If you've ever yearned to join the ranks of techies, now's the time to pursue that dream. Tech skills—particularly those relating to RFID technology—are in short supply in the logistics and supply chain sector these days. With upwards of 60,000 businesses facing RFID mandates from their trading partners in the next several years, the industry faces a serious shortage of qualified RFID integrators. That scarcity could slow adoption of the technology for many companies.
To address the problem, Texas Instruments, Intermec Technologies and several others recently joined forces with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to develop a vendor-neutral certification program in RFID technology. They will be joined by the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM Global); FC Business Systems, which provides end-to-end RFID integration services; OTA Training, which specializes in RFID training; and ScanSource Inc., which distributes specialty technologies. By including players from all facets of the business—from product manufacturers and distributors to education and training firms to end-users—the coalition can ensure that hardware, software and business processes all are addressed, says David Sommer, CompTIA's vice president, electronic commerce.
Sommer says creating a vendor-neutral certification that provides a standard method of measuring competencies in the technologies in use today will benefit the entire industry. In some instances, the benefits will be lower costs for activities like training, recruiting and hiring. A certification that validates technical skills and on-the-job experience also could spur growth of the RFID market and may help minimize the period of disenchantment and letdown that often follows the adoption of a new technology.
"Organizations can more readily determine the ability of their business partners to deliver RFID solutions through the use of an industry-accepted certification," Sommer says. "Customers will have more confidence in working with solutions providers with demonstrated and validated expertise in RFID."