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Myth And Reality At RFID Show

Panelists with a wealth of RFID experience talked about what works, and doesn't, when implementing the technology. Among their advice: reduce the cost by finding multiple opportunities to use RFID.

Frenzied company executives eager to adopt or comply with radio frequency identification technology (RFID) mandates looked for answers on Tuesday at RFID World 2006 in Dallas, Texas.

Many found themselves in a conference session that offered a candid discussion on the realities and myths of RFID. The four consumer goods industry panelists are early RFID adopters. Most ship products to either Target Corp. or Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Panelists include Lauren Scott, founder and chief executive, Lauren Scott California; J. Kevin Brown, director of information systems, Daisy Brand Inc.; Jim McMasters, senior vice president, information systems, Tandy Brands Accessories Inc.; and James Jackson, director of vendor relationship management, VF Corp.

Tandy Brands, a privately held $250 million Texas company, designs and markets fashion accessories mostly under national brands and private labels. Many of its products sell through Wal-Mart. The company began tagging women's clothing bound for Wal-Mart's Texas distribution centers last year.

McMasters' Reality: Deploying an RFID project costs money and many may have not begun the process to educate and find opportunities within their processes. It takes 100 percent commitment. This means having a team that communicates regularly with senior executives at the company to keep them informed. Reduce the cost by finding other opportunities to use RFID.

McMasters' Myth: Privacy doesn't exist. The bad guys will drive up and down the streets and scan houses to identify the goods you've bought.

VF, which began looking at RFID in 1993, is the largest publicly held apparel supplier known for brands, such as Lee, Vanity Fair, North Face and Vans. It was asked in early 2005 by Kohl's Corp. to put RFID tags on individual garments.

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