More RFID Horizon Sailing

Companies should avoid fixating on the price of a tag lest they lose sight of the costly upgrades in enterprise-resource-planning (ERP) software that RFID technology requires. For relatively easy tasks, such as measuring inventory levels, simple add-ons might suffice. But tackling more complex applications, including tracking individual items throughout the supply chain, would require ERP upgrades that might cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for a large company. Server and network infrastructure would also need fortifying to handle the thousands of additional data transactions per product. So the watchword, for both retailers and manufacturers of consumer products, is caution.

For us coders, the big money-bags with RFID’s will probable be in two areas: (1.) providing the networkable access for clients to hookup to RFID databases (and, implicitly, all the different interfaces to the data and different ways to present and manipulate the data), and, (2.) managing and storing all the RFID data that would be created.

Just imagine if all the inventory control systems in the world and their data were suddenly available, all at once, and real-time: it’d be a big data stew. As we all know, data is exactly what computers are best at.

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