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3/2/2005
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Manhattan Associates Opens Expanded RFID Testing Lab

Atlanta facility lets customers evaluate technology and equipment before adding RFID to supply-chain operations.

Manhattan Associates Inc., a provider of supply-chain-management software, will open a new and bigger radio-frequency identification facility in Atlanta this week in response to growing demand from customers for increased product-assessment capabilities.

At the facility, customers will be able to evaluate RFID technology and equipment before purchasing items for their supply-chain operations. In addition to the Atlanta lab, Manhattan Associates has a mobile RFID lab available to customers.

The Atlanta facility's RFID experts can run tests using customer specifications along with methodology, readability software, and analysis tools that Manhattan Associates has developed. The company will use its certified RFID equipment along with customers' products, packaging, and other physical- and material-handling equipment, such as conveyor portals and dock doors. Class 1 and Class 0+ tags, readers, and printers from several vendors are evaluated during testing.

Manhattan Associates also has built what it calls "RFID in a box," which includes Integration Platform for RFID, EPC Manager, and RFID-enabled functionality, and is part of its Integrated Logistics Solutions suite of supply-chain execution and optimization applications. The vendor is a member of EPCGlobal Inc., an organization that develops standards for RFID and the electronic-product code.

Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc., a Manhattan Associates customer, is planning to test its products later this year at the Atlanta RFID lab, beginning with several products from Nike. "We plan to experiment ... and then utilize what we learn within our distribution center," says Chuck Adams, Hibbett's CIO and VP of distribution. "When it's cost-effective to do so, we'll deploy RFID to our retail stores."

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