Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for January

Baird has released its January report. The 13-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Published: January 22, 2007

This article was originally published by RFID Update.

January 22, 2007—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for January. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 13-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 10, and following are the Key Developments:

  • Majority of Near-Term Opportunity Appears To Be in Non-Supply Chain Applications. We continue to see the majority of activity in nonretail supply chain applications, including rollouts in contactless payment and build-outs in fleet management applications. We see semi-active and active technology as having the best opportunity in the near term given the more proven nature of the technology and more well-developed business cases. We are seeing some Gen2 closed-loop applications that will likely expand.
  • Retail Supply Chain Outlook. While we continue to see most Wal-Mart suppliers as lagging, and while ROIs remain elusive, we are hearing about improvements and accomplishments, including some consumer product companies receiving more useful data and some actually suggesting that sales uplift may be occurring. We expect 2007 will remain a pilot year, but expect two events to increase participation. First, we expect Wal-Mart will have its 1,000-store Gen2 rollout completed by April. At that point, we expect the retailer will increase its mandate pressure. Second, many industry contacts suggest reader prices are likely to fall substantially by the end of the year. We believe this will help materially with end users’ ability to generate a positive ROI.
  • EPCglobal Ratified Its Electronic Pedigree Standard. The standard specifies data fields and certification processes that drug manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers must use in order to meet all current state e-pedigree laws and comply with the federal Prescription Drug Marketing Act. The standard also specifies how paper documents may be scanned and included as an electronic file. Different data capture and product serializations methods, including RFID and bar code, may be used with the standard. (See E-Pedigree Standard Ratified, Supports RFID.)
  • Industry Merger/Divestiture Activity Continues to Move Forward. Zebra announced its intention to acquire RTLS provider WhereNet for $126m (see Zebra Acquires Active RFID Provider WhereNet). We anticipate that the acquisition will enable Zebra to improve its revenue growth and give it increased access to additional markets, such as automotive and aerospace. Sirit reported that it has sold its Applied Data Systems business to Eurotech S.p.A. for $1.7 million in cash. ADS is the second of three non-core businesses Sirit plans to divest; Sirit sold Medsite in September 2006. We are also told by an industry contact that Symbol (Motorola) is looking to sell its RFID supplies (tag) business.
  • RFID Conference Season Gets Underway in the Coming Months. Several key RFID related conferences have already been announced for the first part of the year, including the Asset Management Conference & Expo in San Diego on February 21-22, RFID World in Dallas March 26-29, and the DoD RFID Summit in Washington, D.C April 3-4. Additional details provided in the RFID Briefs section.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)