Many major organizations, including Wal-Mart, Metro Group, Target, Tesco and the United States Department of Defense, have adopted the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track goods in their supply chain. RFID has the potential to solve a wide variety of problems, such as counterfeiting, inventory inaccuracies and complying with the increasing number of track-and-trace regulations, according to RFID Technology. This new tracking system allows companies the potential to increase business efficiency.
RFID technology provides a variety of possible benefits to consumers. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), some of the benefits include faster recovery of stolen items, consumer savings stemming from reduced operating costs, improved security of prescription drugs, more reliable product recalls and improved food safety and quality.
"RFID is a valuable technology that will provide unparalleled benefits for retailers and consumers," said David Hogan, chief information officer of the NRF. "As RFID technology continues to develop, it will be implemented in a way that will not jeopardize the trust retailers share with their customers."
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. recently announced plans for expanding its trial of RFID tags. "We discussed implementation plans with our next top 200 suppliers," said Linda Dillman, executive vice president of Wal-Mart in Information Week. "Over the next 16 months, we also plan to significantly increase the number of Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club locations where customers can benefit from this revolutionary technology."
By June 2005, Wal-Mart expects to have the RFID project in up to six distribution centers across the United States, and as many as 250 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club locations, according to Information Week. By October 2005, that number will jump to approximately 13 distribution centers and as many as 600 Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores.
NRF has developed an RFID Resource Center, which provides a comprehensive source of information related to RFID. "RFID is quickly becoming a reality for retailers," said Hogan. "This resource center is designed to keep retailers informed with the latest developments and reach out to consumers to create awareness of the exciting benefits of this emerging technology."
The RFID Resources Center is located at www.nrf.com/rfid .