If you're a manufacturer and the topic is RFID, not much at this point. At least that's what the folks at Aberdeen Group say. "Radio-frequency identification (RFID) mandates serve different ends, none of which are focused at improving the state for manufacturers," the Massachusetts-based consultancy noted in a recent report.
So it's probably not surprising that manufacturers are dragging their feet when it comes to implementing RFID. "Manufacturers are concerned about margin erosion caused by implementing the new technology and are unwilling to do more than the minimum," the report notes. "They adopt RFID at the last possible minute, assuming that it will mitigate their implementation risks and reduce the overall costs." But they may be sorry they did. The Aberdeen report goes on to warn that delaying implementation will compound the risks, not mitigate them. "Those manufacturers that are holding back run the risk of not having enough time to make the technology work for them, thereby failing to meet the compliance deadlines and jeopardizing their business relationship with the mandating enterprises."
Still, companies that focus solely on meeting those compliance deadlines miss the point. If manufacturers expect to recoup their investment, they'll need to go well beyond simply complying with their customers' mandates and use the technology to streamline their own operations. "RFID technology promises improved operational efficiency and customer service through improved inventory management, process efficiencies, data accuracy, enhanced asset utilization, and reduced leakage," the consultants say."Manufacturers need to execute pilot programs, learn how best the technology will help them, implement the necessary compliance solutions within the deadline, and then expand the technology's use to gain the promised benefits and turn RFID into a business differentiator."
This report offers manufacturers insight into how their peers are implementing RFID technologies and provides them with a competitive framework to find out where they stand in the industry. For more details, visit www.aberdeen.com.