Forget Cost, Think ROI with RFID

Jun 03, 2003

By George Anderson

Concerns about the cost of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are keeping retailers and manufacturers from realizing the benefits of the technology, according to James Crawford, vice president, Retail Forward.

Mr. Crawford told attendees at the recent RFID World Conference, “Current thinking about the penny tag blinds retailers and manufacturers to the real, tangible benefits of nearer-term RFID solutions.” His advice, “stop worrying about the penny tag — it’s simply not relevant.”

David Slinger, vice president, Texas Instruments (a manufacturer of RFID technology) told the audience, RFID delivers a return on investment by reducing risk, building productivity, harnessing information and ultimately helping businesses gain a competitive edge.

“Real ROI”, Mr. Slinger said, “is not measured against a return on the expense and investment — instead it should be measured against how fast a company gains strategic or competitive value.”

Moderator’s Comment: Are the concerns about the costs
of RFID technology misplaced? Does the return on investment warrant its use?

Developing a RFID system is not something that can be
done overnight. A recent IBM study found 68 percent of companies surveyed had
made little to no investment in RFID technology.

While most retailers fret over the cost (and it is considerable),
Wal-Mart is getting busy testing the technology. How has playing catch up to
the folks in Bentonville worked out so far? [George
Anderson – Moderator

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