RedPrairie Launches RFID Bundle

By Jonathan Collins

Supply chain solutions provider launches a package of RFID software and services to speed compliance with retailer requirements.

Supply chain solutions provider RedPrairie has launched a bundled package of applications and services aimed at companies looking to quickly deploy RFID technology to comply with retailer requirements. The new suite, named RFID 360, brings together RedPrairie’s existing RFID middleware, the company’s RFID design, consulting and implementation services, and access to its RFID lab, where tagged-products and proof of concept can be tested.

James LeTart

“RFID is still very much a custom design for most companies. It is not just about deploying hardware and software, so we are trying to provide the additional services around that application cycle,” says James LeTart, communications manger at RedPrairie, which is based in Waukesha, Wis.

On the software side, the RFID 360 offering can comprise any of RedPrairie's software products combined with services from the company. RedPrairie’s RFID Data Manager application is a central component in all its RFID products as it handles the filtering and aggregation of data from RFID readers. The company says it will remain agnostic regarding which reader hardware its software will connect with. “We’ve been working with both Alien and Matrics and class 0 and 1 tags,” says LeTart.

RedPrairie’s two additional middleware applications are targeted at company’s looking to test and deploy RFID. Intended for pilot implementations, RedPrairie’s RFID Igniter manages the printing, reading and tracking of RFID tag-embedded labels. RFID Accelerator, which the company launched in July 2003 (see RedPrairie Debuts RFID App Module), includes the same functionality as the RFID Igniter software but adds internal processing and advance shipping notice (ASN) capabilities required for full compliance with RFID mandates from the DOD, Wal-Mart, Target and other major retailers.

According to RedPrairie, both the Igniter and the Accelerator products can be integrated with any distribution platform, regardless of whether it’s a legacy host, enterprise resource planning (ERP), warehouse management system (WMS) or manufacturing execution system (MES) application. The company says that although its RFID deployments have tended to be in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and food and beverage industries, the RFID 360 expands the applicability of its software to other industries.

“These bolt-on applications bring a way to market to any industry. There’s nothing vertical about it,” says LeTart.

For its existing customers moving to deploy RFID, RedPrairie announced DLx MAX: RFID-enabled versions of its existing supply chain execution products. The first application of the suite to natively use RFID processing is DLx Warehouse/MAX, which the company released on April 15. RedPrairie plans to roll out DLx MAX versions of its labor and transport management applications in October, says LeTart.

The services included in RFID 360 can include RFID training, application selection, business case development, product and proof-of-contest testing, hardware selection, installation and tuning, systems integration, pilot design and evaluation, and project management.

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