Solution Providers Allying on RFID

Latest deals link RedPrairie and Xterprise, Manhattan Associates and Matrics

Mesa, AZ — April 27, 2004 — Supply chain solution providers are lining up to partner with electronic product code (EPC) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology companies, with the latest announcements highlighting alliances between RedPrairie and Xterprise, as well as Manhattan Associates and Matrics.

Xterprise, an integrator of EPC and RFID technology, is set to resell and RFID suite from supply chain solution provider RedPrairie under a partnership deal inked by the two companies.

The agreement will enable Xterprise to resell the RedPrairie RFID product suite into the expanding EPC market and also will enable RedPrairie to take advantage of Xterprise's solution integration delivery capabilities to reach EPC customers.

RedPrairie and Xterprise said that they are already working together on a number of Wal-Mart supplier compliance projects. The combined capabilities of RedPrairie and Xterprise will enable customers to utilize RFID technology to identify, manage and track physical assets, information and personnel, the two providers said.

Meanwhile, supply chain execution specialist Manhattan Associates is allying with electronic product code (EPC) solution provider Matrics with the goal of accelerating the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology throughout the consumer goods supply chain.

In a statement, the two providers said that the primary goal of this alliance is to help clients reduce overall costs and increase profitability by combining RFID tag and reader technology with RFID-enabled supply chain execution solutions.

The benefits to customers, according to Manhattan and Matrics, could include improved accuracy and distribution efficiencies, shorter order cycle times, elimination of unnecessary handling and expenses and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Manhattan Associates offers a variety of logistics solutions and has rolled out its "RFID in a Box" solution, which incorporates implementation services for RFID, integration platform for RFID and RFID-enabled SCE applications. The company is partnering with various RFID suppliers to market its solutions to particular target markets.

"By aligning our RFID solutions with Matrics tag and reader functionality, we can ensure that customers who face pending compliance mandates meet deadlines, while realizing the added benefits of source-to-consumption supply chain operations," said Greg Gilbert, RFID strategist for Manhattan.

RFID technology uses tags or transponders to transmit EPCs and communicate wirelessly to readers over radio frequency waves. Attached to physical objects, including items, cartons, pallets and containers, the tags uniquely identify objects. Readers receive data from the RFID tags via radio frequency waves once the tags are within reading range. This data is captured, accepted and executed against by RFID-enabled supply chain solutions, such as those offered by Manhattan Associates.

The Matrics RFID system is comprised of EPC-compliant RFID tags (Class 0 read only and read/write) and its new, multi-protocol reader (AR 400 RFID Reader), which is designed to enable real-time tag reading and writing capability for all EPC-compliant tags, including Class 0 and Class 1.

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