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Ko-RFID Tackles RFID Business Collaboration Processes
Supported by Germany's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the project hopes to address the challenges companies face when sharing information collected via RFID.
In August 2008, the Ko-RFID project plans to make the tool available online, in both English and German, on its homepage. Aimed at companies in a supply chain, the tool was designed based on Ko-RFID's cooperation with fashion company Gerry Weber, automaker Daimler and other partners. After using the tool, Gerry Weber opted to implement an RFID-based supply chain tracking system with help from IBM.
Once implemented, the system will interconnect Gerry Weber with its suppliers and logistics service providers. The RFID collaborative infrastructure will allow the fashion company and its distribution partners and suppliers to make the supply chain more agile by reacting to events—such as delays and mistakes—in a more timely and accurate manner. By employing RFID technology at multiple companies, processes will become more transparent. Decision-making will be based on real-time data and predictive data analysis. And suppliers and distribution partners will be able to make their processes more transparent and agile as well.
Ko-RFID—which stands for Collaboration and RFID—is one of 11 projects that are part of the German government's larger Next-Generation Media program, which comprises some 70 participating companies and research organizations. The program is spending €40 million ($62 million) to support the projects, which are organized into four broad categories: logistics, production facilities, consumer electronics and health care.
Ko-RFID falls in the "logistics" category and has received €5 million ($7.8 million) in funding to date. The project is led and coordinated by the Institute for Business Information Systems at the Humboldt University of Berlin. SAP, Wellmann, Daimler, the Technical University Berlin and Otto von Guericke University are partners as well.
Tamm says his team is currently studying the collaborative use of RFID in eight sub-projects:
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