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The Characteristics and Development of RFID - Radio frequency identification.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page Case Summary 1 Introduction 2 The Characteristics and Development of RFID 3 Significant of RFID Technology 4 RFID Benefits versus Barcode 5 RFID within Retailing 7 Implications and Recommendation 7 Conclusions 8 References 9 Appendix CASE SUMMARY Wal-Mart, the world leading retailer, announced it will expand its rollout of radio frequency identification (RFID) to a total of 300 suppliers by 2006, following meeting with its top vendors. The retailer's top 100 suppliers have already agreed to implement RFID by January 2005. Wal-Mart plans to have the inventory tracking system, which uses radio frequency technology, in six distribution centers and 250 Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club stores by next June. By October of next year, the program will include up to 13 distribution centers and up to 600 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. By the start of 2006, Wal-Mart's next top 200 suppliers will begin tagging cased and pallets, bringing the total to 300 vendors. INTRODUCTION Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been in commercial use since the early 1980s. It has been employed, for instance, on highway and bridge tolls, in tracking livestock movements, in tracking airfreight and in motorcar manufacturing, but until recently, the technology has been too expensive and too limited for mass commercial applications. ...read more.


The rationale of decreasing application of barcode is that RFID allows for non-contact reading of data, which makes it effective for manufacturing and other hostile environment where bar code labels may not perform well. The optical nature of barcode requires labels to be "seen" by lasers. That line-of-sight between label and reader is often difficult, impractical, or even impossible to achieve in industrial environments. In order to function properly, a bar code reader must have clean, clear optics, the label must be clean and fee of abrasion, and the reader and label must be properly oriented with respect to each other. In contrast, RFID is established in a wide range of applications. It enables tag reading from a greater distance, even in harsh environments. Moreover, the information imprinted on a barcode is fixed and cannot be changed. ActiveWave RFID tags, on the other hand, have electronic memory similar to what is in your computer or digital camera to store information about the inventory or equipment. This information can be dynamically updated. Generally, the advantages of RFID over barcode technology have been summarized into few points. Initially, no line of sight requirement; second, the tag can stand a harsh environment; third, in a long read range; forth, database is portable; firth, has multiple tag read/write; last but not least, feasible in tracking people, items, and equipment in real time. ...read more.


There are also concerns about how retailers will manage the sheer volume of data generated by RFID. Meanwhile, retailers will also need to integrate their RFID systems and the data they generate with the other functional databases and applications such as accounts and customer relationship management. The introduction of RFID technology will also generate major training needs for retailers and their suppliers and distributors to allow their employees to use the new systems and master new job functions. CONCLUSION The need to present more valuable service for the customers and, at the same time, to cut the cost of delivery process is the most difficult supply chain management (Christopher, 1992). The advent of RFID technology has been heralded as providing retailers many powerful potential benefits. The benefits achieved by retailers using RFID in their processes are not only to enable automatic goods receipt, but also to expediting inventory counts from shelves as well as major reduction in checkout costs. In addition, the development of new after-sales services using RFID technology can yield substantial new benefit to the customer. To sum up, the biggest benefits of adopting RFID technology in retailing come from the ability to identify products without needing to manually handle them. This enables more efficient processes as visibility to the products in the shelves and in the backroom is achieved. Similarly, the ability to make an inventory count in the households of e-grocery customers also makes totally new service models possible. ...read more.

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