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Learning How RFID Can Solve Business Problems

Companies attending next week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference in Orlando, Fla., have one thing in common—they are eager to leverage RFID technology to improve the way they do business.
By Mark Roberti
Apr 04, 2011If you look over the list of firms sending executives to RFID Journal LIVE! 2011—our ninth annual conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., on Apr. 12-14, 2011—it might seem they have little in common (view the list here), as there are businesses from a wide variety of industries represented.

Here are a few names that I pulled from the registration list to illustrate my point:
• Abbott Laboratories
• Adidas Group
• American Airlines
• Carnival Cruise Lines
• DELO Industrial Adhesives
• DirecTV
• Fine Art Shipping
• Fulton-Hall Publishing Co.
• General Electric
• Harley-Davidson Motor Co.
• Hertz Corp.
• Home Depot
• Ingersoll Rand
• Intelligent Robotics Corp.
• JCPenney
• Kohler
• Kraft Foods
• Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
• La-Z-Boy
• Maersk Line
• Maxell Corp.
• Northrop Grumman
• Sugar Creek Packing
• U.S. Marine Corps
• Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing
• Zachry Construction Corp.

These 28 companies and organizations represent 28 different industries or sectors. What these firms—and the more than 700 others that also have representatives preregistered—have in common is this: They understand that radio frequency identification technologies can help them solve business problems that other technologies can not address, or that RFID enables them to collect data cost-effectively, thereby allowing them to manage assets, equipment, tools, products and other mobile aspects of their business.

Many companies are currently seeking to deploy RFID—but only a tiny percentage in each industry. These are not the "visionaries," like Airbus, Metro Group and Wal-Mart Stores, described in Geoffrey Moore's seminal book, Crossing the Chasm (seeThe (RFID) World According to Moore, Moore Has Spoken—Were RFID Vendors Listening? and Geoffrey Moore's Strategies for RFID Adoption). They are what Moore calls "early adopters"—mainstream companies deploying a technology that is mature, even if it has not yet reached a broad level of adoption.

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