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RFID Sellers Are Ready But Their Customers Are Waiting

Equipment costs and uncertain ROI holds up sales.

According to a survey done by the Computing Technology Industry Association, RFID stands for "Ready For Installation or Delivery" for technology resellers and solution providers, but for customers it is still an acronym for procrastination.

"We are ready to offer but they aren't ready to buy" results reflect ongoing concerns of equipment and tagging costs as well as the elusive search for the supply chain Holy Grail: ROI, said David Sommer, vice president of e-business and software solutions at CompTIA.

The survey found that 84% of technology resellers, solution providers, systems integrators and consultants will or may offer RFID products and solutions in the next three years. But 65% said their customers have yet to implement RFID solutions.

Among channel companies with customers who have implemented RFID, most said that less than 20% of their customers are using the technology.

"The results of our survey are reflective of the RFID market, where rosy forecasts about rapid and widespread adoption have given way to the reality of dealing with a technology whose broader deployment has been challenged by equipment and tagging costs, murky and unclear return-on-investment for supply chain applications, and a workforce skills shortage," said Sommer.

Among companies that see their organization offering RFID products and services, 89% expect to focus their efforts on hardware installation and maintenance. Just over 46% of companies said they will offer software implementation services; 38.9% will offer other RFID services; and 31.5% plan to focus on software development.

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