Companies supplying goods to Sam's Club will soon pay a price if they don't meet the warehouse retailer's RFID tagging requirements by month's end.
Sam's Club, which is owned and operated by Wal-Mart, sent letters dated Jan. 7, 2008, to all its suppliers stating that by Jan. 31, every pallet shipped to any of 22 distribution centers or directly to one of its store must be affixed with an EPC Gen 2 RFID tag. Any supplier failing to do so will be charged a service fee that starts at $2 per untagged pallet on Feb. 1 and caps at $3 on Jan. 1, 2009. The fee will cover the cost to Sam's Club of tagging the pallet itself.
Last fall, Wal-Mart stated plans to more aggressively pursue RFID tagging, particularly at its Sam's Club operations. In fact, it had begun asking 700 of its suppliers to attach an EPC Gen 2 RFID tag to each pallet of goods headed for the Sam's Club DC in DeSoto, Texas.
The decision to charge a service fee surprised some in the industry, including Dean Frew, president and CEO of Xterprise, an RFID solutions provider and systems integrator based in Carrollton, Texas. Xterprise has worked with numerous companies tasked with meeting RFID mandates, and just unveiled a new service specifically designed to help Sam's Club suppliers meet the tagging requirements.
Source: RFID Journal, http://www.rfidjournal.com
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