Though three-quarters of the executives who responded to a recent survey dismiss the notion that radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags pose an immediate threat to the bar code, there's no question the technology's star is on the rise. That study, conducted among attendees at the Electronic Product Code (EPC) Symposium in Chicago last September, confirmed what everyone already suspected: The industry will be hitching its future to the RFID chip.
Conducted by one of the event's exhibitors, data-collection solutions vendor PSC Inc., the survey provides quantitative evidence that companies are about to push ahead with the largescale adoption of RFID. Although two-thirds of the survey participants acknowledged that they were not currently using RFID in their supply chains, 100 percent indicated that they planned to use or begin testing the technology within the next two years and nearly half (47 percent) said they planned to do so in the next year.
When asked about their plans to incorporate RFID into their operations, two-thirds of the respondents indicated that they would add RFID capability to their forklift truck fleets via vehicle-mounted terminals and 92 percent said they expected to use handheld readers.As for the role handheld readers will play as RFID adoption increases, 67 percent of the survey participants indicated that handhelds would continue to be used for exception handling and 32 percent that they would be used in conjunction with inexpensive test or starter kits as an alternative to fixed-position readers.
The survey was conducted among the 1,208 attendees at the three-day-long EPC Symposium, which was co-produced by Advanstar Communications Inc. and the MIT Auto-ID Center (which counts PSC among its sponsoring members). Survey participants included senior executives and operations, supply chain and IT managers of leading manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.