RFID update

Seven years after the Wal-Mart RFID mandate, RFID is alive and growing in the supply chain.

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“Wal-Mart Radio Tags To Track Clothing.”

That was the headline of a story in The Wall Street Journal this past July. For many in the materials handling business, it was a déjà vu moment. After all, seven years earlier Wal-Mart announced what came to be known as “the mandate,” the goal to have all suppliers tagging cases and pallets with RFID smart tags by the end of 2006.

Anyone who ships to Wal-Mart knows how that worked out. But, let’s give the retailer credit where credit is due: Without that mandate, we might not be talking about RFID today. And make no mistake about it, when it comes to tackling problems in the supply chain, leading companies of all sizes are talking about RFID.

“The euphoria around Wal-Mart spurred a lot of innovation by the RFID industry,” says Kerry Krause, vice president of marketing for Impinj, a provider of RFID readers and silicon chips. “You saw investments in reader technology, chip technology and software that arguably accelerated the progress of the technology.”

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The future of RFID for pallet tracking and other unanswered questions
Pallet expert Marshall White answers your questions about pallets

Retailers and manufacturers announce joint effort to advance use of item-level RFID
Members of Item Level RFID Initiative releases plans to guide adoption of RFID technology in retail.

RFID: Delivering on the promise of real-time visibility
After years of talk, end users are putting RFID into action. How about 200% growth in budgeted spending for 2010.

Retail deployment pushes RFID 2011 revenue growth over 16%
According to ABI Research, the industry is seeing continued strong growth potential in RFID markets worldwide



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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