NCR turns to consulting to push RFID

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NCR has turned towards a consultancy pitch in order to boost the sale of RFID-based infrastructure in Australia.

NCR has turned towards a consultancy pitch in order to boost the sale of RFID-based infrastructure in Australia.

The company has flown in Human Factors Engineering (HFE) division manager Michael Inderrieden, from the US to spread the word to retailers and help roll out its new pitch.

This new approach seeks to find a champion of RFID in a potential client – typically a supply chain manager – and work with them to develop a six-step approach to correctly rolling out RFID in the organisation.

The process involves the creation of a global RFID policy, workshops to understand business goals, establishing an ROI model, implementing a pilot, deployment across an organisation, and dealing with change management.

The HFE division, based in the US, consults on how humans interact with technology and the physical capabilities and motivation behind human acceptance of new technology.

“This is a real recommendation of what steps to take when rolling out RFID,” Inderrieden said. “A lot of companies try to run with the technology before they can walk.”

This was the reason why more than a few companies around the globe had lost money, wasted man-hours and completely botched RFID implementations, he said.

Stephanie Lee, retail industry marketing manager at NCR’s Retail Solutions Division, said the lack of any mandates on suppliers that they must use RFID was also behind the lack of adoption locally.

“There has been a wait and see approach but I think you will see a big push from consumer goods companies soon,” she said.

While the cost of RFID tags had fallen in some countries by as much as 40 percent to around $US0.20 each, in recent times, this was still too expensive for use on many products, Inderrieden said.

“Fifteen dollars [US] seems to be about the tipping point before an RFID tag is used for an item,” he said. “But tags will soon be ten, then seven, cents each.”

In order to makes the most of this push the company has also appointed an APAC RFID sales director, David Danver, Lee said.

Due to the complexity of RFID, NCR would, for the short term, continue to work directly with customers on implementations, she said.
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