Webcast Reveals RFID Concerns, Challenges

The Webcast, An Introduction to RFID and EPC – Streamlining Your Supply Chain: Solutions for End Users, confirms companies are still hungry for RFiD information, concerned about costs, and anxious about meeting mandated requirements and deadlines.

“Our Webcast drew sizeable attendance from countries such as Argentina, Czech Republic, Indonesia … many of which aren’t facing EPC mandate deadlines, said Bob Cornick, Zebra’s vice president and general manager of RFID.

“From the questions and comments we received, it’s evident that companies that are or will be participating in pilot programs supporting the Wal-Mart, Target, and Department of Defense initiatives, for the most part understand the technology and what they must do to comply. It’s the many hundreds of companies that will soon follow suit that are looking for answers and struggling to understand the value of RFID, which Zebra can help them do.”

In a nutshell, here’s what participants revealed:

  • Cost: Not surprisingly, companies are still wrestling with issues of
    cost. Realizing cost benefits and understanding the value proposition
    of RFID is a top concern. There is a lack of clear information
    available on the costs associated with implementation, RFID tags, and
    upgrading the technology as it advances.
  • Tag quality: Tag strength, readability, resilience, data capacity,
    size, type, and failure rate, are also areas of concern companies say they want to learn more about.
  • Data management: Companies indicate there’s is confusion
    about the need to manage large amounts of data that may be generated
    from an RFID implementation and how such data will affect
    current systems.
  • Implementation: Understanding and selecting RFID system components,
    and how to integrate with existing information systems remains a top
    challenge for companies, as well as selecting partners for pilot
  • Bar code v. RFID: Companies need more information on where
    and when to use RFID in the supply chain, and when it pays to stick
    with bar coding.
  • Standards: The lack of defined electronic product code (EPC) standards and how they will evolve globally is another big concern.
  • Meeting customer requirements: As the EPC compliance date draws
    closer, companies are questioning if they can meet the mandated
    deadlines of their customers.
  • Overcoming obsolescence: Companies wonder whether technology put into place today will serve them down the road as EPC and ISO
    standards for RFID evolve and as new products are introduced.
  • Global rollout: Global companies are unclear on if, and when, they can implement an EPC labeling system globally and what impact it will have.
  • Interested in RFiD and wonder what your peers think? What they are doing? Check out our IT Management Forum. If none of the threads your meet needs, feel free to start a new discussion.

    This article was compiled and edited by CIO Update staff. Please direct any questions regarding its content to Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.