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3 RFID Pitfalls to Avoid

For those considering an RFID deployment, this article considers three "common mistakes" made by those who came before you.
Mar 10, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 10, 2005—You already know the central problem facing widespread RFID: cost. Everyone agrees that it is a revolutionary technology; they just don't agree at what price point the revolution pays for itself. For those considering an RFID deployment, this article considers three "common mistakes" made by those who came before you.

The first is believing the hype. RFID presents magical opportunities to control and monitor business operations, but it still must be weighed against the on-the-ground needs of each particular organization. Not all companies need the magic that RFID professes to offer. Some could do with simpler and cheaper technologies.

The second commonly-made mistake takes the flipside to this thinking: if you find your company beholden to a mandate, approaching the RFID deployment grudgingly and conservatively will virtually guarantee that your organization doesn't realize the technology's benefits. Since you're going to have to implement RFID anyway, seize the opportunity to do so intelligently and creatively. (This advice has been repeated constantly by Wal-Mart CIO Linda Dillman, including as recently as at last week's RFID World keynote address.)

Finally, many consider RFID alone, without stepping back and questioning how complementary technologies might also be used. RFID doesn't exist in a technological vacuum; adding GPS and sensor networks to the mix might better achieve supply chain goals than an RFID-only deployment.

Understanding and accepting that RFID will eventually change the way business is done is the important first step. Only then can you avail yourself of the opportunity for competitive advantage by coming up with the best ways in which the technology can -- and can't -- serve and transform your business for the better.

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