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RFID Package for Midsize Firms

Manhattan Associates bundles pieces of its enterprise applications with the ability to print RFID labels to meet the needs of emerging enterprises.
By Bob Violino
Sep 22, 2003By Jonathan Collins

Sept. 23, 2003 - Manhattan Associates, an Atlanta, Ga., provider of supply chain execution software, has bundled parts of its enterprise applications with handheld RFID label printing capabilities to create a package for midsize businesses that want to deploy RFID systems.
Eric Peters

"Smaller suppliers see their larger competitors set to adopt RFID and use that to grow market share at their [the smaller suppliers'] expense," says Eric Peters, senior VP of products and strategy at Manhattan Associates. But midsize companies may be able to deploy RFID faster if there were products they could use.

The package, dubbed "Manhattan Associates' Microsoft-based RFID Solution," takes components from Manhattan Associate’s existing warehouse, transport and trading partner management systems. The components include:

  • Purchase order management functionality
  • Radio frequency functionality based on Windows CE for handheld devices
  • Full packing capabilities, quality audits and event updates
  • Advance ship notice compliance
  • Shipping management
  • RFID event management and visibility functionality.

The system also enables companies to print RFID tagged labels on printers that support the Class 1 Electronic Product Code specification created by the Auto-ID Center. Manhattan Associates demonstrated the system at last week's EPC event in Chicago.

The new system has been built around Microsoft’s Internet Information Services, SQL Server database and Windows CE operating system for handheld devices. Manhattan Associates also plans to support Microsoft’s Web services technology .NET by March. Manhattan Associates didn't reveal pricing for the package.

The software vendor clearly believes there is strong demand for RFID-enabled supply chain software. In June, the company teamed up with Alien Technology to deliver "RFID in a Box," a package that included Manhattan Associates' support services and supply chain software alongside Alien RFID hardware for pilot deployments (see /article/articleview/455/1/1/ Two Vendors Offer RFID Packages>).

Manhattan Associates says it already has 90 customers that have expressed an interest in the $250,000 RFID in a Box package, which enables a manufacturer or retailer to track a limited number of shipments from up to five suppliers. Peters says the company will begin shipping the RFID in Box package soon after the EPC specification is finalized.

Manhattan Associates also announced that it has partnered with integration software specialist webMethods to provide UCCnet Connectivity within Manhattan Associates warehouse management system. That integration enables the direct transmission of SKU-specific data from the warehouse management system to trading partners via UCCnet.

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