Thursday, June 01, 2006

Is RFID the white knight for Product Lifecycle Management?

Among the many discussions regarding RFID, one particularly interesting one is using the technology to enhance product lifecycle management (PLM). The integration of RFID and PLM creates a strong opportunity for warranty repairs, returns and product registration.

RFID Journal's Mark Roberti wrote an insightful article ("RFID Gets Itemized") about early adopters and item-level tagging in many industries:

  • U.S. drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma tagging/tracking individual pill bottles
  • German health-care provider Saarbr├╝cken Clinic Winterberg tracking individual bags of blood
  • U.S. jeans maker Levi Strauss, Japanese retailer Mitsukoshi, U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer and others tracking apparel and footwear
  • Swiss watchmaker and jeweler de Grisogono tracking watches and diamond rings
  • Japanese retailer Yodobashi Camera tracking individual digital cameras.

While there are many reasons to consider RFID - from product lifecycle management to inventory tracking, many are planning RFID pilots and AMR Research found that: "42 percent of respondents say that item-level tagging will be their organization's most strategically important technology investment over the next 12 to 24 months."

Intellareturn Take: Why the interest? Simply, item-level tagging enhances visibility within a company's operations and allows for better customer service. This is increasingly important with high-value items and can improve the total lifetime value of a customer relationship.


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