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9/3/2004
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SSA Powers DC Logistics RFID Deployment Center

Logistics provider uses software to help customers prepare for meeting Wal-Mart's compliance mandates.

DC Logistics has created an RFID Deployment Center in Dallas, where it is piloting SSA Global's RFID for Distribution and Warehouse Management software, as part of a plan to help its customers prepare for meeting Wal-Mart's RFID compliance mandates. At the center, products are RFID-tagged, cross-docked, consolidated, and quality-controlled to make sure the tags are reading properly.

The SSA software is designed to help locate inventory and shipments across the supply chain. At DC Logistics, finding inventory in the past required staff to walk around with bar-code readers. Now, "we have a network inside the facility where we can actually, in a wireless environment, get inventory updates of what the status is of the products inside our facility," says Douglas Chaney, president and CEO of DC Logistics. "RFID will allow us to do real-time inventory updates. As a result, the data coming in and out of the facility, as well as outside the facility, will become much more streamlined."

One of the long-term benefits to RFID is visibility into the supply chain, says Chaney. "As it expands globally, we'll be able to track goods much better than it is done today throughout the supply chain with [EPC-Global-compliant] data."

SSA was founded more than 20 years ago and focuses predominantly on the manufacturing industry, serving automotive, aerospace and defense, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, transportation, and third-party logistics companies, including Boeing, Heinz, Del Monte, GlaxoSmithKline, and Tyco. The company's new RFID offerings are designed to help customers comply with 2005-compliance mandates from both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Department of Defense, says Cory Eaves, corporate VP of solutions management and research at SSA.

"We believe that RFID adoption will be quicker than has been thought over the past 12 months," says Joe Mitchell, senior director of alliances and research at SSA. "Many of the things surrounding RFID such as standards are maturing and many are fully mature. The first phase is going to be DoD and Wal-Mart compliancy, but adoption is rising rapidly."

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