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Journal cover: Supply Chain Management: An International Journal

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1359-8546

Online from: 1996

Subject Area: Operations and Logistics Management

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RFId adoption in the FMCG supply chain: an interpretative framework


Document Information:
Title:RFId adoption in the FMCG supply chain: an interpretative framework
Author(s):Raffaello Balocco, (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy), Giovanni Miragliotta, (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy), Alessandro Perego, (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy), Angela Tumino, (Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy)
Citation:Raffaello Balocco, Giovanni Miragliotta, Alessandro Perego, Angela Tumino, (2011) "RFId adoption in the FMCG supply chain: an interpretative framework", Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 Iss: 5, pp.299 - 315
Keywords:Radio frequency identification, Supply chain management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/13598541111155820 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors would like to thank Massimo Bolchini, Technical Director of GS1 Italy, for the inspiring discussions with him, and the reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.
Abstract:

Purpose – In 2003, Walmart issued a sensational RFId mandate for its top 100 suppliers, including a detailed deployment plan under compelling deadlines. After seven years, very little of that mandate has become a consolidated industry practice. This paper aims to try to offer a complete and thorough explanation of the reasons behind this fact, providing a sound strategic view of what is happening and could happen in the future.

Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on a twofold methodological approach: first, it relies on an in-depth literature review covering the assessment of RFId applications in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry; second, it leverages on a five-year research program carried out by the RFId Solution Center of Politecnico di Milano in cooperation with GS1 Italy, which provided both quantitative data (used to develop and feed an analytical profitability assessment model) and qualitative knowledge to understand the “soft” implications of RFId adoption in the industry.

Findings – Despite the great potential of RFId technology, there are still some significant barriers preventing its diffusion. Case-level tagging is required to enable a substantial redesign of the supply chain, but profit-sharing and reading reliability should be carefully considered to ensure economic and technological feasibility. The comparison with the fashion industry evidences some key success factors of RFId; while some of them are industry-specific, others can be replicated in the FMCG as well, but further efforts are still needed.

Originality/value – This is one of the first attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of RFId potential in the FMCG supply chain, taking into account all the major factors involved. Moreover, the quantitative results illustrated in the paper could be a valuable support to companies in defining their RFId strategies.



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