IBM, T3Ci Partner To Help Manufacturers Use RFID To Improve Supply Chain

IBM and T3Ci, co-chairs of the EPCglobal Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) Working group, announced they have successfully completed interoperability testing of a new RFID industry software standard.

The Working Group has as its mission the creation of common interfaces among RFID software, allowing organizations to exchange and leverage RFID data independent of the applications in which data is created or stored. This will allow for a less expensive method to capture large volumes of data that can then be shared with supply chain partners.

Jumping on the opportunity to use the EPCIS, Unilever of North American said it will conduct a trial using IBM's EPCIS implementation to collect and access information from within the company's manufacturing environment and from trading partners.

"We are pleased to be on the forefront of pioneering use of this new RFID standard and emerging capability. This standard hits at the pressing need to allow more effective exchange of data among trading partners and simplifies interoperability among different RFID applications, data stores and product information management systems," said James Jackson, vice president IT, Unilever.

"By replacing manually intensive data exchange tasks with automated processes, more time is available for analysis and value creation. As RFID begins to proliferate, EPCIS will serve as the foundation for manufacturers like Unilever to gain valuable insight, predict needs and problems before they occur and improve our business operations and responsiveness to each of our partners within the supply chain," he added.

EPCIS is expected to be a ratified standard by fourth quarter 2006.

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