Forrester Questions Wisdom of Pursuing RFID

Apr 01, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A report from Forrester Research, RFID At What Cost?, argues that, with an annual price tag of $9 million, there is no short term business case to be made for Wal-Mart’s
suppliers to implement radio frequency identification technology (RFID) to meet the retailer’s January 1, 2005 deadline.

Christine Spivey Overby, senior analyst, Forrester Research said the reasons for not implementing RFID come down to the technology not being ready, and there not being enough
companies and people with the “deep expertise” needed to help suppliers get up and running with it.

Forrester recommends Wal-Mart scale back its program to limit the number of products containing liquid and metal. It also suggests the retailer concentrate on higher-priced categories,
such as prescription drugs, clothes, and entertainment products.

The report also recommends Wal-Mart should create a buying consortium for the tags to reduce the cost of those participating in its program.

Moderator’s Comment: Is the Forrester report right in questioning the wisdom of pursuing RFID technology?

Just change the lyrics of the song from “what Lola wants” to “what Wal-Mart wants” and you know how this is going to come out.
Anderson – Moderator

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