Barcoding Inc. Aims for RFID Growth With Acquisition of Danforth Systems

The purchase of the Houston technology company provides Barcoding with access to Texas-based customers, particularly in oil and gas.
Published: October 1, 2018

Baltimore, Md.-based technology solutions firm Barcoding Inc. is expanding its RFID base and its geographic influence in the Texas area by acquiring Danforth Systems. As a result of this acquisition, Barcoding expects to offer RFID solutions to Texas-area customers in the oil and gas sector, as well as in retail, ticketing and other vertical markets.

The company already has clients in Texas, so the Danforth acquisition will help to support those companies with local presence, Barcoding indicates. Danforth System, founded in 1988, offers RFID-based inventory-tracking solutions, as well as bar-coding systems. It typically sells hardware for partner providers and integrates its own software into customers’ existing management systems.

Shane Snyder, Barcoding Inc.’s president, says his company, which is rooted in supply chain data capture, has doubled its revenue throughout the past three years. Snyder declines to reveal how much of that is based on RFID technology deployments, but notes that the company’s RFID sales have been doubling annually for the past several years. The firm’s RFID deployments are most commonly being used in health care, transportation and logistics, as well as at maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) companies. “We already have a good reputation with our RFID team,” he states, “but the market is set for expansion,” and Barcoding wanted to be ready to serve a growing market.

While Barcoding is headquartered in Baltimore, it also has offices in Chicago and the state of Washington. The firm has expanded its geographic footprint through acquisitions. It launched in 1998, then acquired Chicago’s Miles Technologies in 2013, helping it to build its RFID and automatic-identification technologies portfolio. In 2017, it purchased Versatile Mobile Systems, a software and support company for the use of bar-code scanners and mobile computers, based in Lynnwood, Wash.

“We’re very much focused on growth,” Snyder reports. “You can do that through sweat and toil, and you can also do it through acquisitions.” With that in mind, he says, the company has scouted out solution providers that offer systems based on RFID and other auto-ID technologies. “We were really impressed with the leadership at Danforth,” he says, and with its team of employees who develop and install solutions for Texas-based customers. “We always take a hard look at the cultures of organizations, and those guys fit the bill” for their client focus, services, integrity and industry reputation.

Both Barcoding Inc. and Danforth Systems are systems integrators and service providers that offer their own software and typically partner with hardware providers. At times, Snyder says, Barcoding develops customized RFID readers for specific clients. More typically, the company offers and installs its own software integrated into a customer’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The software can reside locally or be cloud-based.

Increasingly, the oil and gas industry is employing RFID technology to track tools and equipment at drilling sites, both on and offshore. Areas of growth include managing maintenance pipes and flanges—a process that requires a shutdown for safety purposes—to ensure that work is done efficiently; logistics management, such as the staging of pipes, valves and generators; and downhole applications to track the conditions and use of drilling reamers and other specialized tools.

Danforth’s employees, as well as vice president Dan Tarpey, will remain at the company, operating out of the same Houston office. That includes approximately 20 employees, Snyder says. According to Tarpey, the acquisition will provide more resources for Danforth to serve its existing customers. “We’re a small company,” he says, “and this acquisition helps us keep up with the rapid pace of technology growth. They already have a lot of air under their wings.”

Danforth already serves some of the largest oil and gas companies with its solutions, Tarpey adds. Increasingly, these companies are using RFID to track assets both on- and offshore. “Our track, for the next 24 months, will be to continue to grow,” Snyder states. While the firm’s RFID business is the most fast-paced area of growth, it also offers bar-code-based solutions. “We’re very excited about the opportunities, especially in the RFID marketplace.”