Commentary: Three challenges for RFID

Retailers’ mandates for adoption of radio frequency identification technology mean suppliers have their work cut out for them. [CNET]

• Define rules for where to tag a case. Consumer goods suppliers like Clorox and Black & Decker need guidelines for tag orientation by product category–such as “place tag in upper-right corner of the case when it contains liquid products in round bottles.” Industry rules will cut testing time and consulting costs.

• Deliver source-tagging infrastructure. Suppliers like Dow Chemical and Eastman Kodak need RFID infrastructure that works in high-speed production environments. The reason: Suppliers will only recoup compliance investments if they push RFID into manufacturing facilities–which would allow them to realize benefits like better inventory management across the distribution network.

• Provide better interfaces between readers and applications. Right now, suppliers need an additional layer of RFID middleware–from vendors like OATSystems, Savi Technologies and ConnecTerra–to get the right data from readers and into applications like warehouse management. The drawback: added expense and integration overhead for overtaxed RFID compliance teams.

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