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Anthony Trudeau

As anyone knows, manufacturing jobs in the U.S. have been dwindling for decades.  Manufacturing above all other sectors is hurt the most by outsourcing.  And manufacturing probably has been most notably affected by China.

China, however, is not buying into RFID.  They don't see a value in RFID, they think whomever is requesting the tags should pay for them, and their margins are too thin for the investment.  And that does not address the issue of technological competency.

Of course, the U.S. manufacturers have also been slow to adopt RFID.  This may be in fact because of the unstable standards (which will hopefully be alleviated by Gen 2 and ALE 1.0) and the poor availability for hardware and tags.  I have heard a lot of interest here and there from clients, but there isn't an urgency.

I think U.S. manufacturers have an opportunity here.  Here is this new technology (relatively speaking) that has a lot of promise even above and beyond supply chain visibility.  I suspect that with a little investment some if not many manufacturers could recapture and bring home some of the lost jobs by improving efficiency as well as the real possibility of a competitive advantage  In order to do this I think manufacturers have to move soon.  Retailers have moved and are seeing real returns (e.g. 16% improvement in out-of-stocks at Wal-Mart).

This is an interesting time.  The slow pace may well be similar to the adoption of the barcode in the mid 70's.  Even then there were the detractors that didn't see the benefit in the technology.  And now barcode technology is so ubiquitous that most people don't even think about it.

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:49 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: A chance for U.S. manufacturers?

# Prediction of RFID Trends in 2006
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RFID Update has an article based on an ABI Research that mentions three key trends for RFID in 2006. The complete article can be found here: I provide a summary.
Left by Anthony Trudeau on Jan 19, 2006 3:11 PM

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