Provia Touts RFID Compliance Solution

Offers bolt-on for WMS, ERP systems to let suppliers meet Wal-Mart's 2005 deadline

Grand Rapids, MI — November 13, 2003 — Provia Software, a provider of supply chain execution software solutions, is putting forward its new RFIDware bolt-on compliance kit as the answer to meeting the requirements set forth by Wal-Mart at a recent meeting with the giant retailer's top suppliers.

Wall-Mart is requiring its top 100 suppliers to begin shipping radio frequency identification (RFID)-compliant pallets and cases by the January 2005 deadline and outlined the technical requirements to suppliers at the recent meeting. The U.S. Department of Defense has also mandated adoption of RFID technology for its suppliers.

RFIDware is an electronic product code (EPC)-compliant, bolt-on RFID solution developed by Provia to enable product suppliers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) with an existing warehouse management (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP) or host system to become RFID compliant.

The EPC is a unique number that identifies a specific item in the supply chain. The EPC is stored on a RFID tag. Once it is retrieved from the tag, it can be associated with dynamic data such as where an item originated or the date of its production.

"RFIDware is designed for companies that now have the requirement to ship RFID compliant pallets and cases to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense and other companies that will soon require it as well," said Paul Crist, Provia vice president of sales and marketing. "Our approach to this solution was to offer a bolt-on or drop-in product that works in conjunction with a company's existing logistics software solution and process flows."

Crist added that the solution would help put suppliers back into control of prioritizing their information technology (IT) projects because they can use the solution to quickly become compliant with Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense requirements for RFID. Once compliant, these suppliers could advance to the next step of looking at how they can reap the benefits of RFID internally within their own operations."

During its recent supplier meetings, Wal-Mart addressed its requirements for RFID compliance and identified which of the company's distribution centers will initially accept RFID shipments. Wal-Mart will receive RFID compliant shipments at three distribution centers that service 150 Wal-Mart, Sam's Club and Neighborhood Market stores across the country.

Who will reap the greatest benefit from RFID, retailers like Wal-Mart or their suppliers? For one viewpoint on this issue, see this recent SDCExec article.

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