ACCESS PACK EXPO XPRESS ONLINE TODAY. Content is available on-demand through November 30th.

RFID a Hot Topic at Pack Expo Las Vegas (sidebar)

Some Suppliers Have Doubts

Some Wal-Mart suppliers are wary of making a commitment to radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, according Michael J. Laird, a senior analyst at Venture Development Corp. (VDC,, a Natick, Mass.-based research firm. “This is largely due to the lack of RFID education and the complexity and costs associated with RFID systems,” Laird wrote in a report following the Nov. 4-5 meeting sponsored by Wal-Mart for its suppliers and RFID vendors. For suppliers, challenges and questions surrounding RFID include system performance, data synchronization, consumer privacy, integration with legacy systems and non-compliance repercussions, Laird said. After attending the meeting, VDC classified top suppliers’ reactions into three categories:

l Suppliers who are experiencing “compliance denial,” stalling adoption or wishing RFID would go away—representing nearly a quarter of the suppliers

l Suppliers who embrace the benefits of RFID but are exercising caution moving forward with RFID compliance—another quarter of the suppliers

l Suppliers actively volunteering to be first implementers/adopters of RFID—roughly half of the suppliers.

Despite the reluctance of some, “the vast majority of Wal-Mart’s suppliers appear ready to embrace RFID and begin working toward compliance,” Laird said. “Given the size and influence of some of Wal-Mart’s top suppliers who are ready to commit to RFID, this speaks significant volumes about the potential impact the Wal-Mart mandate may have on the RFID industry in terms of revenue, transponder and reader shipments, and overall market development.”

See the stroy that goes with this sidebar: RFID a Hot Topic at

Pack Expo Las Vegas

Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Take Automation World's machine learning quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Machine Learning Smarts
Access On-Demand Content Today
Discover innovative solutions for packaging and processing, automation, sustainability, e-commerce and more.
Access On-Demand Content Today