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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for April

Baird has released its April report. The 16-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Apr 20, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 20, 2007—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for April. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 16-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 13, and following are the Key Developments:
  • Changing End Market Emphasis. We are seeing less emphasis on the retail supply chain, and substantially more attention to closed loop or asset management applications for RFID. We believe the stronger opportunity is directly related to substantially better business case development and the ability to use a wide variety of RFID technologies, including UHF Gen2, HF, and active.
  • Wal-Mart Altering Approach. We see Wal-Mart refocusing its mandate to emphasize process improvement around SKUs that are higher velocity, tend to have out-of-stocks, or have high value. We expect this approach will allow Wal-Mart to better refine business processes and provide more high-quality information to suppliers through retail-link. Our understanding is that Wal-Mart's purchasing organization will be encouraging higher SKU tagging in these areas over the next several quarters. We expect this change will cause near-term opportunity to remain soft.
  • Other Retail Advances. At RFID World, we were encouraged to hear directly and indirectly of RFID advances with other retailers, including Best Buy and Metro. Best Buy International CEO Robert Willett underscored RFID's importance to Best Buy from a long-term strategic perspective. Best Buy is increasing investment and is seeing encouraging pilot results from a single Best Buy location for DVD tracking, where the overall revenue lift increased 18.7% and the margin increased 10.8% from better in-stocks. Our contacts also suggest Metro is more rapidly moving forward with its RFID initiatives in Europe.
  • Bar Code Resellers Seeing Opportunity. We have recently had several conversations with traditional bar code resellers who are seeing better RFID business. Many of these resellers have intentionally been avoiding the RFID market in the past several years as they saw limited opportunity. However, with advances in equipment, lower prices, and improved software, they are now closing RFID projects that are material in nature.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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