- If the business hasn’t already carried out a comprehensive requirements study to validate the choice of RFID, this should be the first task of the consultant or the RFID solutions provider. A previous post highlighted some of the factors to be considered when deciding whether RFID is for you. A comprehensive study should establish the current as well as the future needs of the business which needs to be fulfilled with RFID.
- Identify the data types and frequency at which such data needs to be captured
- How and where would this data be stored?
- Who are the consumers of this data and how will it be shared?
If the requirements study phase establishes a clear need for the business to deploy RFID, it is advisable that the solutions provider initiate a Proof of Concept (PoC) study. The objective of this study is to test key technology decisions and assumptions to ensure the achievement of all the critical success criteria prior to a full-scale roll out.
- Environmental factors tend to significantly impact the design decisions of RFID systems. The presence of metal surfaces, aqueous liquids and other factors which contribute to a ‘noisy environment’ may adversely impact the readability of RFID tags. These need to be extensively investigated in the solution architecture & design by the solutions team.
- Different combinations of readers, antennas and tags are extensively tested by the solutions team to identify the optimal combinations and configurations suited for the specific business needs. A well planned and executed proof of concept study is invaluable to make the right technology choices and ensure the right solution.
- RFID solution experts with the right skills and relevant past experience in implementing real world solutions will consider all of the above and any other factors which might impact the ultimate success of the project.
- Finally, all the key findings from PoC study should be collected and presented to key stakeholders to create alignment prior to full-scale deployment.
- Upon securing the approval to move forward, many of the purchase decisions need to be made. An RFID solutions partner with the right global partnerships can source the equipment and components and also expedite the installation of the RFID infrastructure minimizing impact on ongoing business activities.
- Developing a comprehensive solution is not only the job of RFID experts. The RFID solutions provider should also be prepared to make available multiple other skills including Business Analysts, Test Engineers, Project and Program Managers and Software Engineers to craft the total solution.
- From product tagging to operating the RFID equipment, business users must be methodically trained by the solutions team on both the equipment and the overall solution to ensure proper change management to ensure a smooth transition into RFID.
Zone24x7 counts over a decade of experience in deploying RFID solutions across multiple industries. We have custom designed hardware, software, robotics and fully integrated solutions to cater to the unique and challenging business needs of our clients. This blog post outlines an approach which we have successfully adopted during our many client engagements to maximize the success of our projects.
Nuwan Weerasinghe is a Senior Manager – Business Design at Zone24x7. You can also follow him on LinkedIn.