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10/21/2004
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RFID's Return On Investment Tops List Of Concerns

Companies testing and considering the technology look for ways to ensure quantifiable benefits

Uncertainty about return on investment is the top concern of companies looking to deploy the technology, according to a study released today.

The majority of respondents to an ABI Research survey were global companies, with more than half having at least $500 million in annual revenue. Firms such as Gillette, International Paper, Kimberly-Clark, and Campbell Soup have demonstrated the possibility of making RFID work, but other companies are looking for answers.

Logistics and IT-management staffs are struggling to integrate RFID hardware and software into companywide systems and ensure quantifiable benefits without major disruption. Integrators such as Accenture, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM are addressing these issues. Existing applications from Manhattan Associates, RedPrairie, IBM, Tibco, WebMethods, BEA Systems, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP may be able to solve some of the concerns, but it's still unclear how successful they'll be, the report says. Also releasing new products in this area are OATsystems, Globeranger, and ConnecTerra

Deployment bottlenecks remain likely until EPCglobal Inc., a group spearheading efforts to develop global standards, finishes its work in this area, and material-handling and logistics companies create products around emerging sensor technology, ABI said.

The survey also revealed concerns with tag availability and performance.

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