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RFID and RTLS-enabled Asset Tracking and Management Set to Grow

Shipments of radio frequency identification and real-time location system tags will see compound annual growth rates of more than 40 percent, study says.

This year, roughly 37 million higher-frequency RFID and RTLS-enabled asset tracking and asset management tags are expected to ship. But in 2014, such shipments will total almost 150 million, with revenues forecast to reach $845 million, according to a new study released by ABI Research (, Oyster Bay, N.Y. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2010-2014 is more than 40 percent.

“The basic function of asset tracking is to answer the question, ‘Where has my stuff been?’” says practice director Michael Liard. “Asset management, based on Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technologies, refines that question to, ‘Where’s my stuff right now?’ Some new systems even add sensors, allowing the additional question, ‘How are my assets?’ Most industries need answers to these questions, but aerospace and defense, automotive manufacturing, commercial services, and non-CPG (consumer product goods)/industrial manufacturing are showing the fastest and strongest growth in the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) systems.”

During the recent global recession, businesses have continued to realize that optimizing their Return on Assets (ROA) and eliminating unnecessary asset investment is critical. As a result, the adoption of RFID and RTLS-enabled asset tracking and management solutions continues to grow at an impressive rate across verticals and regions, ABI said in an Aug. 31 press release.

Already deployed

A recent ABI Research survey of 80 RFID end-user organizations (excluding those with no interest in RFID, and those using it for item-level retail tracking or people tracking in healthcare) surprisingly revealed that 65 percent of respondents were piloting, deploying, or had already deployed an RFID-based asset tracking and/or management system. This was a higher percentage than those using RFID in its traditional areas of strength, access control and supply chain management.

Perhaps that should not be surprising after all, considering such systems’ stellar return on investment (ROI) performance, with many break-even points measured in months, not years, according to ABI. “Most people assume the savings will be in ‘soft money’—the ability to reduce employees’ time spent on this kind of work,” notes Liard. “But deployments that have been carried through to completion are delivering surprising returns in ‘hard’ money: lower CAPEX (capital expenditures) and less inventory ‘shrinkage.’ ”

In its “RFID and RTLS-enabled Asset Tracking and Management” study, ABI Research provides detailed analysis and assessment of specific applications for asset tracking and asset management, focusing on passive UHF (ultra-high frequency), active RFID, and RTLS-enabled solutions.
ABI Research

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