Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Listen Up, Laggards!

It's time to get up to speed on RFID, before your competitors leave you in the dust.
By Samuel Greengard
Apr 27, 2016

Several years ago, being an RFID laggard could be considered a safe, even smart move. After all, RFID was an expensive new technology that didn't always work so well. Let other aerospace and energy companies, hospitals, manufacturers, logistics providers and retailers figure out where and how to use it—and whether it was possible to achieve a return on investment.

Well, early adopters in each of those industries did exactly that. They worked with RFID providers and standards organizations and, as a result, the technology has improved, prices have dropped and standards have coalesced. Just as important, companies in each industry have developed solid business cases for employing RFID, and many have shared information documenting the benefits, including cost savings, improved efficiencies, better inventory control, safer operations and more satisfied customers.

Illustration: iStockphoto
To be sure, RFID is still not a plug-and-play technology. Any reliable RFID provider or systems integrator will advise companies considering RFID to first conduct testing to demonstrate proof of concept and then pilot the technology. That's one of the critical best practices early adopters have developed for deploying the technology successfully.

And RFID has not yet reached the tipping point in any industry, though that's likely to occur in apparel retail within the next year or two. The need to compete in an omnichannel world is one of the business cases driving adoption. Retailers now understand that in-store inventory accuracy is key to omnichannel retailing, and RFID is the only efficient way to achieve it. In a recent Tuned In column, Bill Hardgrave, dean of Auburn University's Harbert College of Business and founder of the RFID Research Center, said: "I firmly believe retailers must adapt to an omnichannel world or they will not survive."

RFID adoption is making steady gains in most other sectors. Recently, David Johnson, American Woodmark's materials technology and projects manager, said custom and office furniture manufacturers "are coming around to RFID" because they understand how the technology can address manufacturing problems by providing visibility into the production process (see Automating Craftsmanship). American Woodmark adopted the technology enterprisewide to better compete in the remodeling and new-home construction markets.

In fact, there's been a notable shift in this magazine's Vertical Focus articles, which examine RFID adoption in particular sectors. In the past, each story typically highlighted a few early adopters that were benefiting from RFID and explained the challenges the industry faced in using the technology, including identifying the business case, cost and tag readability. Now the benefit-challenge balance has shifted in diverse industries, including steel manufacturers, mining companies, airports, horticultural firms, and wine and spirits makers. In each sector, the business cases have been identified, and while some deployment challenges still exist, more end users are adopting RFID and seeing a return on their investment.

In some industries, government regulations are driving RFID adoption. Farmers worldwide, for example, are using the technology to identify livestock for disease management and prevention. In the United States, medical device manufacturers and food producers are exploring the technology to meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates. The FDA's Unique Device Identification system requires that most medical devices carry a unique device identifier to facilitate quick and efficient recalls. The Food Safety Modernization Act, which takes effect in January 2017, will require growers to monitor environmental conditions. Other companies are adopting RFID to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or facilitate state audits. In each case, organizations that adopt RFID to meet these regulations also find internal benefits.

In 2016, being an RFID laggard is no longer a smart or safe move. "In today's global business environment, technology innovation is the key to success," states Nandini Bhattacharya, a Frost & Sullivan senior research analyst. "Laggard companies are left behind by their peers. RFID is a critical component because it works in tandem with many other technologies."

To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,680 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco