RFID means many things to many people. To some, it's a confusing and unproven technology; to others, it's a boon to operations and the bottom line.
The key to understanding and exploiting RFID, many analysts say, is to start by keeping any deployment closed loop, or confined to the four walls of the plant. Open-looped systems, such as retailer-enforced projects involving multiple locations and affiliated parties, require more sophistication and expense, and don't always lead to a substantial return on investment.
But don't confuse closed-loop with stand-alone. In almost all cases, the RFID system must interact with--indeed, derives its value from interacting with--incumbent technology, such as a manufacturing execution or inventory management system.
Source: Managing Automation, http://www.managingautomation.com
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