The technological advantages of RFID enable its adopters to better relate real-world events to the virtual-world of information technology and business intelligence. Simply put, RFID is an enabling technology that provides businesses with a new, richer source of data about their operations. While these data can improve efficiencies within existing operations, greater returns can be found when RFID is used to drive system-level changes.
To achieve these system-level benefits, companies must move beyond operational implementations of RFID that rely on middleware as the key enabler to improved execution. A few industry leaders are already realizing the benefits of integrating RFID with information from a number of transactional and master data sources to create a contextually rich analytic environment.
This approach not only helps to reduce RFID expenditures by better quantifying the benefits of specific RFID investments (e.g., tagging of particular products or asset types, modification of select processes, throughput capacity, and labor-hour improvements), but it also creates a powerful platform for the:
• Creation of high-context dependent (non-reflexive) alerting and event management
• Use of serialized data in the re-engineering of cross-functional business processes
• Provision of information to trading partners for fact-based collaboration and decision making
While the applications and benefits of RFID will vary greatly from company to company, these companies can rely on one simple truth: The key to value from RFID is what you do with the data. By putting RFID data in context; using inference logic to fill the gaps; challenging the bar code paradigm; and leveraging RFID as an opportunity to drive system-level change, your company will be well on its way to generating positive returns from its RFID investments.