Recognition for RFID Leaders

By Andrew Price

Introducing the winners of the first annual RFID Journal Awards.

By Mark Roberti

Our goal in launching the RFID Journal Awards was to encourage more companies to come forward and speak about their RFID projects publicly, as well as to highlight the best projects so others could learn from them. We succeeded beyond my expectations on both counts.

First, nearly 50 companies submitted entries to the awards. I had expected no more than 25 to 30. Many of the projects were worthy of praise. Some were highly innovative. It was hard to choose just one winner in each category. In the end, the panel of six independent judges whittled it down to three winners:

• Hewlett-Packard Brazil for best RFID implementation;

• DHL for best use of RFID in a product or service;

• Dow AgroSciences for most innovative use of RFID.

Our cover story package features a case study of each of the winners. I have no doubt that the lessons learned described in each article will benefit all readers, regardless of their industry. You'll see how Hewlett-Packard Brazil is using RFID to track individual printers, improving supply-chain management, and manufacturing and distribution processes (see Keeping Tabs on Printers).

You'll learn how DHL created a value-added service for companies shipping temperature-sensitive goods by using RFID temperature sensors to monitor goods in transit. The solution could help pharmaceutical companies save millions of dollars and help DHL enhance customer loyalty (see A Prescription for Spoiled Drugs).

And you'll find out how Dow AgroSciences used RFID to improve its termite-detection system, reducing the time it takes authorized operators to check bait traps (see Getting the Bugs Out). Even if you aren't in the pest-control business, I'm sure the article will open your eyes about just how many ways RFID can be used to drive business value. In fact, I know you will be as impressed with these projects as the six independent judges were.

Elsewhere in this issue, we look at a new breed of reporting and analytics software packages that is helping both manufacturers and retailers make sense of all the data culled from tracking RFID-tagged cases and pallets (see Reporting for Duty).

Our Vertical Focus examines how more than 20 nonmilitary agencies within the U.S. government—including the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Agriculture—are moving forward with a wide variety of RFID projects. Many are participating in an intra-governmental RFID forum, which includes military agencies, to share RFID knowledge (see RFID Takes Root in Washington).

Perhaps one of these civilian government agencies will be among next year's award winners. I hope that if you have a great project—or you are a vendor supplying hardware, software or integration services for a great project—you'll participate in next year's awards program. We'd love to feature you in the 2008 awards issue of this magazine.