What would the expected cost and savings be for small, large and manufacturing businesses, as well as distribution centers (DCs) and service businesses? A small business would be any company that meets the size standard determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. A large business would be any firm that does not meet that standard. A manufacturing business would be any company that transforms raw materials into finished goods. A DC would be a facility that ships to approximately 800 stores. And a service business would be any that provides services to earn an income, instead of selling goods.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to provide even the most general answer to this question, because there are simply too many variables. It is sort of like asking for the cost and savings of software for a small business, a manufacturing business and so forth. It depends on the company's industry, processes, applications, willingness to use the technology and so on. You might have two small businesses with the same number of employees and identical revenue, that deploy RFID in completely different ways and achieve separate benefits.
Take a small publishing company and a small manufacturer, for instance. The publisher's business might be conducted almost entirely on computers; files might be sent to a printer, so there would be almost nothing to track. The manufacturer, on the other hand, might have parts bins, molds, tools and finished goods that could be tracked profitably. One manufacturer might have several thousand assets valued at $500 and up that are worth tracking, while another might have a few hundred valued at $30,000 and up. The cost and return on investment would be dramatically different for each.
As the technology matures, it might be possible to aggregate information so that researchers or consultants might be able to show that manufacturers of a particular size in a specific industry spend a certain amount on average and achieve a particular level of benefit—but right now, that data is unfortunately not available.
—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal
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