New Wal-Mart IT chief reaffirms RFID commitment

Retail giant Wal-Mart’s full-blooded commitment to RFID technology throughout the supply chain will continue unabated under its new IT chief.

Retail giant Wal-Mart’s full-blooded commitment to RFID technology throughout the supply chain will continue unabated under its new IT chief.

The company, a forceful advocate for the new technology, has made RFID labeling mandatory for its suppliers.

Rollin Ford, Wal-Mart's new executive vice president and chief information officer, said he was committed to following the strategy of his predecessor, Linda Dillman.

“Like Linda, I view RFID as a strategy that offers tremendous competitive advantage,” he said.

Ford, who was previously the company's executive vice president of logistics and supply chain, added, “There will be no slowing down. I have been a member of the Wal-Mart RFID executive steering committee for the past three years, so I know firsthand that we have a great team working on RFID. I am as excited about what lies ahead as they are.”

He reaffirmed the company's commitment to the EPC standard, saying he had been impressed with performance improvements using the EPC Gen 2 standard.

"When Gen 2 was released we planned to make it our standard at the beginning of this year. We have done that, and I can confirm that we will be sunsetting Gen 1 on June 30,” he said.

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