The RFID Industry Owes a Big Thanks to Joe Andraski

VICS' president and CEO is leaving the organization, but his leadership has helped to boost RFID's adoption among retailers.
Published: October 3, 2012

I received a press release this week via e-mail that announced: “The Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS) Association, today announced that Joseph C. Andraski, President & CEO, has left the organization to pursue other professional opportunities. Andraski’s responsibilities, which include setting the strategic course for VICS and recruiting sponsors, will temporarily be shared by Bob Carpenter, President & CEO, and Patrick Javick, Vice President of Retail Apparel and General Merchandise, both of GS1 US. VICS and GS1 US recently announced plans to merge.”

I had known for a while that Joe was moving on. VICS recently merged with GS1 (see GS1 and VICS to Merge), which provided the right opportunity for him to transition to other things. He told me he plans to take some time off and spend it with his wife, and to then choose from a number of opportunities on the table—all of which sound pretty interesting.

VICS was founded in 1986, and Joe was elected its president in 2005. (He completed his 25-year career with Nabisco as the VP of customer marketing and VP of supply chain management.) VICS has been working to increase supply chain efficiencies since that time. The organization created the Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) system, which has helped companies increase sales while reducing supply chain costs.

I know Joe because he has led the VICS Item Level RFID Initiative (VILRI), which has been working to develop best practices for using RFID technology based on GS1‘s Electronic Product Code Standard in the retail value chain. Thanks to Joe’s leadership, VILRI has grown significantly, and a great deal of progress has been made toward standardizing the way in which GS1 standards are used in the apparel supply chain. (Full disclosure: Joe brought in RFID Journal to help create VILRI’s Web site and newsletter.)

Joe brought energy, enthusiasm and leadership to VILRI. I don’t think there is any doubt that the initiative’s work has helped to boost the adoption of RFID among retailers, raise awareness of the technology’s benefits and move the industry along toward greater efficiencies and profitability. That work will continue under the auspices of GS1, but I know I speak for many when I say we will miss him at the VILRI meetings.

Best of luck, Joe, in all your new endeavors—and thank you for your contributions to the RFID industry.

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.