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

Laying the Foundation for RFID

At this year's U Connect conference, GS1 underscored the importance of global RFID standards to the open supply chain.
By Alexander C.H. Skorna and André Richter
Jul 31, 2007—By Mark Roberti

Each year in June, GS1, the nonprofit organization that oversees bar codes and other standards, holds an event to educate companies on the need for global standards for commerce and how to implement them. This year's event, U Connect, held in Orlando, Fla., underlined how important these standards are to the successful use of radio frequency identification in the open supply chain.

The big topic was data synchronization—the ability to share accurate data with supply-chain partners. While most companies say they have implemented global data synchronization, studies show that only about a third of supply-chain partners actually practice it.

Companies need to use their RFID implementations as a reason to develop processes for adhering to data synchronization.
Other topics on the agenda included electronic data interchange (EDI) and package measurement rules. There are standards for how companies share data over EDI networks, and even how they measure the size of packages. These issues might seem minor, but they are critical to avoiding supply-chain problems that sometimes lead to out-of-stocks and lost sales.

Getting data synchronization, EDI and even measurement standards in place before you implement an Electronic Product Code RFID system is critical. Why?

Let's say you assign an EPC to a new product—a case of 12-ounce shampoo bottles—and your retail partner thinks that that EPC represents a case of 10-ounce bottles, which has been phased out. Perhaps only 18 12-ounce bottles can be stored on the shelf, instead of 24 10-ounce bottles. After the retailer sells 18 bottles, it doesn't restock the shelf because it thinks there are six more bottles available.

Speakers at U Connect stressed the importance of these standards. During a panel discussion, Randy Mott, CIO of Hewlett-Packard (formerly CIO of Dell and Wal-Mart), was asked why RFID wasn't being adopted faster. He said: "One inhibitor is that systems can't deal with data. You have to have good processes, good systems and the ability to share accurate data in place to get the benefits. The foundation isn't there in a lot of cases. At this conference, we are talking about the foundation, and it's not fully implemented. Outside of that, I don't think there is a barrier."

Craig Herkert, CEO of Wal-Mart International, added: "It starts with having clean data. I can't tell you how important data synchronization is. It's the foundation on which everything else we want to do can be built."

Data synchronization isn't easy. One attendee from a health-care products company told RFID journal: "We fix our data, then a customer says it's wrong and we change it back. Then we fix it internally and then we get another customer who says it's wrong, and the sales guys ask the IT guys to change it again."

Companies need to use their RFID implementations as a reason to develop processes for adhering to data synchronization, EDI, package measurement and other standards. This is the foundation for implementing RFID and using EPC standards to collaborate with supply-chain partners. Without these standards in place, RFID implementations will not be successful. As Mott said during the panel: "Without standards, we are chaining ourselves to a world of complexity."

Illustration by the Hess Collection.
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 530 words and 1 page. 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