Descartes Launches RFID Benefits Testing Program

Solution provider pledges to separate hype from reality for companies considering radio frequency identification implementations.

Solution provider pledges to separate hype from reality for companies considering radio frequency identification implementations

Waterloo, ON — March 2, 2004 — The Descartes Systems Group, a provider of supply chain services, has rolled out a new program that it says is designed to help companies separate radio frequency identification (RFID) hype from reality by measuring the costs and business benefits of deploying RFID across a company's supply chain.

Leveraging Descartes' experience in live RFID field tests and working relationships with RFID hardware vendors, the new RFID Pilot Program is intended to help companies measure the impact of RFID on order fulfillment quality, cycle times, and inventory and asset productivity, according to the solution provider.

The program lets companies test RFID processes in their own company and, optionally, with trading partners and others across the extended supply chain, Descartes said.

"No two businesses are exactly alike, and that's why the value of RFID can differ dramatically by company and industry," said Manuel Pietra, Descartes' CEO and president. "Our RFID Pilot Program provides companies with a comprehensive way to test the impact of RFID in their business. Only by monitoring and measuring the technology through a real slice of the supply chain can companies truly understand the benefits RFID may provide."

Descartes argues that the flexibility of its Logistics Network Operating System makes it possible to tailor the RFID Pilot Program to meet the specific needs of a variety of industries. The Logistics Network Operating System can be used to integrate RFID with business documents such as purchase orders and advance shipment notices and with GPS vehicle tracking technology to provide real-time supply chain monitoring and control, the solution provider said.

"We are seeing demand for RFID solutions from several of our customers throughout our target industries," Pietra said, suggesting that the company's new RFID program would give these customers a cost-effective way to field test the impact of RFID in their supply chains.

The RFID Pilot Program is now generally available. The program features site evaluation and laboratory testing of RFID equipment; implementation of RFID equipment through a slice of the supply chain; live monitoring of RFID-enabled orders, inventory and assets during the field test period; measurement of business process improvements; assessment of RFID infrastructure and tag costs; and rollout recommendations.