Solution providers team to launch radio frequency ID deployment center to help clients comply with mandates
Houston January 26, 2004 SIS Technologies, a Sun Microsystems iForce Partner, in conjunction with Distribution Center Logistics (DC Logistics) and Transport Industries, have formed an RFID Deployment Center intended to enable customers to comply with shipping into Wal-Mart's RFID Pilot Distribution Centers (DCs) in the North Texas area.
The RFID Deployment Center, located near Dallas, is a 150,000 square foot facility that will be operated by DC Logistics. It offers the ability to integrate a large number of disparate RFID technologies into an overall solution that meets the specific logistical needs of each customer.
SIS said that RFID Deployment Center services comply with current mandates from Wal-Mart, the US Department of Defense (DOD) and others. Additional capabilities include product and pallet tagging, cross-docking and consolidation services, making this the first full-function facility for RFID deployment, according to SIS.
Until now, adding RFID to a customer's logistics operation was viewed as disruptive because it altered the normal supply chain process. The RFID Deployment Center's third party logistics (3PL) environment provides solutions to relieve the customer of the burden of managing this disruption to their current logistics functions.
"RFID is more than just a technology challenge, so we sought to enter this market from a broader perspective," said John Reed, chief operating officer of SIS Technologies. "We partnered with DC Logistics and one of Wal-Mart's largest grocery carriers, Transport Industries, because these companies have extensive industry knowledge and existing supply chain customers."
DC Logistics handles warehouse and transportation management for import/export as well as domestic distribution. They offer storage, handling, packaging, inventory planning, RFID tagging and shipment planning from their facility in Hutchins, Texas.
"This will be the first fully operational RFID-enabled 3PL facility to manage multiple clients," said Douglas Chaney, president of DC Logistics. "RFID technology is evolving, and an operational facility is the best place to foster the evolution, rather than in a lab setting. Vendors can outsource their test-market compliance functions and subsequently implement their internal RFID infrastructure at their own pace."
"Transport Industries has inter-DC optimization technology that utilizes mobilecomm truck information," said Mike Voelk of Transport Industries (TI), a current supplier to DC Logistics. With over 1,600 QUALCOMM-equipped trucks dedicated to deliver to Wal-Mart's DCs, "this technology enables economical fulfillment between the center and Wal-Mart DCs," Voelk said.
The synergy of these partners allows them to create end-to-end RFID strategies and offer outsourced RFID solutions, SIS said. "RFID is frequently called a 'disruptive technology,'" said Reed. "However, the RFID Deployment Center will make RFID a reality for our customers in a way that is least disruptive to their business operations and profitability."