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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for August

Baird has released its August report. The 15-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.
Aug 21, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 21, 2007—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for August. 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 15-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 12, and following are the Key Developments:
  • Survey Suggests Some Urgency from End Users in Learning About RFID. We recently conducted a survey of end users, and were somewhat surprised to find that end users seem to have a good amount of urgency in learning about RFID. The majority of end users surveyed indicated that increasing their RFID knowledge was "very important" to "critical," and 80% believe it will be "important" to increase their knowledge in the next 12 months. In our view, such a desire for education is a precursor to increased RFID activity.
  • Public Companies Discuss RFID Operations on Quarterly Conference Calls. During second-quarter reporting conference calls, we heard what we considered fairly positive comments from management with respect to RFID operations at Zebra and Intermec. Avery remains optimistic, and is seeing a pickup in activity, but the company also appears ready to reduce spending given supply chain softness. Many private-company RFID vendors suggest that they are seeing good activity during the typically slower summer months.
  • More Applications. In the past month, we saw a strong amount of new and unique applications. Not surprisingly, many are closed loop and are used to manage assets. Applications include file tracking, medical equipment tracking, work-in-process visibility, vehicle registration management, and in the most unique application, consumer track and trace for cheese, with full website visibility. For a greater overview of these and other applications, please see the "RFID Briefs" section.
  • Increased Funding. During 2006, venture/equity funding appeared to be on hold in the RFID industry given slower than expected adoption in the supply chain. However, as closed loop and asset management applications seem to have increased opportunity in 2007, we are seeing some evidence that funding is returning. In this past month, we note three players -- RF Code, SkyeTek, and Innovision -- received $36.5M in total funding. Precision Dynamics, which provides RFID solutions as part of their broader offering, received $75M in funding.
  • Wal-Mart Test. Wal-Mart appears to be running a new RFID test to review benefits associated with increased visibility, and to test for sales increases from fewer out of stocks. Our understanding is that Wal-Mart is again using 12 RFID-based stores and comparing the results to 12 similar stores that use existing technology. We have not yet heard of any business case results.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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