SAP AG unveiled a new generation of business processes that will use information from RFID tags and other auto-identification technologies for product tracking and authentication (PTA). It will be managed in the newly developed SAP object event repository. The announcement was made at the CeBIT trade fair, being held in Hanover, Germany, March 15 - 21.
"SAP's introduction of its object event repository and the new processes it enables, such as product tracking and authentication, represents a significant step in the evolution of RFID. Companies have been waiting for their enterprise software vendors to build applications and analytical tools that can take advantage of the unique value RFID provides," said John Fontanella, vice president of research, AMR Research. "SAP is taking that one step further by providing a technical infrastructure that leverages the existing technology of its customers. In addition to tackling regulatory compliance issues, it also opens up a wealth of information to help companies validate product sources, better respond to supply chain events, or even offer value added services to customers."
PTA, the first business process tapping into the SAP object event repository, enables companies to track and authenticate the serialized products that they manufacture and distribute, both within their own enterprise and when products are in the custody of trading partners.
Automotive suppliers and defense contractors will be able to verify the usage of qualified parts and prevent usage of duplicate or unwarranted parts by tracking the unique serial numbers, business events and transactions associated with the parts.
In the pharmaceutical sector, for example, prescription drugs can be identified with unique EPCs according to the EPCglobal standard. Trading partners can exchange this information to validate the drug's authenticity as well as its chain of custody along every point between manufacturer and retail pharmacy. The PTA processes will help secure distribution and combat drug counterfeiting and diversion, a problem estimated to cause $75 billion in lost revenue per year by 2010.
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