Most people in the RFID Tagging industry agree that RFID cannot achieve mass adoption unless goods are tagged at the source.
Some apparel companies running pilots have been RFID-tagging items at their distribution centers in order to get tagged goods into stores. This is costly, time-consuming and not viable on a massive scale.
There has been some resistance among suppliers to tags goods, because they have seen RFID as an added cost of doing business (few have taken advantage of the benefits internally, but that is beginning to change). Recent research suggest that label and trim companies are entering the RFID market in a big way. Thiss suggests that more apparel companies are asking for the supply of apparel labels with RFID already embedded in it. It must be happening on a healthy scale for so many of these companies to be jumping on the bandwagon all at once.
This is a sign that adoption is gathering momentum and a tipping point is in sight. When enough retailers are using RFID, it will make sense for apparel manufacturers to tag everything. Label and trim companies learning about RFID and buying inlays suggests that such a point is getting closer. And when the largest apparel makers tag everything, it makes sense for more stores to use RFID, since it's already in many of the items they are receiving.
Retail apparel, could well be the first sector to achieve mass adoption of RFID Tagging, but I think other areas will quickly follow. That's because the success in retail will be a signal to the business media, consultants and eventually business people that the technology has matured and is ready for use in many other sectors.
- Asset Tagger Team