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

Dealing with the Data Flood

Companies need to adopt smart strategies for filtering the coming torrent of RFID data and getting useful information into their backend systems. Here are three that will work.
By Bob Violino
Apr 01, 2004—One of the huge advantages RFID technology has over bar codes, which require manual scanning, is that once the readers are installed, there’s no additional cost each time a tag is read. Readers can be installed throughout an enterprise to capture data that previously was just too costly to collect because people had to scan bar codes manually. But that benefit also represents a huge challenge: How do companies filter the torrent of information for the few nuggets that need to be routed to back-end systems so they can be acted upon?

This is a critical issue because companies forced to invest in an RFID system to meet a customer’s requirements or to stay competitive with the likes of Wal-Mart will recoup the expense only if the data from the readers can be turned into meaningful information that companies can use to cut costs, reduce inventory levels and improve profitability. The problem is the industry is immature and there are no off-the-shelf solutions that companies can purchase. In fact, some early adopters of RFID technology, including CHEP and Boeing, found they had to have their own IT departments write the software code because there were no other attractive options.

The situation is improving. Enterprise resource planning vendors have announced plans to release middleware that will link RFID readers with their ERP systems. A number of independent software vendors—both established players and startups—have introduced middleware products aimed at the RFID market. Application vendors have launched add-on modules, and large and small systems integrators are doing custom integration work.

Each type has pros and cons. The choice a company makes will depend on its size, budget, current IT systems and existing vendor relationships. Here’s an analysis of the different approaches and where they make sense. The box Links to the Back End highlights some of the companies offering products in each segment.

ERP Vendors
For a company that has recently invested in a new ERP system or upgraded an old one, the simplest solution is to purchase middleware from its ERP vendor. By taking that route, a company can feel fairly confident that the software will work well with its ERP system, since the same vendor developed it. And it’s likely the company will receive the same level of technical support it got for its ERP system. “The big selling point [of the ERP vendors] is the idea of having one platform for all enterprise applications with access to myriad databases and a consistent view of data across the applications,” says Christopher Boone, program manager for retail, U.S. vertical industry research at IDC, a technology research firm.

No matter how reliable the ERP vendor, integration products for RFID are still relatively new and untested. “RFID creates an enormous amount of data,” says Boone. “You need to make sure the middleware is robust enough to handle that onslaught of data and route it to the right database.” In some cases, organizations might have to install the middleware themselves, pay the ERP vendor to do it or hire a third-party systems integrator. “Whoever installs [the middleware] needs to know how it will impact systems,” Boone says.
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 1,388 words and 3 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