Survey: Manufacturers Focused On Short-Term Benefits Of RFID

While many manufacturers are expecting a high return on investments in radio frequency identification (RFID), their focus is on the short term rather than the long term, a new survey by Accenture finds. Additionally, those manufacturers cite costs as the greatest barrier to RFID implementation. The global management-consulting firm queried 30 North American manufacturing executives at consumer goods and pharmaceutical companies. Almost half, or 47%, said they anticipate a high return on their RFID investments. When asked to identify the benefits of implementation, 48% cited improved lot track and trace, 45% cited improved recall management and 41% cited better shipping and receiving. Far fewer cited longer-term benefits such as reduced inventory and working capital (31%), improved revenue through reduced out of stocks (28%), and reduced expediting costs (17%). What is the greatest barrier to RFID implementation? It likely comes as no surprise that the survey found the cost of tags and readers, and the cost of implementation to be the primary barriers. That said, 34% of the manufacturers surveyed said they would implement RFID by 2005. Of those, 38% said they plan to implement at the pallet level, 34% said they plan to do so at the case level and just 3% expect to do it at the item level. Slightly more than half (53%) of the survey respondents said they were under industry mandate to implement RFID.

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