Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology helps today's companies track and control goods as they move through the supply chain. But the broad investments required for RFID-enablement are risky, since standards for the technology are still evolving and there are high costs involved in maintaining unintegrated RFID systems.
  • There are challenges
  • New kinds of readers for distance reading
  • RFID for consumer applications
For more information about the challenges you'll face in adopting and integrating RFID tags, readers, and the hardware and software infrastructure they require, check out white papers from RFID technology suppliers.

Wal-Mart and DoD

Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense have kicked the RFID industry into high gear by announcing that all of their suppliers must tag shipping containers with the devices (Angeles, 2005). Wal-Mart has imposed this on their top 100 suppliers beginning in January 2005. At this point, the requirement applies to shipping containers and does not extend to individual product packages.

The influence of these two big customers is causing all companies to evaluate whether they should begin adopting RFID tagging systems. Both organizations maintain that RFID tags will improve their performance in moving products, reduce the costs of managing them, and reduce product losses.
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