Claims by one of the latest surveys on RFID adoption that a third of European suppliers are now RFID tagged have been greeted with a little scepticism.
However, the main findings were deemed to be in line with other predictions made by the analyst community in general.
The findings, by market research firm Vanson Bourne for RFID-enabled label maker Printronix, claimed that the suppliers who are using RFID are tagging 50 per cent of their their containers.
This is a surprisingly large result compared with anecdotal evidence from UK analysts.
Vanson Bourne company director Graham Opie countered any scepticism at this result. ‘We aren’t saying that a third of retailers are fully RFID compliant, but they are seeing tagged cases coming in from suppliers,’ he said. ‘Suppliers in Spain and Italy seem more likely to be doing this. In this instance, the UK is a little behind.’
These findings aside, the research seemed to support analyst thinking about RFID take-up. It found that 41 per cent of the 125 retailers surveyed across Europe were planning RFID pilots this year. The main benefits were expected to be supply chain visibility and reducing stock shrinkage.
However, the report identified a significant concern over the lack of standardisation, with 37 per cent of retailers seeing it as a significant barrier to RFID adoption. This was only superseded by the cost of the tags - a potential barrier cited by about 60 per cent of UK respondents.
The study showed there was still a lot of confusion in the market for RFID equipment. Some 31 per cent of European retailers said they were still unsure of which of their suppliers was RFID compliant.
However, there was little concern shown by retailers of a privacy lobby backlash.
Consultants Kurt Salmon Associates is poised to release research on RFID, based on the findings from the Metro Future Store initiative in Germany.
KSA manager Simon Merriott agreed with Vanson Bourne’s findings. He said: ‘There was a degree of misunderstanding about how people will use RFID tagging. I don’t think it will be a major concern in the long term.’
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