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Battling the Status Quo

The biggest obstacle end users face when confronted with an opportunity to use RFID to improve the way they do business is resistance to change within their own organizations.
By Mark Roberti
This rings true to me, because these are RFID Journal's readers. I hear from people every day who have a compelling need for RFID. And their battle is to encourage their companies to invest in a new technology enabling them to be more efficient. I can't tell you how many people have told me, "We've developed a great application for RFID. The ROI is there. It would solve a lot of our problems—but we can't get funding."

This person and the RFID vendor should be natural allies, because the end user wants to buy an RFID system and the vendor wants to sell one. But too often, vendors focus on the features of their technology, or the weaknesses of their competitors' products, instead of on giving this person the information he or she needs to sell the idea of adopting an RFID system to solve the problem internally. In the end, the vendors raise questions in this person's mind instead of answering them, and that undermines the end user's ability to affect organizational change.

If vendors would take a different approach and focus on helping this person, they could achieve a small win within a big company. Then, the person with the compelling problem that is solved could help the vendor break into other departments. With a couple of successes under its belt, the vendor could then go to the C-suite and make a pitch for deploying the solution on a larger scale. This end user would become a reference account that would encourage others with the same problem to adopt. And once enough people in an industry adopted, the status quo would shift and everyone would begin to adopt. And then they'd be in the "tornado."

Another problem is that vendors aren't willing to build complete solutions for a single industry or type of user, which Moore says is essential. End users complain to me that they see a generic RFID solution, and then have to spend a lot of money to have it customized to do what they want it to do. This increases the risk, which plays into the hands of those favoring the status quo. "We can't buy this and then invest a lot of money in customizing it," they say. "What if it doesn't work?"

Moore offers a lot of great advice in Inside the Tornado. But I would say most RFID vendors are not doing the things he recommends, which is too bad. As RFID Recruiters' Shiff wrote in a recent e-mail, "[Moore] is the real deal. I'm convinced his model offers as clear a path to the future as an RFID provider could ask for. The faster the RFID providers adopt his guidance, the better."

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.

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