Improving Supply Chains Using RFID & Standards


This book explains how RFID data can benefit businesses from the receiving of raw materials all the way to the sales of end products to customers or consumers, and also explains the benefits of employing the technology to process returns through reverse logistics. What's more, it's written in an easy style that assumes no prior knowledge of supply chains or RFID on the part of the audience.

This is not a replacement for solid technical books about RFID, such as Patrick J. Sweeney's RFID for Dummies. Instead, it was written to compliment technical books, by taking the technology and placing it squarely into a structured business context.

Anyone responsible for, or involved in, managing supply chains would benefit from reading Improving Supply Chains Using RFID & Standards, as would those looking to understand more about RFID's use in almost any aspect of business operations.

With forewords from MIT's Professor Sanjay Sarma and Cisco's Dick Cantwell, Improving Supply Chains sets the stage for an extremely useful—but enjoyable—journey into the world of RFID in industry.

The author, Ian Robertson, shares his personal knowledge and experience of more than 35 years in supply chains, 40 years in IT, and eight years in standards development and RFID, as well as his pioneering work with MIT, Hewlett-Packard and EPCglobal (GS1) to implement RFID and standards into worldwide supply chains.


  • Table of Contents
    • About the Author
    • Forwards
    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Navigating This Book
      • 2.1 Introduction
      • 2.2 Chapter 3 - Why Focus on Business Benefits?
      • 2.3 Chapter 4 - Operations Management
      • 2.4 Chapter 5 - Supply Chain Efficiencies
      • 2.5 Chapter 6 - Retailing
      • 2.6 Chapter 7 - Asset Management
      • 2.7 Chapter 8 - Counterfeiting et al
      • 2.8 Chapter 9 - Electronic Proof of Delivery (EPOD)
      • 2.9 Chapter 10 - Outside of Supply Chain
      • 2.10 Chapter 11 - The Environment
      • 2.11 Chapter 12 - Closed Loop Environments
    • 3. Why Focus On Business Benefits?
      • 3.1 Introduction
      • 3.2 What Happens Today
      • 3.3 What Is On A Pallet?
      • 3.4 Improving Supply Chains
      • 3.5 The Basic Data
      • 3.6 Advantages: The RFID & Standards Combination
        • 3.6.1 The RFID Advantage
        • 3.6.2 The Unique Identification Advantage
        • 3.6.3 The Visibility Advantage
        • 3.6.4 The Data Exchange Advantage
      • 3.7 Understanding These Advantages in Context
    • 4. Operations Management
      • 4.1 What Is Operations Management?
        • 4.1.1 Transaction/Item Level
        • 4.1.2 Operational Level
        • 4.1.3 Management/Strategic Level
      • 4.2 Visibility Is Key
        • 4.2.1 Actionable Visibility
        • 4.2.2 Why RFID?
      • 4.3 Process Improvements
    • 5. Supply Chain Efficiencies
      • 5.1 Understanding Current Processes
      • 5.2 Process Time
      • 5.3 Physical Activity Reduction
      • 5.4 On Board Data
      • 5.5 Rework Reduction
      • 5.6 Process Accuracy
      • 5.7 Unnecessary Processes
      • 5.8 Warranty & Repair
      • 5.9 Part History
      • 5.10 Product Returns
      • 5.11 Inventory Management
        • 5.11.1 Obsolescence
        • 5.11.2 Theft
        • 5.11.3 Out Of Stock
        • 5.11.4 Misplaced Inventory
        • 5.11.5 Enhanced Put Away
        • 5.11.6 Inventory Carrying Costs
        • 5.11.7 Efficient Infrastructure Use
        • 5.11.8 Inventory – Summary
      • 5.12 Extended Supply Chains
      • 5.13 Automated Process Trigger
      • 5.14 Performance Monitoring
      • 5.15 Process Improvements Summary
    • 6. Retailing
      • 6.1 What Do We Mean By "Retailing"?
      • 6.2 Store Receiving
      • 6.3 Shelf Replenishment
      • 6.4 Out Of Stock
      • 6.5 Promotions
      • 6.6 POS / Check Out
      • 6.7 Customer Information
      • 6.8 In The Changing Room
      • 6.9 The RFID Mirror
      • 6.10 EAS
      • 6.11 Product Recall
      • 6.12 Returns
      • 6.13 Track & Trace
      • 6.14 Warranty
      • 6.15 Customer Specific Offers
    • 7. Asset Management
      • 7.1 Introduction
      • 7.2 Identification
      • 7.3 Asset Tracking
      • 7.4 Data Centres
      • 7.5 Returnable Transport Units
    • 8. Counterfeiting et al
      • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.2 Counterfeiting
      • 8.3 Adulteration
      • 8.4 Overproduction
      • 8.5 Market Diversion
      • 8.6 Anti-counterfeiting Measures
      • 8.7 Conclusion
    • 9. EPOD (Electronic Proof of Delivery)
      • 9.1 Introduction
      • 9.2 Accurate Receiving
      • 9.3 Reduced Receiving Reconciliation
      • 9.4 Improved Supplier Relationships
      • 9.5 3rd Party Reconciliation Services
    • 10. Outside Of Supply Chain
      • 10.1 Introduction
      • 10.2 Road Tolls
      • 10.3 Automotive Industry
      • 10.4 Animal Tracking
      • 10.5 Military
      • 10.6 Passports
      • 10.7 Child Safety
      • 10.8 Libraries
      • 10.9 File Tracking
      • 10.10 Toys
    • 11. The Environment
      • 11.1 Introduction
      • 11.2 Reduce
        • 11.2.1 Store Less Materials
        • 11.2.2 Use Less Materials
        • 11.2.3 Use Less Packaging
      • 11.3 Reuse
      • 11.4 Recycle
      • 11.5 Recycle 2
      • 11.6 Environmentally Friendly Disposition
      • 11.7 RFID Tag Disposition
    • 12. Closed Loop Supply Chains
      • 12.1 Introduction
      • 12.2 Outsourcing Takes Hold
      • 12.3 From The Supplier's Perspective
      • 12.4 If It's Really Closed Loop...

    About the Author

    Ian Robertson, MBCS, CITP, Dip. Mgmt., B.Sc. (Hons.) was previously GS1's director for transportation and other industry sectors. He has a long, multifaceted background covering IT, supply chain and international large-scale program management, and was formerly HP's worldwide program director of RFID, having spent 22 years working in Hewlett-Packard's HP, Compaq and DEC components.

    Robertson originates from London, England, but left the United Kingdom 22 years ago, to gain international experience living and working in France, Switzerland, Holland, Germany and the United States. He specializes in taking on complex start-up situations for which the rules have yet to be written, and in troubleshooting supply chains. Robertson has written various papers regarding change management within large corporations, and has consulted for many companies in this respect.

    His background in supply chain troubleshooting positioned him well to create HP's RFID program from scratch, and to drive its implementation into the company's supply chain across 28 sites around the globe—particularly in Asia, where he also initiated trials and negotiations with many governments for the allocation of RFID frequencies and operating parameters. He has worked extensively across North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.

    Robertson's pioneering work in RFID has included collaboration with Sanjay Sarma regarding the concept of using RFID for electronic proof of delivery, as well as the use of analytics derived from EPC event data to predict supply chain events and reduce the effort and time required to reconcile receiving discrepancies among trading partners. He also promoted the adoption of pallet association and aggregation techniques from the electronics and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries, to overcome the limitations of reading tags through difficult materials. Additionally, he wrote the original RFID Cook Book to share his experiences of implementing RFID at HP with others seeking to do the same within their businesses.

    In November 2005, Robertson took up the dual roles of global industry development director, and of Asia-Pacific regional director for EPCglobal. In his Asia-Pacific role, he has consulted on RFID applications and regulations for numerous governments and major industries. He worked closely with the apparel, aerospace and defense, automotive, and consumer electronics industries to form industry groups within EPCglobal. His collaboration with China contributed to the development and publication of that nation's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID regulations. From April 2009 to May 2011, he was responsible for transportation and other sectors for GS1's Global Office. Today, he is the founder and CEO of Supply Chain RFID Consulting LLC.

    Robertson is a graduate of the International Advanced Management Program at INSEAD, in France, as well as of The Open University, in the United Kingdom. He is also a charter member of the British Computer Society.



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    !D Gate

    The !D Gate is a modern, open pedestal that is mounted on the floor. Because it is an integrated reader, both the reader and antennae are included. It supports processes like goods receiving, transition from stock room to sales floor and anti-theft (EAS). Depending on the role, the optimum RFID parameters are chosen automatically.

    !D POS

    The !D POS is an integrated reader to be used for reading items at the point-of-sale station. It has a small, rugged casing that can be mounted under the cash desk. The antenna only reads items on top of the reader, while ignoring items below or next to the antenna, due to the built-in shielding. It can be connected via USB or Ethernet, while the power can be supplied by a local power supply.

    !D Top

    The !D Top is an integrated reader that can easily be mounted on the wall or to the ceiling - using almost invisible steel cables. Its compact, clean design blends into every store, keeping the entrance of the store wide open when used as an anti-theft system. The !D Top can be combined with existing (AM/RF) EAS systems.

    "The InfoChip App" NFC App for iPhone and Android

    The InfoChip App, to be released on iPhone and Android, brings forth a profound revolution in safety compliance, inspection management and industrial asset management. The InfoChip App enables you to "Interact With Your Assets" where and when you need to, using your NFC-enabled smartphone and InfoChip's complete line of extremely durable NFC RFID tags.

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