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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for December

Baird has released its December report. The 17-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.
Dec 19, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

December 19, 2008—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for December. 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 17-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 14 and following are the Key Developments:
  • Clear evidence of economically driven project delays. Discussions with our contacts in the RFID space suggest an increasing number of economically driven project delays despite pilot activity that has demonstrated a good ROI. Economic delays also include obtaining project funding, which is contingent upon access to credit. We are seeing elements of delay in retail, consumer products, apparel, transportation and logistics, and industrial manufacturing, most notably automotive.
  • Nonetheless, we continue to expect increased activity in 2009. We see several key factors that will drive incremental growth in 2009 and expect some of the currently delayed projects to resume in 2H09. In our view, many of the RFID pilots have proven business benefit, and most delays are currently in favor of cost cutting initiatives, which have a limited benefit. In addition, history has demonstrated that downturns tend to expose business problems. We note that bar code companies performed well following the 2001-02 cycle as corporations sought operational improvement. We expect RFID programs will see a similar benefit.
  • Some projects less economically sensitive. As we discussed last edition, we are aware of several projects in the healthcare arena, which appear to have traction as funding is somewhat more defensive. We see several projects moving forward, and are not hearing of any delays. We also see progress in financial services, where the industry needs to increase its asset utilization efficiency and views RFID as a key tool. Several projects in the public safety area also seem to be moving forward.
  • Positive software traction. As we have discussed in several of our past editions, software has been viewed by the market as the key weak point in developing reliable and scalable applications. We have also indicated that we have been encouraged with the entrance of Microsoft and IBM into the market, not only in terms of credibility, but also to provide stable development platforms. More recently, we have indicated that an increasing number of companies and independent software providers have dedicated more resources toward software development. In this edition, we are pleased to see an increase in the amount of software news flow around new product platforms, particularly with the increased level of product integration. (See Microsoft's Mobile RFID Software Now Available.)

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