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RFID Journal Poll

All PollsPoll # 323

Do you believe fear has held CEOs back from deploying RFID?
Yes—executives often choose familiar technologies over newer solutions
No—CEOs have valid concerns about RFID's ability to provide an ROI
Somewhat—the truth is somewhere in the middle
Don't know
Total number of votes: 25


. 2011-09-22 09:03:05 AM
CEO RFID hasn't been able to be deployed effectively in a business because the Enterprise Systems have no place for the information and do not track inventory or assets to the degree RFID allows. Consequently, RFID implementations tend to be stand alone applications that are effective but generally after the fact. I.E. after the inventory has been procured, received, manufactured/assembled, received, stored, ordered, picked and staged for shipping. Since the Enterprise System that controls all of those transactions is incapable, at least in a timely and cost effective way, from making use of the details available via RFID the technology has been stunted from full potential. The legacy systems, including modern day ERP, Best of Breed and Homegrown systems were not built to adopt new data models, adapt processes or technology improvements such as RFID. They were built to consolidate controls and processes. RFID allows the process to be a competitive point of differentiation and requires new enterprise technology that encourages/facilitates innovation. Without replacing, modifying or even integrating to these legacy systems, RFID can begin to deliver the full value and opportunity anticipated. So it isn't a matter of fear that prevents their use. Because the data and process opportunities it possesses cannot be fully leveraged, RFID struggles to prove the ROI throughout the transactions of a Supply Chain. It isn't about 5 cent tags or privacy issues or any such barrier...you could give it away and the legacy system still couldn't make use of the information, modify their process or leverage the new technology.
Mark Roberti 2011-09-22 12:42:57 PM
Good points These are very good points, though you are looking at only a small fraction of what RFID enables. There are many applications that don't require integration to provide value. For instance, a standalone application that reduces time nurses spend looking for hospital equipment would seem to be a no-brainer, yet hospitals still haven't deployed these systems on a large scale. Our Web site is stocked with articles about companies getting significant benefits from standalone systems. So clearly there is value even when not fully integrated. And companies like Airbus are proving that you can get value when you integrate the data with backend systems. It's hard to do -- which is why I believe people fear it.

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