Companies Will Be Made Stronger by the Current Economic Crisis

The RFID industry has matured to the point where it can deliver great cost savings and efficiencies, just when businesses need them the most.
Published: April 6, 2009

I’ve been a journalist all of my working life, and I still consider myself a journalist first, and a business owner second. But owning RFID Journal gives me a perspective I would not otherwise have: I understand the issues RFID vendors deal with, as well as those with which companies looking to use the technology struggle.

The other day, I was having lunch with a gentleman who had taken a small stake in RFID Journal a few years earlier. He’s a person with a great deal of success in the publishing industry, and has been an invaluable advisor in helping me build RFID Journal over the years. “Marty,” I said to him, “if you had told me building a company was this hard, I never would have done it.”

He laughed and replied, “That’s why I didn’t tell you.”

As I rode the train home from Manhattan that night, I started to think about whether I really meant what I said, and the conclusion I came to is no, I would have done it anyway.

Times are tough, and many companies are struggling for survival. They’re cutting back advertising, and that has affected us. As such, I’ve had to take a hard look at every cost we incur, just as other companies are doing. But these tough times have been an invaluable lesson for me, and made me a better businessperson in the process.

I don’t know how long the current economic storm will last, but this much I do know: The companies that survive will be the best-run firms, made even stronger for having endured this crisis. And RFID companies that keep investing in their products will wind up stronger, while end-user companies that employ RFID and other technologies to become more efficient will emerge more competitive.

To be sure, some companies with good products and reputable business practices won’t make it, because they just aren’t in a position to weather an unusually severe downturn. But those that have done everything they could to serve their customers and create quality products can hold their heads up and be proud—and they, no doubt, will have learned a lot along the way, which will serve them well as they launch their next company.

Capitalism is about “creative destruction.” Right now, we’re seeing a lot of destruction, a lot of good companies getting battered. But this is only temporary. I believe the RFID industry has matured to the point where it can deliver great cost savings and efficiencies, just when businesses need them the most. Companies will get creative and use technology to discover new ways to deliver value to their customers more efficiently. In fact, I guarantee it.

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.