Many organizations are considering RFID as a means of business process improvement, enabling a more visible and effective supply chain and better tracking of corporate assets, notes a report from ABI Research. RFID technology reliability — and its business case — can top cost as the leading consideration.
RFID, or radio frequency identification, has gained ascendancy in the corporate world more by fiat than through efforts to persuade suppliers that the technology could deliver internal returns — at least, in the beginning. With the requirement to deploy it or lose contracts handed down by such entities as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and the Department of Defense, partners scrambled to comply.
The dream of RFID is losing out to other technologies in the contest to transform the supply chain, writes Niall Byrne. RFID has been hyped as the next big thing in supply chain management but the technology has several shortcomings that will prevent its rollout in all but the most ideal environments.
Instead, voice-directed logistics is gaining momentum as the emerging trend that most companies are likely to follow.
Wal-Mart and other large retailers have been a major driving force behind radio frequency identification (RFID) adoption, causing it to be viewed merely as a more effective alternative to bar codes where it saves billions through reduced labor costs, out-of-stock expenses, theft, warehouse management costs and inventory levels. However, improvement in supply chain identification may only be the tip of the RFID iceberg—billions of dollars in the form of new business opportunities may lie beneath the waterline.