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

The Coming RFID Skills Crunch

Suppliers are scrambling to figure out how to tag pallets and cases for retailers. But where will companies find qualified experts to install RFID systems? Some experts are predicting an expensive war for talent.
By Bob Violino
Jul 27, 2003—By Paul Prince

July 28, 2003 - Successfully implementing an RFID system is no simple matter. Just ask CHEP, a global provider of shipping pallets and containers to Wal-Mart, Procter & Gamble and many other corporate giants. Over the past several years, CHEP has equipped about 250,000 pallets with RFID tags and
John Greaves
installed about 50 readers in its Florida service centers in a pilot involving some of its manufacturer, distributor and retailer customers. But CHEP found its pilot was slowed down at times because the installers lacked the experience to foresee potential deployment snafus.

In one case, a reader mysteriously stopped working. It turned out that an employee had sat down on some steelwork to have a cigarette and accidentally knocked an antenna array out of alignment. John Greaves, CHEP’s director of RFID at the time and now an independent RFID consultant based in Chicago, Ill., attributes the root cause of the problem to a shortage of installers with the experience needed to do the job correctly the first time around. "The deployment failed to protect against it against that possibility because the deployer failed to recognize the possibility," he says.

Following Wal-Mart’s June 11 announcement that its top 100 suppliers need to put RFID tags on pallets and cases starting in January 2005 (see Wal-Mart Spells Out RFID Vision), companies are scrambling to learn how to deploy RFID. If Wal-Mart's announcement spurs other retailers to follow suit -- and most experts believe it will -- then suppliers could be faced with a huge shortage of people with the expertise needed to deploy the technology. Some people predict that the shortage of trained engineers and technicians will be so severe that it will bust the RFID industry just as it starts to boom. Others experts say that technicians and engineers can be drawn from other fields -- such as the once-hot telecommunications industry -- and can be quickly trained by companies offering RFID deployment and integration services.

John Greaves recently cofounded the ePC Group because he has years of hands-on experience and recognized the need for experts who can help companies deploy RFID systems successfully. He believes that 50 percent of RFID implementations will fail due to an insufficient number of qualified RFID system designers and installers. "Demand for RFID deployments will skyrocket in the next two years," Greaves predicts, "and disappointments in deployments will skyrocket exponentially, too."

Some companies will just have to learn the way CHEP did — on the job. "We had a lot of pioneering scars along the way," says Brian Beattie, CHEP’s senior vice president of marketing. "We learned a lot about the tags and a lot about the readers—where you place the readers, which types of readers to use. You can use a wall-mount reader, a fork-lift-mounted reader, a hand-held reader, and there are circumstances where some of those are efficient and where some of those aren’t."

That kind of learning takes time, and with Wal-Mart's deadline just 18 months away, many suppliers just don't have the time to go to the school of hard knocks. So is there a crisis looming?
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 1,978 words and 4 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