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Journal cover: International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Online from: 1971

Subject Area: Operations and Logistics Management

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RFID: from concept to implementation

Document Information:
Title:RFID: from concept to implementation
Author(s):Robert E. Spekman, (Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA), Patrick J. Sweeney II, (ODIN Technologies, Dulles, Virginia, USA)
Citation:Robert E. Spekman, Patrick J. Sweeney II, (2006) "RFID: from concept to implementation", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 36 Iss: 10, pp.736 - 754
Keywords:Radio waves, Supply chain management, Technology led strategy
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/09600030610714571 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive overview of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. The goal is to provide insights regarding the implementation and use of RFID by focusing on its advantages and its problems.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper discusses, what RFID is, how its parts fit; what role management plays in its implementation, and where the pitfalls are.

Findings – RFID is discussed as the latest technology to help manage the logistics and inventory problems faced by all companies. Not only has RFID been shown to provide benefits for the firm in its internal operations; its greatest contribution lies in its ability to improve information and materials flows throughout the entire supply chain. With RFID technology visibility in materials flow (from raw material to finished goods) among all supply chain members is improved and the accuracy of the information shared is greatly enhanced. Equally important is the role played by RFID in the development of more collaborative relations among supply chain members.

Practical implications – For practicing managers the paper offers suggestions for improving the probability of a successful RFID implementation. The paper discusses implications ranging from dealing with the physics of the aligning the equipment, to validity and reliability testing, to integrating a complete RFID system inside the firm, to developing the requisite metrics, mindset, and managerial systems to link all members of the supply chain.

Originality/value – The paper combines practice and theory to demonstrate the potential benefits of RFID and provides insight into how to manage the problems that plague the rapid adoption of this new technology.

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