July 15, 2005 RFID is an important technology for the future and with major purchasers such as the US Department of Defense and America’s largest retailer Walmart mandating the use of RFID by its suppliers, the clock is ticking to embrace the new technology for many suppliers and indeed, for everyone in retail, logistics and supply chain management to assess the technology. This week Baltimore based Barcoding Inc. released several RFID kits that will allow companies to comply with the Wal-Mart mandates as well as investigate the technology for future use in their own supply chain. Currently there are three main reasons why companies are purchasing RFID technology: they are complying with customer mandates, they are evaluating the technology for their own use, or they are preparing for the future. Barcoding Inc. has created three kits, each addressing one of these reasons. There’s also a useful downloadable 10 page overview of RFID.
The RFID Mandate Kit allows companies to comply with customer mandates by creating EPC compliant Global Trade Identification Numbers (GTIN). The software will then extract data from their ERP system which is then included in an RFID tag that is placed on each carton & pallet that is shipped. These kits are a one-stop solution to allow companies to continue selling to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defence, and other customers that are requiring RFID tags on shipments.
Barcoding’s RFID Evaluation/Lab Kit allows companies to experiment with RFID technology by using it in a controlled environment to better understand how the technology can be used in their supply chain. It includes an RFID printer/encoder, a portable RFID reader, a fixed mount RFID reader, RFID tags, and RFID encoding software.
The RFID Readiness Kits are designed for companies that anticipate the future use of RFID yet do not want to lose any of the investments they are currently making in automated data collection technology; therefore all items in the readiness kits are firmware-upgradeable to RFID. Printers from Zebra Technologies along with Intermec mobile computers make up this kit.
"RFID is here to stay. Implementing a new technology, especially RFID, will always pose its challenges. However, one way to minimize the up front work involved in researching the right products is to look for a 'Ready, Out-Of-The-Box' solution," said David Shapiro, Director of Marketing for Barcoding Inc. "Barcoding Inc. is the leader in the field of automated data collection and has put together a series of RFID kits to make the leap into the world of RFID an easy one. The promise of RFID technology is that it can improve almost any company’s workflow, however the RFID market is still young and many companies are remaining cautious."
The Barcoding RFID kits can range between US$3000 and US$15,000 while implementing a full-RFID system can easily exceed US$1 million dollars depending on the size and scope of the project.
Barcoding Inc. is releasing these three kits as a result of customer reaction they received at their recent end-user conferences held in Baltimore, Richmond, and Philadelphia. These conferences brought together the main developers of auto-mated data collection to discuss with end-users the future of barcoding & RFID technology.