Ready for RFID Compliance: Concerns and Questions from Industry
Zebra Technologies' Webcast Reveals 'RFID Compliance Readiness' Concerns, Challenges, and Questions From Hundreds of Companies: More Than 300 Companies From 45 Nations Tell Zebra What RFID Issues Are on Their Minds
VERNON HILLS, Ill., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA), a global leader in delivering on-demand printing solutions for business improvement, and pioneer in the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID)
for global business, today revealed the top concerns, challenges, and questions companies say they are facing when it comes to RFID and Electronic Product Code (EPC) compatibility. Results confirm that companies are still hungry for information, concerned about costs, and anxious about meeting mandate requirements and deadlines.
During a recent Zebra Webcast, entitled, "An Introduction to RFID and EPC- Streamlining Your Supply Chain: Solutions for End Users," representatives from more than 300 companies and 45 countries weighed in on RFID, providing Zebra RFID experts with insight into their top concerns, challenges, and questions. Here's what they revealed:
-- Cost - Not surprisingly, companies are still wrestling with issues of
cost. Realizing cost benefits and understanding the value proposition
of RFID is top of mind, as well as the lack of clear information
available on the costs associated with implementation, RFID tags, and
upgrading the technology as it advances.
-- Tag quality - Tag strength, readability, resilience, data capacity,
size, type, and failure rate, is also an area of concern that
companies say they want to learn more about.
-- Data management - Companies indicate that they are still confused
about the need to manage large amounts of data that may be generated
from an RFID implementation and how such data will affect their
-- Implementation - Understanding and selecting RFID system components,
and how they integrate with existing information systems remains a top
challenge for companies, as well as selecting partners for pilot
-- Bar code vs. RFID - Companies say they need more information on where
and when to use RFID in the supply chain, and when it pays to stick
with bar coding.
-- Standards - The lack of defined EPC standards and how they will evolve
globally is another big concern.
-- Meeting customer requirements - As the EPC compliance date draws
closer, companies are questioning if they can meet the mandated
deadlines of their customers.
-- Overcoming obsolescence - Companies wonder whether the technology they
put into place today will serve them down the road as EPC and ISO
standards for RFID evolve and as new products are introduced.
-- Global rollout - Companies doing business globally reveal they are
unclear on if, and when, they can implement an EPC labeling system
globally and what impact it will have.
"Our Webcast drew sizeable attendance from countries such as Argentina, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Iceland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay, and many more, encompassing a wide variety of industries -- many of which aren't facing EPC mandate deadlines," said Bob Cornick, Zebra's vice president and general manager of RFID. "From the questions and comments we received, it's evident that companies that are or will be participating in pilot programs supporting the Wal-Mart, Target, and Department of Defense initiatives, for the most part understand the technology and what they must do to comply. It's the many hundreds of companies that will soon follow suit that are looking for answers and struggling to understand the value of RFID, which Zebra can help them do."
In addition, Zebra's "Introduction to RFID and EPC-Streamlining Your Supply Chain: Solutions for End Users" Webcast reported a large turnout of participants representing the pharmaceutical industry.
"Interestingly, representatives from many of the top pharmaceutical companies attended the Webcast, suggesting that the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries may be gearing up for a major shift to RFID as well," Cornick adds. "This follows the recent FDA announcement about the use of bar codes to ensure patient safety. We see the 'early adopters' and market leading companies possibly leapfrogging the new rule and going with RFID when they can realize significant cost reductions in their supply chains."
Zebra experts are available to speak on these and other RFID-related issues. To arrange an interview, please contact Suzette Sexton or Tricia Spellman at +1 847 509-3099 or firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com .
For information on Zebra's RFID solutions or to replay the webinar, "Introduction to RFID and EPC-Streamlining Your Supply Chain: Solutions for End Users," visit www.rfid.zebra.com . This Web site will contain information about future Zebra webinars that will cover key criteria for deploying RFID in business environments.
Zebra Technologies and RFID
Zebra Technologies is a pioneer in the research, development and commercialization of RFID technology. As a member of EPCglobal, Zebra continues to play a leading role in the development of "smart label" technology, standards and solutions designed to help suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense and major retailers meet upcoming RFID EPC compliance labeling requirements. In 2003, Zebra was first-to-market with a Class 1 and Class 0 UHF printer/encoder. Its R4Mplus, is the industry's first Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compatible RFID printer/encoder, now in full production. The R4Mplus is currently involved in numerous customer pilots, field tests and demonstration projects.
About Zebra Technologies
Zebra Technologies Corp. delivers innovative and reliable on-demand printing solutions for business improvement and security applications in 90 countries around the world. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Zebra-brand printers. A broad range of applications benefit from Zebra-brand thermal bar code, "smart" label, receipt, and card printers, resulting in enhanced security, increased productivity, improved quality, lower costs, and better customer service. The company has sold more than three million printers, including RFID printer/encoders and wireless mobile solutions, and also offers software, connectivity solutions, and printing supplies. Information about Zebra bar code and RFID products can be found at www.zebra.com and www.rfid.zebra.com .
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