For some lucky suppliers, compliance with Wal-Mart's RFID mandate may be as easy as bolting some software onto their existing computer systems. Provia Software has announced that its "RFIDware" bolt-on compliance kit meets all of the technical requirements set forth by the Behemoth of Bentonville when it met with top suppliers in November. Wal-Mart is requiring its 100 largest suppliers to begin attaching RFID tags to incoming pallets and cases by January 2005.
"RFIDware" is an Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compliant RFID solution designed to give product suppliers and third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) with an existing WMS (warehouse management system), ERP (enterprise resource planning) system or host system an easy means of becoming RFID compliant. The EPC, by the way, is a unique number that identifies a specific item and can be stored on an RFID tag. Once it's retrieved from the tag, it can be associated with data such as an item's place of origination or date of production.