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Awards Honor RFID Innovators
At the RFID World conference today in Dallas, Texas, five organizations and individuals were announced as winners of the first annual RFID Excellence in Business Awards. This article lists the winners, as well as key trends that emerged from the 96 entrants.
Mar 27, 2007—This article was originally published by RFID Update.
March 27, 2007—Winners of the inaugural RFID Excellence in Business Awards were announced earlier today at the RFID World exhibition and conference in Dallas. Consulting firm RFID Revolution created the awards in cooperation with the show management to honor companies for their innovation and leadership, and for the quality of business results they achieved from RFID or RTLS systems.
"There is so much good that can come from RFID, both business and societal benefits, but unfortunately sometimes people lose sight of that," RFID Revolution founder Leslie Downey told RFID Update. "RFID can do so much more benefit than harm. This awards program has really amplified that to the RFID community."
The winners and categories are:
"We felt strongly that we should recognize organizations and projects that share RFID data," said Downey. "Data sharing is often a stumbling block in RFID implementations, but it's very important to the value, so we placed heavy emphasis on it.
"The awards program drew a huge range of applications, from wildlife tracking in the Amazon, to more efficient handling of prison inmate phone calls, to hospital garment tracking, to plain vanilla supply chain applications," she continued. "The results will give many people a lot of insight into the very real productivity improvements and other benefits that RFID yields in a variety of settings."
Downey recognized several commonalities and trends among the entrants. First and foremost, many companies are achieving real business value from RFID implementations. She noted there were examples of positive ROI from all types of RFID technology: low frequency, high frequency (13.56 MHz) and UHF (including Gen2) passive tags, 2.45 GHz systems, and various types of active and RTLS technology.
Many entrants noted the outstanding read performance and reliability they are getting from Gen2 technology. "It was very clear from the entries that Gen2 is providing excellent results," said Downey. "People are almost taking it for granted."
Companies who started using RFID to meet customer compliance tagging requirements are also realizing ROI from their efforts. "Several entrants found that once RFID infrastructure was in place to meet their customer requirements, they were also positioned to receive many potential benefits themselves," said Downey. "One company said it had greatly improved its inventory handling efficiency and reduced its picking errors.
"Another company found that to keep its total costs down as much as possible, it was better to fully integrate its printing/encoding operations with its ERP system, rather than doing straight slap-and-ship. Integration made for a more streamlined process, with less exception management and lower total cost to the organization."
"When it comes to ROI, it is clearly better to be the receiver of tagged goods [than the supplier]," said Downey. "Companies doing compliance tagging are learning to take advantage of this by using RFID in receiving operations at their own facilities. Whether you are a retailer or a manufacturer, with RFID you can save hours in receiving time."
"The vast majority of results would be highly repeatable across many businesses," she said. "A great many of the entries were about tried-and-true asset tracking, and most of these provided full payback in less than a year. But a significant number of entries centered around multi-partner applications and data sharing. Many of these systems were achieving payback -- and pretty impressive payback -- from more efficient supply chain management, stemming inventory loss, monitoring promotion execution, and reducing retail out-of-stocks. The lesson is: Yes, there is ROI in RFID, no matter where you are in the supply chain."
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