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RFID Users Share Their Wish Lists

Here are the product developments they'd like to see in 2012.
Mar 28, 2012

"As a small mom-and-pop retailer, we are considering RFID item-level tagging for higher-value items. This would have the advantage of helping us with managing sales inventory, loss prevention and individual item placement for expiration management. For us, the major obstacle is no longer either RFID tag unit cost or reader cost; instead, it's the lack of any reasonable or affordable integrated point-of-sale capability, as well as the serious workflow deficiencies for item-level tag application and cataloging."

—Hal Lasell, CIO, The British Pantry, Springfield, Va.

* * *

"We've begun placing passive tags on expensive 'slow-mover' pharmaceuticals, and placing these medications in a smart cabinet that can read the tags, in hopes that we can save money by increasing turns and lessening the chance they will expire unused. We've shown that we can save money and ensure that we always have the appropriate quantity on hand, but this is just the tip of the iceberg for things we can gain with RFID technology. For example, there is major potential for patient and medication safety that we aren't even able to get into yet.

"On my wish list are, of course, cheaper tags, but also more cooperation between the drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical wholesalers for tagging pharmaceuticals higher up in the supply chain, before they reach the pharmacy. Doing so will bring many benefits, one of which is a full electronic pedigree system for reducing counterfeit medications and improving supply-chain logistics."

—S. John Johnson, director of pharmacy, Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, Calif.

* * *

"NASCAR began using RFID in 2006, to verify inspected parts (chassis and fuel cells). It's a time-saving matter for the teams, and a safety issue for NASCAR. This year, NASCAR will unveil the "portal," so parts can be verified as they roll past the stationary reader. But due to the metal and car configuration, we haven't found a UHF reader that can identify all 11 tags on a car. We need an enhanced reader, which would also help us with other RFID applications, to ensure level competition and reduce event staff."

—Jerry Kaproth, safety coordinator, NASCAR, Charlotte, N.C.

* * *

"Seminole County tracks more than 9,600 items, to improve inventory management and ensure compliance with federal, state and local policy. The items vary from handheld radios to fire-rescue vehicles, and we currently have to use a variety of UHF tags and readers. To simplify the process and help control costs, we would like to be able to tag all items using one durable, reliable RFID tag that works in multiple weather conditions and on different surfaces."

—Betsy J. Cohen, procurement administrator, Seminole County Government, Sanford, Fla.

* * *

"Dow is deploying RFID and other auto-ID technologies to improve work processes across many functions, and to facilitate track-and-trace visibility and security on its global shipments. I'd like to see more integration of GPS and RFID technology in track-and-trace devices—coupled with additional sensor technology—to allow continuous monitoring of the conditions our shipments encounter. With thousands of shipments a day, we need to leverage tracking and sensor technology with event- management software, to drive alerts when business rules are violated, moving us closer to a monitor-by-exception supply chain."

—J. Craig Castro, global leader, RFID, GPS, Auto ID and Telemetry Expertise Center, The Dow Chemical Co., South Charleston, W.V.

Illustration: iStockphoto
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