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Setting the path toward RFID adoption

Widespread RFID adoption is slower than expected, but early adopters are beginning to see results according to one expert. As best practices emerge, more companies will evaluate whether RFID will fit into their supply chain footprint. This checklist gives a general overview of where to begin.

Companies who have deployed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to better manage their supply chain have yet...

to see any real documented ROI. Still, these same companies are finding value in the technology's capabilities.

A lot of companies are looking at how to use RFID to improve their processes, which is a very, very complex thing to do.
Jeff Woods,
analystGartner Inc.

RFID, which can be used to identify and track products as they move through the supply chain, is becoming increasingly important to managers who wish to increase the efficiency, and therefore the bottom line, of their company.

"A lot of companies are looking at how to use RFID to improve their processes, which is a very, very complex thing to do," said Jeff Woods, an analyst with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. "The processes themselves have already been optimized considerably, and so to go even further requires quite a bit of ingenuity."

Some suppliers have adopted, or are thinking about adopting, RFID to comply with regulations set forth by retailers, such as Wal-Mart, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Food and Drug Administration. Other companies seek to integrate the technology simply because they see its benefits.

Regardless of the motivation, companies should take into account any potential security issues, Woods said.

"We are currently looking at a lot of deployments that don't take enterprise class security seriously," Woods said. "Security should be the primary concern. If deployments are not secured initially and security is not built in, then an RFID project could fail."

To ensure a smooth transition to the technology, companies must do their research, which includes a roadmap to adoption.

  Getting started  

  • What is RFID?

  • Is it right for me (or my company)?

  • What are some advantages to RFID?

  • What types of vendors are out there?

      Building the case  

  • What is SAP doing to incorporate RFID into its products?

  • What other companies have tried RFID? How did it work for them?

  • What factors are currently holding up adoption of RFID?

  • How can my company determine if RFID project will result in a return on investment (ROI)?
  • Dig Deeper on SAP and GRC

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