Saturday, October 08, 2005

The U.S. Navy Completes RFID Pilot for Reverse Logistics

According to a story posted on RFID Journal, the U.S. Navy recently completed an RFID trial for tracking return shipments.

Each year, the Naval Inventory Control Point (NAVICP) tracks more than 500,000 broken parts, worth a total of $25 billion, as they move from locations overseas to Advanced Traceability and Control (ATAC) facilities in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego, Calif., then either to warehouses run by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) or to any one of more than 100 contractors enlisted to effect repairs.

The pilot began in January 2005 and was handled by SAIC (who recently acquired ProcureNet - a government procurement company), tracking retrograde parts moving from Iraq, to the ATAC facility in Norfolk.

According to sources, the total value of parts tagged during the pilot was more than $200 million. Using RFID, the project resulted in 99.6 percent of the 11,904 tagged items being confirmed as delivered to the DLA facility. In addition, the RFID system identified more than 350 items—worth a total of $12.6 million—that were not captured with ATAC's existing bar code system. The bar code system confirmed only 97.1 percent of items as having been delivered.

Intellareturn Take: Like any organization, the Navy needs to justify the utilization of and expense associated with new technologies. This pilot for RFID to enhance the reverse logistics processes of military needs provides a solid model for return-on-investment and the capabilities of RFID to handle returns and logistical needs for organizations of all sizes and types.

Intellareturn has been a long-time supporter of the miliary's use of RFID for tracking supplies and handling reverse logistics and we believe that it will continue to expand in scope. For more information, please review our DoD Warranty Compliance Automation white paper (PDF) from Intellareturn CEO Elliot Klein that was published on the Defense Acquisition Regulations Directorate site.


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