Descartes to Participate in End-to-end RFID Pilot

Staples Business Depot to use enabler's Delivery Management solutions in Supply Chain Network Project pilot.

Staples Business Depot to use enabler's Delivery Management solutions in Supply Chain Network Project pilot

Waterloo, Ontario — December 5, 2005 — Logistics solutions company Descartes Systems Group has been selected by the Supply Chain Network (SCN) Project, a consortium of leading retailers, suppliers and other technology providers, to participate in Canada's first end-to-end electronic product code/radio frequency identification (EPC/RFID) pilot.

Descartes provides on-demand delivery management solutions and services for transportation, logistics, manufacturing, retail and distribution enterprises. The purpose of the upcoming pilot is to explore how RFID can be used across the supply chain to help retailers and suppliers reduce costs, increase productivity and provide better customer service.

In the trial, Descartes' Delivery Management Solutions — including Visibility & Event Management and AVL (Automated Vehicle Locator), in conjunction with network services provided by the Descartes Global Logistics Network — will be used to capture, synchronize and facilitate EPC/RFID and related logistics messages across Staples Business Depot's supply chain, from head office through a warehouse, a store and several suppliers.

RFID has existed for several decades but now is becoming more widely deployed. At a simple level, the technology involves tags that emit radio signals and devices called readers that pick up those signals. When RFID is combined with global positioning system (GPS) information, the two provide retailers and suppliers with real-time information about inventory and the status of goods in transit.

Descartes said its Delivery Management solutions will give Staples Business Depot and other SCN participants a dashboard interface that will allow them to monitor logistics progress and inventory status across the entire supply chain, as well as scorecard delivery performance based upon the pallet-, case- and item-level information received from RFID tags.

"Many Descartes customers are beginning to explore RFID as a way to gain control of their assets, reduce costs and provide better customer service, and we are committed to providing them with the leading-edge technologies they will need to keep them competitive in tomorrow's marketplace," said Arthur Mesher, CEO of Descartes.

Additional Articles of Interest

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.