Monday, March 01, 2004

Suppliers must aim RFID at Target

Target Corp, operator of retailers Target, Marshall Fields, and Mervyn's, is initiating an RFID mandate for its suppliers. Target is calling for its top suppliers to include RFID tags on pallets and cases in 2005, with the rest of its supplier base to comply in 2007. Target is sketchy on the details, but its program will hopefully look a lot like Wal-mart's, which I described most recently in a post on Nov. 8.

Companies seldom invest in major new technologies without some sort of external pressure, such as a major customer mandate or governmental regulation. RFID appears to be enjoying both, with pressure for adoption coming from major customers such as Walmart and Target as well as from government initiatives, such as the FDA's RFID initiative in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

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