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Let's Roll (Out)

If you're planning a multisite deployment, RFID Journal's digital magazine could save you a lot of headaches.
By Mark Roberti
Feb 19, 2014

When we launched RFID Journal magazine in 2004, I envisioned it as something of a manual for RFID deployments. I don't mean that we would show you in these pages how to attenuate the output of a reader antenna. The magazine was, and still is, designed to be a reference companies can turn to for insights and information, so they can deploy RFID technologies successfully, to improve efficiencies and lower costs.

To that end, the magazine provides business strategies for deciding how to use RFID, case studies illustrating how companies deployed RFID, specifics on how organizations in a particular sector are using RFID, and guidelines for choosing hardware and software, based on the application. In addition, we synthesize the lessons companies learn from their RFID deployments into best practices for new adopters. Our cover story in this issue examines best practices for rolling out an RFID system from one site to multiple locations (see Best Practices for Rolling Out RFID). We talked with end users who have led multisite rollouts, including Cisco's Maryanne Flynn and Disney's Vinny Pagliuca, and solution providers who have been involved with numerous multisite rollouts.

Photo: Tom Hurst | RIFID Journal
In some ways, rolling out RFID to multiple sites is no different from rolling out any new technology across the enterprise. You must develop business and deployment plans. But RFID is still a relatively new technology, and you want to make sure your plans address specific issues. That's where those with experience deploying RFID can help you avoid pitfalls and make smart choices. Among the questions our best practices story helps to answer are:

• Should you require that all sites use the same hardware and software or provide some latitude about specific technology?

• Are workflows and processes the same at all sites or will adjustments have to be made?

• Can you transition to RFID without interrupting current business processes?

• Do the new facilities have any unique characteristics that could affect the RF performance of the system?

The answers we provide to these questions and other critical issues will be valuable regardless of the RFID solution you plan to roll out.

The mining industry is not a sector often associated with high technology, but a few companies, such as Vale, have been rolling out RFID systems, to automate manual processes and improve worker safety. In fact, using RFID for personnel tracking is a growing trend in many developed regions. Now, Vale and other early adopters are paving the way for using RFID to enable ventilation-on-demand, which improves air quality underground and delivers significant cost savings (see Mining Companies Dig Deeper Into RFID).

RFID Journal also keeps readers up to date on RFID innovations. Our Product Developments story (see NFC Tags for New Business and Consumer Applications) looks at the many emerging Near Field Communication solutions (NFC), and the wide variety of NFC tags available for different applications.

If you're planning a multisite rollout, I hope you'll first take a few minutes to read our cover story. It could save you a lot of headaches down the road.

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