Pimp My Food Truck: RFID-Enabling the 21st Century Chuckwagon

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 @ 02:51 PM

Tags: RFID, Supply Chain, Food & Beverage, Inventory Management, Vehicle Tracking, Point of Sale

foodtruckIf you work or live in an urban area, you’ve most likely seen the trendy food trucks parked at busy intersections, parks and plazas, serving up cupcakes, lobster rolls and everything in between. (For those who’ve never partaken, here’s a sneak peek video into how they operate)

Mobile munching, though almost unrecognizable from the days of “chuckwagons,” has come back in full force for foodies all across America who enjoy the convenience of curb-side cuisine.   In fact, 91% of those familiar with mobile food trucks say that the trend is here to stay (see Infographic).  We see this every day outside our office in Kendall Square, with several food trucks setting up shop.  And just a couple of weeks ago Kendall Square hosted the Food Truck Festival of New England.   The trend has gotten so hot that Kickstarter – the social funding service – has gotten behind it.   Mei Mei, a Boston-based food truck business recently raised $35,000 on the e-fundraising site to finance turning their business into a brick and mortar restaurant.

Annual revenue from food trucks was $1.2 billion dollars in 2009 and there has been significant growth since, most of which could be attributed to customer loyalty. Locals are often lured in to trying food trucks for a few simple reasons 1) convenience 2) community 3) cuisine and 4) competition. Could food truck operators increase customer loyalty by implementing RFID?

1) Convenience: Part of the appeal in mobile dining is the convenience that it offers. Whether it’s across from the office or parked near a popular tourist attraction, a food truck provides a quick and easy meal on the go. In addition to geographic convenience, food trucks also offer a financial convenience with mobile payment options. While it may not be main stream yet, types of RFID technologies can allow for easy, on-the-go payment for patrons who may not have cash handy. Mobile-payment is not only convenient for the consumer, but also allows the business owner to track spending trends and implement a rewards program for their most loyal customers. As “the internet of things” continues to grow and expand, especially into the retail environment, the food truck industry is no exception. The Point-of-sale iPads that have been installed in trucks are streamlining payment, consolidating physical equipment and supporting franchises that also operate out of brick and mortar shops.

2) Community:  One unique aspect about food trucks is the sense of community they create. Aside from the physical communities that support these small business owners, the virtual communities online provide valuable promotion as well. Food truck owners rely heavily on word of mouth to grow their business. Similar to Cadbury and dwinQ’s social media deployment at the Olympics, RFID technology could also allow patrons to check-in to the specific food truck and notify friends and social media followers of their location, ultimately acting as a virtual word of mouth.   

3) Cuisine: It wouldn’t be a food truck without the food! The culinary treats that come from these mobile kitchens are just as delicious as their brick and mortar counterparts.  But one difference is they require a different kind of logistical planning. Fresh ingredients, prepared daily are a key part in the operational aspect of a food truck. Much of their product has to be prepared in advance in a physical location and then loaded into the truck every day.  With space at such a premium, ensuring that the truck is equipped with just the right inventory to last the day is crucial in ensuring profits in a business with notoriously arbitrary and often razor thin margins.  Managing inventory closely is another opportunity where RFID technology can make a big impact in food quality and customer satisfaction.   

4) Competition: The restaurant business is tough and highly competitive, and it’s no different with food trucks.   The cooking reality TV competitions and many cook-off competitions that happen around the country draw in hundreds of thousands of viewers and patrons respectively.  It’s the same in the food truck business. Every spring, Boston’s annual Food Truck Throwdown brings various vendors together to compete for coveted crowning as the best. Not a Beantown local? According to The Daily Meal, these trucks beat out thousands of others to be crowned the Top Ten Food Trucks in America

Ultimately, food trucks have changed the l landscape of dining options all over the country and continue to draw crowds. While the technology that drives the businesses may be “behind the scenes,” it surely plays a role in what makes them a success. From social media to location services, there are opportunities for food trucks to tap into RFID as a resource to grow and sustain their business.

The question is, who is going to be the first to pimp their food truck with these high-tech solutions?

 

Photo credit: David Stewart/Boston.com

Findings From NRF 2013 - Will This be the Year of RFID in Retail?

Posted by Ken Lynch on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 03:55 PM

Tags: RFID, Retail, Supply Chain, Consumer Goods

NRFThe use of radio frequency identification in the retail market is far from a new concept, but one reported incident at this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show in particular caught our attention.  Jordan Lampert, COO of Truecount, a ThingMagic partner offering software solutions for mid-sized retailers, was approached at their booth at NRF and offered a cash deposit by the CEO of a nine-store East Coast shoe chain. The executive’s request? For Truecount to send a team out to begin deploying an RFID system for them immediately!

If you’ve attended NRF in New York City before, you’ll know that RFID has been a topic of conversation there for years – but for the most part, retailers haven’t been lining up with bags of cash in hand to put down towards implementing a system. Retailers who’ve already taken advantage of RFID systems are now able to show the fruits of their investment, while retailers who haven’t are unveiling plans to deploy the technology and admitting they’re behind the curve. This year, the focus of the NRF Big Show remained on store-level inventory and POS deployments, with mobile developments dominating the show floor; but a handful of major players in the retail space used the show as a forum to announce their particularly progressive partnerships and endeavors for the future as well.

Taking RFID beyond the store-level, UK retail giant Marks & Spencer and Avery Dennison announced a significant expansion to their nine-year RFID partnership, to the tune of a billion tags deployed in M&S’s more than 700 stores. Shawn Neville, president of retail branding and information solutions with Avery Dennison, explained that "as one of the UK’s biggest retailers, M&S is focused on providing exceptional customer experience and RFID enables that experience by ensuring inventory accuracy from the distribution center to the store floor, providing shoppers with consistent and accurate product availability in-store and online." And with 21 million shoppers walking in and out their doors each week, visibility into operations is entirely necessary for maintaining order.

Finding the benefits of RFID deployments similarly convincing, French fashion retailer Faconnable and Tagsys RFID are turning their partnership from a one-store pilot into a 70-store, multi-continental RFID rollout. By integrating Tagsys’ FiTS (Fashion-item Tracking System) with their third-party logistics suppliers, the sizeable fashion retailer will have complete coverage of the millions of items that they and their partners sell.

Shows like NRF are continually bringing together the greatest minds in connected technology and helping facilitate communication about the value of RFID. Just recently we posted about RFID at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and how fortunate we at ThingMagic were to be able to work with Alcatel-Lucent on the Connected Service Vehicle for their ng Connect program. Though RFID connectivity is already seeing success as a business technology, the attention it gets from major events like CES and NRF helps prove its worth.

For retailers in particular, business goals boil down to a handful of uniform desires: to provide the best customer experience possible, and to do so in the most efficient manner available. What these retailers now realize is that the visibility that RFID systems can provide to their stores and supply chains can affect more than just the cost savings of having better control over inventory. When the entire supply chain becomes a unified whole, the issues that have always frustrated customers, managers, and employees regarding inaccurate information about item availability no longer exist.

And regardless of whether retailers are realizing this because they’re seeing the benefits of RFID systems they’ve deployed or because they’re kicking themselves for not jumping on RFID solutions sooner, it was clear at NRF’s Big Show that RFID is at the top of the agenda for most major retailers. 

How RFID Can Turn the Retail Supply Chain on its Head

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 04:46 PM

Tags: RFID, Retail, Supply Chain

stockroomIt’s no secret that technology is transforming the way we do business, but with some innovative thinking on the part of retailers, businesses are in store for a level of efficiency they’ve never seen before – in part, thanks to RFID.

These new efficiencies are coming in ways that, until now, have seemed counterintuitive. In a recent blog, Software Advice's Michael Koploy details how retailers are beginning to fill online orders with their in-store inventory – essentially turning their entire supply chain into one cooperative “warehouse.” This may seem like a nightmare to maintain, detrimental even, if you consider the possibility of more frequent stockouts, but in fact RFID has made this an incredibly viable option for the modern business world.

As retailers begin to incorporate RFID into their supply chains, tagging every piece of inventory and scanning items as they move from warehouse to distributor to retailer, suddenly enterprises are afforded a much higher level of visibility into the location of the various moving pieces of their business. Businesses are now able to treat their in-store inventory as an extension of their warehouse because RFID redefines what it means to track inventory – what was once a few teenagers counting boxes in the back room of a store with a clip board and pen is now a highly organized and incredibly accurate automated tracking system. It’s almost like having a crystal ball.

With an RFID system in place, retailers can have a more accurate picture of their inventory and feel comfortable knowing that they are moving their products in the right direction. Not only that, but using RFID to fill online orders from in-store inventory can actually lead to fewer stockouts, as the new level of visibility gives enterprises a better idea of which inventories are running low and when they need to be restocked. Additionally, businesses will see less of a need to implement markdown prices, as slow-moving inventory can be better distributed among the variety of retail outlets, and businesses will save on shipping and delivery costs since each retailer can now function as a distributer as well. 

It’s getting more and more difficult for businesses to ignore the benefits of RFID. What managers once thought could only serve enormous supply chains with equally-enormous budgets is now allowing retailers to modernize their entire business platform. RFID is redefining what it means to have visibility into business operations, and as the scope of RFID implementation continues to expand and simplify, it’s becoming far easier for retailers to increase profits by understanding their company at a more granular level. RFID very quickly begins to pay for itself, and it certainly makes life easier for everyone from enterprise managers to the guys in the back who can now focus on greeting customers instead of counting boxes.

RFID Keeping Tabs on the Largest Supply Chain in the World

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, May 24, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

Tags: RFID, Supply Chain, DoD, IT Asset Tracking

DoDThe United States Department of Defense (DoD) has used RFID in its supply chain for almost 30 years. Long before that, during World War II, the US Army kept track of equipment using IBM punch cards and electric accounting machines. After the benefits of RFID were quickly discovered and used for other types of applications, in 2005 the DoD mandated that its suppliers had to mark each item sold to the department with a passive RFID tag.

Lack of item-level visibility in the supply chain posed problems for the DoD, leading the department to develop a Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility (RF-ITV) network to track container shipments. Because of the success and return on investment with that deployment, the DoD looked at other ways it could leverage RFID in its supply chain.

The DoD’s latest project is to use both active and passive RFID to track equipment that comes out of Iraq, sent to certain locations to be rebuilt, and then shipped to Afghanistan where it will be put to use once more. Much like the Commander in Chief has advance men, DoD personnel have advance information on equipment. According to an RFID Journal story, the visibility helps streamline the process for receiving the supplies and equipment and planning for the rebuilding work.

The advance information – or visibility into the supply chain – helps government employees know what supplies are needed so they can place the right orders at the right time. Equipment coming out of Iraq destined for Afghanistan can be scheduled for necessary repairs with far more efficiency. That could mean soldiers getting bullet proof vests faster, or driving armored vehicles in better condition.

RFID could have potentially helped account for the equipment and supplies that were purchased with the hundreds of billions of dollars approved by Congress to support the war in Iraq in 2007. I understand that it is a huge sum of money to trace compounded by the fact that it’s the world’s largest supply chain. However, we should try to learn from that experience and look for other ways that RFID can help with accountability in government. One idea comes to mind.  

It was recently reported that Teri Takai, the DoD Chief Information Officer, talked about an active effort to assess risk in the government’s supply chain in the midst of Cyber attacks that have plagued the nation. The effort would entail having better security for computer hardware and software, and having visibility into everyone who has access to the network, and knowing what information they access. I think we’ve identified RFID’s next government job.

Where Does Your Food Come From? RFID Knows.

Posted by Ken Lynch on Mon, Mar 05, 2012 @ 10:05 AM

Tags: RFID, Sensors, Food Safety, Agriculture, Supply Chain, Cold Chain, Food & Beverage

Each year about 1 in 6 people in the United States gets sick from eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Salmonella is responsible for many of the reported outbreaks and causes more hospitalizations and deaths than any other type of germ found in food. While E. Coli infections have been drastically reduced, there has been no reduction in people getting sick from Salmonella.

One way to cut down on illness caused by Salmonella is to apply lessons learned from past outbreaks as depicted below.

Farm Table

View larger version of the diagram (source: CDC)

Efforts to educate about prevention can be supplemented by enhancing the traceability of food shipments within the supply chain. The Food Safety Modernization Act calls for the FDA to focus on new food traceability rules to prevent contamination.

A report issued recenlty by ABI Research, “RFID-enabled Food Safety and Traceability Systems,”  reviews the Food Safety Modernization Act and provides forecasts for the use of RFID-enabled devices in cold chain applications. RFID allows the food industry to trace food items and record environmental conditions throughout the entire supply chain.

Sensors in RFID tags monitor the temperature and humidity of products. They can detect if the temperature for a specific food item goes above or below the ideal temperature, at any given time, and record that detail. Tags can be used on anything in the supply chain from the farms, to slaughterhouses, to pallets, to shipping containers, to grocery stores. Even the cows and pigs can be tagged.

You may remember the Orange Juice recall from this past January. CNNMoney noted that if there is wide adoption of a traceability solution in the industry, it could stop the contaminated food from being put onto store shelves in the first place, and help stop outbreaks before they start.

Aside from preventing food borne illnesses, ABI Research also points out that the information delivered by an RFID traceability solution could have a significant impact on the $35 billion a year in wasted produce. With the environment detail captured by the RFID readers during the supply chain, a grocer or manufacturer can determine precisely which containers were exposed to temperatures outside of the ideal range, and discard only those containers instead of discarding the entire shipment.

The prevention of waste or food borne illness is enough to warrant an RFID food traceability mandate in my book. Being able to impact both? I’ll let you do the math.

RFID in Retail is Making More Noise

Posted by Ken Lynch on Fri, Oct 07, 2011 @ 02:59 PM

Tags: RFID, Retail, Supply Chain, Apparel

Beyond the Right product, at the right place, at the right time...


music retail rfidRFID in retail
has demonstrated major business benefits in the way of streamlining the supply chain, which leads to reduced costs and enhancing the customer experience - resulting in increased and recurring sales. All good for a thriving business, which is probably why Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s have recently taken a stronger stance on their RFID deployment plans.

Last week it was reported that Macy’s is embarking on a widespread adoption of RFID. This is very exciting to those of us who have been supporters (and developers) of RFID since its infancy. Macy's will be one of the first retailers to implement RFID on a broad scale. Next year, the company plans to be using RFID in all U.S. stores to track items that are regularly stocked and automatically resupplied as they are sold to customers. These “replenishment goods,” which include men's furnishings, intimate apparel, men's pants, denim and women's shoes, make up about 30 percent of its sales. One can deduce that Macy’s expects that number to grow based on its investment in RFID. 

According to Tom Cole, Macy’ chief administrative officer, the goal of the project is to help them ensure they have the right product, in the right place, at the right time for their shoppers. It would seem like a simple notion, but there are many variables in retail that make that a difficult task.  But, RFID can replace some of those pesky variables with the desired constant.

From the Supply Chain to the Fitting Room

RFID is improving the retail experience outside of supply chain enhancements as well.  Recently, ThingMagic UHF RFID readers were featured in a Musical Fitting Room video to show the powerful combination of music, fashion and RFID. It’s a great concept. The idea is to appeal to the individual shopper by playing music that resonates with them, then sending them an SMS with the name of the song and a link to download it for free on StarHub.com. 

To make this work, the clothing items have RFID tags applied to them that, when brought into the dressing room, trigger a song that matches the ‘mood’ of the clothes. The project coveres 16 genres and more than 10,000 songs to encompass all ages and types of shoppers.

With RFID, retailers can count and track item-level inventory much easier, faster and accurately. A very important part of the equation solved. Once you have that part of the equation, you can arrive at “right product, right place, right time” answer. And who doesn’t like getting the right answer all of the time?  Now, with a soundtrack to boot!

Item-level RFID Tagging for Apparel Retail Supply Chains

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Feb 09, 2011 @ 07:51 PM

Tags: RFID, Retail, Supply Chain, Apparel

From tracking product recalls to PI accuracy to electronic proof of delivery and everything in between

RFID in RetailWhen we investigated and highlighted 100 unique uses of RFID on this blog, we came across many interesting, successful applications in the retail industry. Previous posts on RFID in Retail demonstrated how the technology has the ability to streamline operations and improve the customer experience, all while helping to boost the bottom line of retailers.

Equally interested in identifying uses of RFID in retail, The University of Arkansas Information Technology Research Institute (ITRI) embarked on a study that zeroed in on item-level tagging for supply chains in the apparel retail industry. The study, “An Empirical Study of Potential Uses of RFID In The Apparel Retail Supply Chain,” highlighted 60 business cases that span from plan-o-gram compliance to perpetual inventory (PI) accuracy to product recalls.

According to the executive summary, the study represents Phase I, which was to identify potential business cases for the use of RFID in an apparel supply chain. Key findings of this phase show the potential benefits of item-level RFID to include:

  • Improved backroom-to-shelf replenishment and greater perpetual inventory (PI) accuracy have the potential to increase top-line sales, due to higher product availability at the retail shelf.
  • Substantial reduction in labor costs, the largest percentage of variable costs, are achieved by improving inbound and outbound operations, decreasing the number of touches by staff per carton.
  • The ability of apparel manufacturers to audit the contents of each carton being shipped through an automated process, result in fewer deductions or chargebacks from the manufacturer’s retail customers.

Summing it up nicely, an RFID Journal story indicated that the biggest take-away from the study is the extent of RFID’s reach because it touches every aspect of the supply chain. That spectrum of RFID’s ability is evident in the number of use cases in that market segment alone.

Still not convinced that RFID in retail is on a path to significant growth?  Consider these recent headlines:

ABI Research: Global Apparel Markets Will Use 1 Billion RFID Tags in 2011

Truecount CEO Zander Livingstoon Predicts Retailers will Accelerate Rollouts of RFID in 2011

And just today, organizers of one of the RFID market's largest technology & solution focused events, announced this years' RFID Journal LIVE! will shine the spotlight on an apparel and supply chain focused showcase: RFID Journal Announces Live RFID-Enabled Supply Demonstration

We’ll be anxiously awaiting Phas II of the ITRI’s study, which will involve the measurement of ROI for select use cases identified in Phase I. Phase II is sure to bring about more compelling proof that RFID should be an integral part of the retail supply chain.

Please let us know your thoughts about the use of RFID in retail.

RFID for Automobile Production

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Sep 09, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

Tags: RFID, Supply Chain, Automobile Production

From Ford to Fahrvergnügen, RFID Expands the Opportunity to Streamline Production and Lower Manufacturing Costs

In 1885, Karl Benz built the first car run on an internal combustion gasoline engine and began the production of automobiles in 1888.  In 1908, the Model T was introduced by the Ford Motor Company, followed by the introduction of the assembly line method of mass production.  Henry Ford’s commitment to streamlining production and lowering costs continues in the automotive industry today, which has more challenges and complexities than ever before.

VW LemonWith components supplied by more than 4,000 suppliers and complex processes like subassembly procurement and pre-delivery planning, automobile manufacturers are challenged with maintaining a competitive edge.  Manufacturers continuously need to find new ways to improve material flow, optimize planning and streamline the transport process.  Today, RFID is playing a crucial role in addressing these challenges.

With this week’s 100 Uses of RFID program focusing on the transportation market and having been a Volkswagen owner for many years, I have a personal interest in covering Volkswagen’s use of RFID.  With their dedication to manufacturing quality and the creative ways they differentiate their brand, I’m not at all surprised by Europe's leading vehicle manufacturer’s use of RFID to drive improvements into their supply chain and manufacturing processes.

To improve its material logistics operations and implement an integrated, paperless production and logistics chain, Volkswagen has partnered with IBM.  According to an IBM announcement, VW is driving to become the first vehicle manufacturer to make daily use of RFID in its supply chain and manufacturing processes.  

Highlights of VW’s use of RFID include:

  • Parts suppliers are applying RFID tags to shipping containers carrying auto parts destined for Volkswagen
  • Data from the tagged containers is automatically collected by RFID Readers at key locations throughout the supply chain including supplier shipping areas, various transportation points, parts receiving areas at Volkswagen, during storage, and on the assembly line
  • The same RFID system is used to ensure that all empty containers are returned to Volkswagen’s suppliers

Given the size and complexities of the automobile supply chain and manufacturing process, companies like Volkswagen are implementing RFID to automate key areas of their operations.  Do you expect more automakers to implement similar applications to compete with the lemons coming off of the production line?  Let us know your thoughts.

RFID Keeps its Cool

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Sep 08, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Tags: RFID, Supply Chain, Pharmaceutical Tracking

Temperature Tracking in Real Time for Sensitive Shipments

PharmaAdmit it. In addition to laughing at the humor of this Nextel commercial, you found interesting how easy it was to know inventory levels, track a shipment and its ETA.  That was a few years ago, and today, people have come quite accustomed to knowing, at any given time, where their package is and when it will get to its destination. And a late delivery is not an option.

But in some industries, speed of delivery isn’t the priority – or at least not the only priority. Temperature is important, too. Pharmaceutical companies are painfully aware of the need to track temperature because the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that they guarantee acceptable temperatures of drugs in transit. Having had to carry Epi-Pen myself, I fully understand that temperatures that are both too high and too low will render them useless. And that’s a scary thought if the only remedy to anaphylactic shock isn’t going to work because of something that is easily within my control. But is it easily within the control of the pharma companies?

They have many, many more potential pitfalls than the customer who needs to be aware of where he’s storing his prescription drugs. They are dealing with transporting drugs through different climates, as well as the complex path of the deliveries which could involve handoffs between transit and temporary storage points. Envision a line that leads from the factory to the product’s ultimate destination. Along this line are supply chain “checkpoints,” where the shipment can either change from road to air, for example, go into storage or go through some other status change. As it moves from one leg of the journey to the next, the environment around the package changes.

Among other shipping companies, DHL has had to figure out how to manage these challenges.  In addition to the FDA mandate, DHL received requests from pharmaceutical customers to offer more options for temperature-controlled logistics. The initial method to meet that need was to use specialized, highly insulated containers that would maintain the desired temperature range. This method proved to be effective, but very costly. It added weight to the shipments and required more packing time making it economically impractical on a large scale.

That’s where RFID came in. As quick background, Deutsche Post World Net (DPWN), the parent company of DHL, formed the Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) Group. Led by its director, Dr. Keith Ulrich, the TIM Group formulated a plan to use RFID technology to track the temperature of shipments at various points from departure to arrival. IBM Global Business Services mapped out the framework which included where and when readings should occur. For RFID expertise, the team engaged the IBM Sensor and Actuator Solutions organization and IBM business partners whose products use RFID technology to track the freshness and temperature integrity of goods.

The RFID system is designed to check and report the temperature of the shipment at every supply chain checkpoint, so DHL knows if there is a problem before the shipment even reaches the airport. That way, DHL can stop the shipment and initiate a new one, minimizing the impact on the customer. In a nut shell, real-time temperature monitoring provides pharmaceutical manufacturers with greater control of their distribution processes. And because it can be delivered at relatively low cost and delivers strong value to the customer, DHL’s first-of-a-kind solution serves as a competitive differentiator.

With this type of solution, I think I’d entrust my Epi-Pens to DHL. How about you?

RFID and The Internet of Things

Posted by Ken Lynch on Wed, Nov 25, 2009 @ 10:36 AM

Tags: RFID, Healthcare, Internet of Things, Supply Chain, Ford Tool Link

Providing several real-world examples of RFID-enabled business practices and the power of RFID, sensors and other locationing technologies, Amy Rogers Nazarov has written an article titled "The Internet of Things" for Internet Evolution - a CMP Technology publication and sister site of InformationWeek.  This article describes the many benefits provided by RFID across a variety of applications, along with several realistic challenges and cautions regarding issues such as privacy and data collection. 

ThingMagic is proud to have several customer deployments cited in this article: Tomorrow's Mother (now TM Apparel) is using RFID to improve visibility into its supply chain, Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center has deployed both active and UHF passive RFID for patient and high-value asset tracking, and Ford Motor Company's work with ThingMagic and tool maker DeWALT to develop Tool Link - an RFID-enabled tool tracking solution available to the consumer market today.

A key thread throughout this article is the importance of data sharing and intelligence generation.  Each RFID deployment has its own network requirements and information sharing opportunities, making it critical for users to identify the business process improvements they are targeting.  Managing an inventory of maternity clothing, prepping patients for surgery and locating a missing tool may seem very different on the surface, but applying RFID to each of these activities can result in significant productivity benefits if approached with the right planning and thoughtful decisions on how to best leverage the resulting data.

This article has also been published as a special 16-page handbook insert in the print issue of InformationWeek.  Case studies on the ThingMagic customers referenced in the article are available on our Case Studies web page.

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