Best Practices for RFID Adoption and Implementation
Released on: July 17, 2008, 6:06 pm
Press Release Author: GAO RFID Inc. Staff Editor
Press Release Summary: Toronto, Canada - GAO RFID Inc.'s (http://www.GAORFID.com) focus and expertise is based on successful customer deployments, empirical testing and innovative design. To this end we offer these 10 Best Practices for the adoption and implementation of your RFID initiative.
Press Release Body: Toronto, Canada - GAO RFID Inc.'s (http://www.GAORFID.com) focus and expertise is based on successful customer deployments, empirical testing and innovative design. To this end we offer these 10 Best Practices for the adoption and implementation of your RFID initiative. START NOW An early start is necessary to research the technology, determine partners with whom to work, and address the process changes required within the company. DO YOUR SUPPLIES HOMEWORK FIRST There are a number of vendors all providing a variety of antenna/chip designs for end-users' consideration. The components of smart media including tags, label material backings, adhesives, etc., need to come together precisely so that the finished product encodes properly, performs as needed on the products to which they are affixed, and provides the wear and tear required over its life cycle. Getting smart labels right could be the single-most important decision of your entire RFID implementation, because they carry electronic product code (EPC) data. If the smart labels do not work, all the rest of your RFID architecture will not make up for it. Work closely with a reputable RFID Media vendor. COMPLETE DUE DILIGENCE WHEN RESEARCHING RFID OFFERINGS. RFID implementations can require a variety of readers and/or tags based on what types of items are being read (wood, paper, metal, liquid), how far the readers need to be from the tags, and the speed at which items are moving past the readers. If your company plans to use its existing bar code label formats as the basis for compliance smart labels, their size and layout will set requirements for the size, thickness, and antenna design of the tag. Because of these interdependencies, all decisions on RFID components-readers, printers/encoders, supplies, and so on, should be synergistic. An RFID supplier can assist in determining the "Best Approach" in selecting the right tag for the application. A good place to start once the most appropriate product offerings have been identified is to have a variety of tags tested on your products by your RFID integrator. Once tags are selected, choose hardware that has a solid track record in supporting those tag types. SELECTING THE RIGHT PARTNERS Finding the best fit of partners to work with depends on a number of considerations, including level of expertise in your specific vertical, cost, availability of personnel, location and presentation of a solid deployment and implementation plan. Even the best tag and reader implementation can't help a deployment that is not thought through to its end. The presented solution, even though it represents a new technology spin for your company, must be designed and implemented with the least interruption of day to day operations. PILOT THE PROJECT Starting small makes a project a lot less intimidating and reduces costs by saving on mistakes that could disrupt operations. A "pilot deployment" will quickly reveal overlooked or unforeseen hindrances. Pilots are designed to address obstacles and difficulties in getting good read rates, having to make big changes to your business, and spending a lot to put in a system. TEST, TEST, TEST Now that you have selected the best team, product offerings and solution software, you need to determine how to orient the tags on cases and pallets for reliable read rates, how to set up readers so they won't interfere with each other and more. Because tags perform differently with different materials, at different locations, and at different channels within the frequency spectrum, it is important to complete thorough testing early in the process to avoid creating more issues as implementations scale up in volume. PLAN RFID FROM THE GROUND UP (IF POSSIBLE) If your company will be involved in new construction or remodeling, implementing new applications, or upgrading IT infrastructure, gaining experience with RFID and factoring it into your plans is a very good idea. UTILIZE THE DATA Once you start operations including your newly deployed RFID solution the focus is to translate the RFID data flow to upstream business applications. This is where you will gain insights from the data. ROI To leverage your RFID implementation, you can use shipment data collected via RFID to automatically create a bill of lading and advance ship notice for EDI transmission. Another goal could be to push compliance labeling to worldwide suppliers. You could also use RFID information for its own planning and suppliers. * to increase shop floor efficiencies * to improve shipping and receiving * to automate the warehouse * to allow operations to gain real-time visibility into exception warnings * to provide positive proof of deliveries * to retain serialization of products for returns or trade promotions. ROI and extending the technology internally in an organization requires business-process and software re-engineering. But the payback is clear. PLAN FOR CHANGE Today, increasing numbers of companies plan to use RFID technology for compliance initiatives and for closed-loop inventory, asset or WIP applications to improve internal business processes. Initiatives like RFID asset and inventory tracking, work in process control, access control, patient and patron monitoring are already underway at many companies. Academic institutions across the country are setting up RFID labs and expanding research projects, and more vendors are entering the market, increasing the number and kinds of products and software available. Global standards are being settled. Certainly the RFID architecture put into place today will undergo changes over time, but that's to be expected as most businesses don't stand still. What's important is to realize that the vendor relationships you establish today will become more critical as your implementation matures. By choosing strong and knowledgeable partners today, you can ensure you are prepared for the many developments in RFID tomorrow. GAO RFID is here to help.
About GAO RFID Inc. GAO RFID Inc. is a leading provider of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) hardware and solutions to end users worldwide. GAO RFID combines best of breed with low cost RFID readers, RFID tags and enabling-RFID software. We have a wide variety of RFID readers, tags and antennas in all the RFID technologies, Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF, Gen 2) as well as Active and Semi-Passive. GAO RFID's products and services are easily customized for use in Asset Tracking, Health care, Supply Chain & Logistics, Event Management, Access Control, Livestock Tracking, Inventory Control & Management, Field Service, Maintenance and Document Authentication. For more information please visit http://www.GAORFID.com