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RFID Adopters Seek "Competitive Differentiation"

A University of Wollongong survey examines the differences between companies that have deployed the technology, and those that have not.
By Claire Swedberg
The survey results found clear differences between adopters and non-adopters. Companies that have not yet deployed RFID reported being more concerned about the technology's acquisition and replacement costs. While adopters indicated their decision to deploy RFID was dependent on "information visibility" and process innovation that could allow better decision making on the part of management, as well as service quality, "non-adopters are also interested in these benefits, but they remain concerned with the costs of implementation," Fosso Wamba says. "This implies that future work [by RFID vendors] should be directed towards these three common operational factors," he states.

Company size seemed to have little impact on a respondent's answers to survey questions, Fosso Wamba notes. However, he says, midsize firms comprised the only segment with a level of adoption (30 percent) that is considerably higher than that of non-adoption (13.2 percent).

While overall respondents indicated the greatest factor in deciding whether or not to adopt RFID was the technology's potential to improve data accuracy, the second most important factor was whether they had commitment from top management. Interestingly, among all respondents, privacy threats were deemed the least important factor influencing their decision, followed by security threats and standards ambiguities.

"These results tell us non-adopters are primarily concerned with the high acquisition and other ongoing costs associated with RFID technology," Fosso Wamba says. "This means that vendors should concentrate less on the way RFID can create opportunities for strategic benefits, and more on the ways to calculate a return on investment." Other attributes that vendors should emphasize, he adds, are RFID's ability to improve inventory management and the accuracy of business data.

A copy of the "RFID Adoption Issues" report is available for download at the RFID Academia Web site.

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