Launching a radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative within an organization can be accomplished easily with just five steps, according to Sun Executive Vice President of its Software Group John Loiacono, who outlined this plan in the May 2005 Sun Boardroom Minutes.
Step One: Identify Business Objectives
An organization can improve efficiency, lower supply chain costs and open new revenue opportunities with RFID. "For example, RFID data might give you better visibility into customer purchases. That insight might help your sales people up-sell customers or spot new revenue opportunities," noted Loiacono. "ROI for the project - long term and short term - should be acceptable to the organization."
Step Two: Define Deployment
Determining how RFID will be deployed within a business is a necessary element in initiating an RFID program. Loiacono recommends a pilot test be conducted as a proactive approach to solving issue and creating solutions unique to individual organization's environments.
Step Three: Integration Considerations
"Before you deploy the solution, the third step is to consider issues such as integration with other enterprise systems," he advises. "You can evaluate procurement alternatives - where you will get the tags, the readers and antennas and how to roll out the solution across a large enterprise. Should you use RFID in all your locations right away? Should you roll it out in phases? A pilot test in a well-defined controlled environment could answer such questions."
Step Four: Build and Deploy
For successful deployment, Loiacono emphasizes team effort and support that includes training and communication with not only the IT department, but business units, such as manufacturing, procurement, finance, etc. "They are the ones who will have to change their business processes to accommodate RFID, and they are the ones who will benefit most from the technology," he explains. "Make sure the whole organization is mobilized to make the deployment a success. This project will affect a lot of people. Remember, you are not just building a solution, you're also building the IT infrastructure and organizational structure to make it a success."
Step Five: Sustainment and Improvement
Keeping up with the latest advances in technology ensures an RFID solution is operating at peak levels in respect to the entire organization.
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