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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wal-Mart was Wrong to Just Tag Pallets

I just wrote a guest column at one of my favorite retail blogs: Storefrontbacktalk. About how Wal-Mart first tested RFID tags extensively on cases and pallets. Now they are moving to test on clothing, and the test is now, finally, really on:

"GuestView: Wal-Mart Was Wrong To Initially Just Tag Pallets
Franz Dill spent 30 years in various technology management roles at Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest consumer goods manufacturer. He retired from P&G and joined the consulting world in 2007. This is a StorefrontBacktalk GuestView column.

When Wal-Mart this week confirmed its limited launch of item-level RFID tags, it shouldn’t have been news to many in retail. That’s what Wal-Mart has said it wanted to do for literally 10 years. The question shouldn't be “Why is Wal-Mart doing this?” as much as “What’s different this time? Why is this finally happening now?”
It’s not a technology issue.

It’s a mindset issue, in two ways. First, Wal-Mart’s “let’s start at the pallet level and learn RFID there” approach was an understandable albeit wrong move, given the retailer’s data and analytical needs and goals. Second, the need for the kind of data that only item-level can deliver is now much more apparent and, perhaps more importantly, understood better at the management level ... "
Read much more.

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