Connecting End Users and RFID Providers

By Mark Roberti

Every day, companies seek RFID solutions. New cost-effective Web site capabilities allow vendors to advertise their products and services only to those who need their help.


At our last RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, a gentleman from a large manufacturing company asked me about tagging metal structures at short range. I told him he’d need a passive low-frequency (LF) solution. “Great,” he said. “Who offers that?” I told him, “That company right there. You just walked right by their booth.”

This scenario is all too typical. To address the issue, I wrote last week about some new tools developed by RFID Journal to help attendees at LIVE! 2013—to be held from Apr. 3 to May 2, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.—locate the RFID providers offering the products and services they need to deploy the technology successfully (see Helping End Users Find RFID Solutions).

We also plan to introduce a speed-networking session on the first day of the event. The goal is to match companies seeking solutions with those offering the appropriate technologies. The meetings will be short—approximately five minutes each—but end users should be able to meet eight companies that match their needs during the course of one hour. They could then set up additional in-depth meetings during the conference with those that seem most likely to be able to help.

But it’s not just at our LIVE! events that end users feel at a loss, not knowing to whom they should turn. Every day, I receive phone calls or respond to e-mails from end users seeking solutions. Yesterday, a person called me looking to find out how to integrate RFID into scales so that he could weigh items and automatically record those weights. A few weeks back, a gentleman from Montreal called to inquire about firms that offer retail software solutions for managing inventory and replenishment. I provided him with a list, and he called each one to request a presentation at his office.

Most RFID providers do not have budgets to conduct branding campaigns—or, if they do, they haven’t yet discovered the benefits of marketing. As a result, end users do not know what most providers offer. I do my best to point people to the businesses that offer RFID solutions that will work for their applications, but I am not the answer to this problem, especially as a growing number of companies seek RFID solutions. (And frankly, I don’t know about every single product that every single vendor offers.)

It’s difficult to see how the RFID market will grow if people don’t know who offers the products and services they require. For this reason, RFID Journal invested in developing some unique advertising capabilities. We can show ads only to those reading about RFID’s use in a particular industry (retail, manufacturing or defense, for example) or a specific application (asset tracking, inventory management or cold chain, for instance), or to those researching a specific company or term, such as “Motorola,” “high-memory tags” or “autoclave.”

The goal is to offer RFID companies a cost-effective means of reaching those actively researching specific solutions. The RFID companies that have tried this approach have seen click-through rates double or triple the normal numbers. And that makes sense—if a hospital executive were reading about a blood-tracking solution, he or she would more likely click on an ad about blood tracking than one about apparel tracking. We offer this option on a pay-per-click basis, so companies only pay if interested readers click on their ads.

This solution befits end users, too, because they can see specific ads related to their interests.

I know, from my conversations with end users, that they are looking for solutions and need help in finding them. I also know, from speaking with RFID solutions providers, that they are frustrated by their inability to find more good leads. I believe these tools will help resolve both issues, so please take advantage of them.

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, the Editor’s Note archive or RFID Connect.