Paybacks from item level RFID divide into those that are difficult or impossible to quantify at project level and those that are readily quantifiable. The ones that are difficult to quantify at project level may nonetheless have a large impact globally as shown in Figure 1.

Whereas the benefits of tagging vehicles, intermodal containers, pallets and cases in supply chains are almost all financial in nature and of limited variety and magnitude, item level RFID tagging on the grand scale offers a far wider variety of financial benefits and also many non-financial benefits. Some examples are shown in Figure 2.

No evidence yet but one year is possible if it replaces 12 or more paper labelling procedures

The experience of major organisations across a remarkable variety of industries underpins these findings as shown in Figure 3.

There have been one or two claims of paybacks of only a few months in the civil sector that match the best military paybacks. Very short paybacks usually involve major changes in working practices facilitated by RFID. Little wonder then that there is intense interest in further application of RFID, particularly at item level.

You can read the new reports "Item level RFID Volume 1 - Forecasts 2006-2016, Technology, Standards" "Item Level RFID Volume 2 - 100 Cases, Paybacks, Lessons Learned" at

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