“Wal-Mart Radio Tags To Track Clothing.”
That was the headline of a story in The Wall Street Journal this past July. For many in the materials handling business, it was a déjà vu moment. After all, seven years earlier Wal-Mart announced what came to be known as “the mandate,” the goal to have all suppliers tagging cases and pallets with RFID smart tags by the end of 2006.
Anyone who ships to Wal-Mart knows how that worked out. But, let’s give the retailer credit where credit is due: Without that mandate, we might not be talking about RFID today. And make no mistake about it, when it comes to tackling problems in the supply chain, leading companies of all sizes are talking about RFID.
“The euphoria around Wal-Mart spurred a lot of innovation by the RFID industry,” says Kerry Krause, vice president of marketing for Impinj, a provider of RFID readers and silicon chips. “You saw investments in reader technology, chip technology and software that arguably accelerated the progress of the technology.”
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