Large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy and government departments such as the Department of Defense have mandated that their suppliers should use RFID tags in order to simplify and make more accurate the tracking of the millions of items coming in their doors. The deadlines for the RFID mandate are coming soon, so Avery Dennison's RFID business division has just launched a partnership program for qualified companies facing various 2006 mandates to affix RFID tags on cases or pallets before shipping goods from their distribution center to customers. In the program, Avery is opening a company location in Atlanta to help accelerate the adoption of RFID in supply chains. There are more than 300 companies which must implement RFID under current and 2006 mandates at their own expense.
Avery will offer tag evaluation at its Atlanta Technical Center, and participants in the program will receive up to 10,000 free Gen 1 or Gen 2 tags (a value of about $2,000) to either test or ship cases and pallets to customers. The program is also available to retailers who are conducting RFID pilot tests and to OEMs, systems integrators and converters who are working on RFID implementation programs on behalf of end users. Avery hopes that the program will jump-start the company's RFID program. It had better. As one analyst said: "For any company to give away $2,000 worth of product, no strings attached, is a leap of faith that customers will try the product and continue to come back."
For more on Avery's RFID plan:
- see this report