Helping Companies Select the Right RFID Technology

By Mark Roberti

RFID Journal's goal for 2010 is to do even more to help potential users of the technology to identify the systems that best meet their needs, and to choose the right hardware, software and service providers.


From the day that I founded RFID Journal (March 1, 2002), our mission has been simple: to help companies understand how they can use the wide array of radio frequency identification technologies available to improve the way they do business. Toward that end, we have invested large sums of money to provide the highest quality content on our Web site, in print and at our events. (Unlike most trade publications, we don’t publish press releases or issue a call for papers.)

But as readers of this column know, I’m frustrated that more companies are not benefiting from RFID technologies, so I’m going to do the only thing I can do to influence the situation—work harder. I believe that one reason more businesses aren’t adopting RFID is that it’s too confusing to choose the proper system from among the many types available. To help companies move forward, RFID Journal will produce a series of special reports that will help them choose the RFID applications and technologies that will best meet their needs at the lowest cost.

These reports will cover some horizontal applications, such as tracking reusable containers, but will mainly be aimed at helping firms in specific vertical industries to identify the right systems to solve problems common to those sectors. We will provide links to case studies and news stories that enable readers to obtain additional information on how companies like theirs are becoming more efficient by deploying RFID technologies. The reports will be available for purchase and free to RFID Journal subscribers.

Once companies have a clearer understanding of RFID, I believe they’ll be able to take full advantage of all the resources available on our Web site—thousands of articles, hundreds of videos, blogs, white papers and much more. They’ll also find guidance on how to choose the most appropriate RFID vendors or systems integrators.

Our first report will be published in January 2010. We’re also interested in other ways to help end users select the right technology and technology providers.

I had raised the idea of creating calculators to help companies determine their likely return on investment for certain applications (see Putting Some Science Behind RFID), but few vendors have expressed an interest in funding such calculators. I haven’t abandoned the idea completely, because I know from e-mails I’ve received that the ROI calculator we created for apparel retailers is helping end users (see Fashion Retail ROI Calculator and A New ROI Tool for Apparel and Footwear Retailers). But without outside support, RFID Journal simply does not have the resources to create calculators for every industry.

Last year, we introduced free consultations at our RFID Journal LIVE! conference, but only a few end users took advantage of these. Those who did so found them valuable, and I hope more attendees will sign up for consultations at RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, which will be held on Apr. 14-16, in Orlando, Fla. If end users have any suggestions for how RFID Journal can better serve your needs, please e-mail me at It’s my hope that next year will see more companies benefiting from RFID, and using the technology to reduce costs and boost sales in the face of this horrific recession.

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.