If you answered no to that question, be forewarned: You could face a RFID tag supply problem in the next few weeks.
With RFID mandates from big retailers like Wal-Mart kicking in Jan. 1, analysts believe demand for tags is about to spike. That has raised concerns about supplies. At a panel discussion at last month's Frontline Show in Chicago, representatives from some of the top RFID tag manufacturers said they were worried that too many companies were waiting to place their orders and that tag-makers would be swamped at the last minute as a result.
It's not that they aren't prepared to ramp up production; Tag producers say they can crank out 10 millions tags per month apiece. But because order volume has been lighter than anticipated, they haven't had the opportunity to test the bounds of their production capacity. Given their limited experience with tag production cycle and delivery times, they warn, they can't guarantee they'll be able to fill all orders immediately. Tag buyers should be prepared for possible delays.
Still, potential production delays may not spell disaster. Although Wal-Mart has not officially announced any extension of the Jan. 1 compliance deadline for its Top 100 suppliers, DC VELOCITY has heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that the Bentonville, Ark., retailer is, in fact, granting some rather generous extensions on a case-by case basis.