Carey Hidaka, Executive Consultant, IBM Global Services, 847/805-2404; email@example.com
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless technology with roots extending back to the end of World War II. It has served as the foundation for familiar consumer vertical applications like secure access control (badged door entry), electronic toll collection, electronic article surveillance (EAS), pet recovery/identification, and e-wallet retail sales (Mobil Speedpass). However, RFID has only recently achieved notoriety as a stimulus for dramatically increasing supply chain visibility with announcements by Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Albertsons, and the U.S. Department of Defense, requiring their suppliers to tag shipments using RFID. With those mandates as a backdrop, advocates are betting on RFID as the catalyst for improving performance in the supply chain, and ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. The challenges to wholesale adoption continue to be RFID’s significant investment cost and rapid technological change, which limit buy-in by those suppliers expected to provide RFID tags on cases and pallets of products.