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EPCglobal Reaches Out to Small and Midsize Businesses

The organization has announced a 60 percent reduction in fees and new services, with the goal of expanding its membership.
By Claire Swedberg
Tags: Standards
"We want to take them from not even knowing what they don't know," Seaner says, "to an even playing field," in which EPCglobal US members understand RFID well enough to discuss it with technology vendors and be able to make informed decisions. In this way, he explains, the vendors no longer have to educate customers, but can instead spend their time describing why their RFID hardware or software meets each client's needs. The cost of such an advisory session ranges between $3,000 and $5,000.

EPCglobal US is also offering special interest group programs, organized and hosted by its RFID experts, with the goal of bringing together companies with similar needs so they can develop industry best practices, share problems, challenges and solutions, and develop plans for solutions such as sharing pilots.

The standards organization hopes to increase membership beyond many of its initial members. These have typically included larger companies, many of which have been involved in RFID deployments such as those undertaken by Wal-Mart Stores' Wal-Mart and Sam's Club divisions. "We have a lot of diversity," Seaner states, "but we realized, at the same time, that we have underserved an area that includes the small- to medium-sized companies."

Seaner cites electronics manufacturer Conair as one example of how companies can benefit from the advisory programs EPCglobal US now offers. Conair used the organization's advisory program, he says, whereby EPCglobal's experts evaluated its RFID technology needs and provided advice as to further steps the firm could take.

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