Integrating sensor technology to monitor temperatures with a sophisticated RFID-based network will let Wal-Mart provide higher-quality produce and fresher foods on store shelves.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it's experimenting with sensor technology this year, pursuing two "proof-of-concepts" that would speed products to shelves and provide customers with better quality produce.
Integrating sensor technology to monitor temperatures with a sophisticated radio frequency (RFID) technology network would enable Wal-Mart to maintain quality produce and fresh foods on store shelves. "Think about bananas," said Carolyn Walton, Wal-Mart's vice president of IT, during at panel discussion at RFID World 2006 Wednesday. "I'll bet you didn't know what happens along that journey."
A crate of bananas arrives at distribution centers ripened by being exposed to nitrogen. Wal-Mart wants to find a way with sensor technology to ensure bananas on store shelves at Supercenters are the perfect ripeness for customers. The mega-retailer would integrate sensors with radio frequency identification technology.
Wal-Mart wants access to the data that identifies where the box has been on its journey, how long it took and exactly how much nitrogen it needs to reach the shelf at the perfect ripeness. The customer will have a premium quality product and Wal-Mart will have to markdown or throw away less food.
Wal-Mart, however, isn't the only grocery chain reviewing sensor networks to better manage the cold chain to protect food quality and safety. Randy Dunn, national director of RFID at ADT Security Services Inc., a Tyco division, is working on a similar project with an unnamed California-based supermarket. "It's all about maintaining the quality of food." Dunn said in an interview.
IT's Reputation: What the Data SaysInformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
What The Business Really Thinks Of IT: 3 Hard TruthsThey say perception is reality. If so, many in-house IT departments have reason to worry. InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. The news isn't great.
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.