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April 4, 2012, 7:32 a.m.
John Devlin Practice Director
The strap-line for this week's RFID Journal Live! event in Orlando is "Track and Manage Everything" - this set a slight alarm bell off for me. The issue for me is that this gives a slightly misleading impression; do we actually want and/or need to track and manage everything?
Forme if you do this then you run the risk of creating wasted investment. RFID is certainly a very useful tool and it can enable companies to realise efficiencies - but it needs to be selectively applied in order to deliver the maximum ROI. By this I mean that it should only be used to generate data (for business intelligence) if this data serves a purpose and solves a problem.
As can be seen from the demo's here at the event, the breadth of use cases and applications that can be served by RFID are growing all the time. RFID implementation programs still require a fair degree of customization and this costs money, which means bthat small scale rollouts are not always cost-effective. My concern is that if you try to track and manage everything then the technology could be oversold, expectations could be unrealistically high, and returns may not always be realised. And this will harm RFID's take-up in the longer term.
It is important to ensure that RFID delivers value for (new) users. Perhaps rather than saying "Track and Manage Everything" the better message would be "Track and Manage Anything"?