RFID promises to change the way businesses look at the supply chain. It can be used to pinpoint inefficiencies, identify losses and provide an early warning of potential problems, such as when stock levels are running low or a component is lost in transit.
David Smith, senior consultant at Capgemini, said, "RFID offers the potential for accurate, reliable information flow that actually gives you the visibility to see what is going on in your business."
But to achieve this RFID needs to work in concert with business processes. Andrew White, senior research fellow at Cranfield School of Management, said, "You can use RFID to validate the time window a product has to arrive and create events that the business can respond to."
The challenge users face, according to Mark Pritchard, product marketing director at BEA Systems, is one of IT integration, turning an RFID event, when a tag is read, into a business event that links to the back-end systems.
"We need to associate tracking information held in a business system with information RFID can provide," he said.