talk about Wal-Mart's RFID efforts at Retail Systems2003/VICS Collaborative Commerce conference next month.
By Bob Violino
May 12, 2003May 13, 2003 - Wal-Mart has been a key player in the Auto-ID Center's efforts to create an infrastructure for tracking products with low-cost RFID tags. On June 11, Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart's senior VP and CIO, will speak about RFID at the Retail Systems 2003/VICS Collaborative Commerce, a leading event focused on retail technology, which is co-located with RFID Journal Live! in Chicago next month.

The speech is significant because Wal-Mart's RFID plans could affect not just thousands of suppliers, but the entire global retail industry. RFID Journal recently revealed that the world's largest retailer has been working on RFID technology for more than 12 years (see Will Wal-Mart Order RFID Tagging?) and is keen to adopt the technology as soon as possible.

Wal-Mart has been sending more and more public signals to the industry and to its suppliers that it is going to begin requiring all pallets and cases to have RFID tags by 2005. Retail Systems says Dillman will discuss "the required technical and business steps needed for practical adoption of RFID and related technologies in the retail industry" and about "the current and future expectations for RFID at Wal-Mart Stores."

Dillman was named CIO in August 2002 after running Wal-Mart's international systems development. She replaced Kevin Turner, who became head of the retailer's Sam's Club wholesale division. Dillman, joined Wal-Mart in 1991 and has been involved in developing Wal-Mart's in-store systems, its Retail Link supply-chain system, and its data warehouse.

Dillman will be speaking with Mike DiYeso, executive VP and chief operating officer at the Uniform Code Council. DiYeso will discuss how standards being development will enable widespread adoption of RFID throughout the supply chain. The UCC and EAN International are both backers of the Auto-ID Center as well as GTAG, which is based on the proposed ISO 18000-6 standard.

The Retail Systems2003/VICS Collaborative Commerce event also features an exhibit of technology from more than 250 companies. This year, the exhibit will include an "Auto ID/RFID Futures Showcase," which will highlight solutions in RFID, card technologies, barcode technologies, electronic article surveillance (EAS), and standards (802.11b, RSS). This showcase comprises panel discussions, presentations, and demonstrations from leading solutions providers in this arena.

People attending RFID Journal Live! get a three-day pass to the show floor, and they can register to attend Retail Systems 2003 sessions, including the Dillman speech, at a discount. For more information, visit the RFID Journal Live! Web site, or the Retail Systems 2003/VICS Collaborative Commerce site.

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