Why Wal-Mart’s $2/Pallet Non-RFID Penalty Isn’t Going To Work

Written by Evan Schuman
June 2nd, 2008

Computerworld columnist Frank Hayes–a former colleague of mine from CMP and an awesome folk singer as well–has a wonderful column out about why the Wal-Mart RFID effort is still having problems.

Although some of the proprietary arguments are slightly overstated, Hayes makes a great point about how Wal-Mart’s $2 per pallet non-RFID penalty reflects a lack of understanding of why suppliers have resisted RFID tagging. It’s the software implementation costs and the fact that different retailers demand different versions. Hayes’ column is worth reading. (But not everyone seems to agree. The RFID Journal took exception to the piece, on several levels. And then some RFID Journal readers took exception to that disagreement.)


One Comment | Read Why Wal-Mart’s $2/Pallet Non-RFID Penalty Isn’t Going To Work

  1. Chris Kapsambelis Says:

    Wal-Mart’s requirements for pallet and case level tagging is a duplication of current EDI practice, and an added expense for nothing. The software argument does not become important until item level tagging is implemented. When that happens, the database record volume explodes beyond any present standards.

    Unless there is a need to track individual items, the only reason to use RFID at the item level is the efficiency gained by counting large groups of items with a single reading. Since this technique has been proven inaccurate and unreliable there is no need to tag at the item level in general retail applications.

    As long as the requirement remains to scan each item at the Point of Sale (POS), Item level movement data is a byproduct of this process. As for sharing this info with individual vendors, I suggest email. There is no need for expensive and proprietary software for such a simple task.


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