As a CEO, I get to do what any CEO loves to do: gather a bunch of unsuspecting employees, especially new hires, into a conference room and explain to a captive audience exactly what the company does and why it’s so great for the people it serves. I tell them about how our breakthrough Auto ID technologies – barcode and RFID – are fundamentally revolutionizing the way inventory, supply chain and compliance managers do their jobs. I talk about how our Auto ID solutions are transforming our customers into superheroes by bestowing upon them the power of x-ray vision into the location, condition and status of all their items….how this makes things more efficient and boosts their ROI. I’m passionate about the benefits and I’m naturally excited whenever I get to tell the whole story.
Then I return to my office thinking, “Great speech, Pete. You really laid it all out there for them. The benefits of Auto ID technology are big and beautiful. No doubt about it. Organizations should naturally be flocking to them. How could they not?”
It’s this last question that has been niggling me recently. Why is it that most organizations don’t naturally gravitate to Auto ID? Clearly, everyone wants to leverage the reliable, precise item data that can be captured and stored in a database using barcode and RFID technology. What’s getting in the way?
I am coming to the conclusion that the stumbling block has less to do with the benefits of Auto ID technology and more to do with an organization’s internal structure. Everyone wants Auto ID, but no one is exactly leaping out of their seats to take responsibility for implementing it because it means coordinating with so many facets of the organization. It’s understandable. I have visited with many companies who have packed their conference rooms with representatives from procurement, compliance, supply chain, production, systems, engineering and other departments. With so many stakeholders, it’s easy to imagine the complexity of coming up with an Auto ID solution that will satisfy all of them.
The supply chain folks, for instance, are drawn to the idea of total asset visibility using Auto ID and will want to leverage the hands-off, automated capture of asset data as items flow through various points within the organization’s operations. People in compliance may need to make sure the company’s products and packaging are identified using barcode and RFID technology in a way that satisfies explicit U.S. Department of Defense MIL-STD-130 and MIL-STD-129 military standards. Engineering may want to know how to apply Auto ID technologies to build traceability into a product to affirm its reliability or authenticity throughout its lifecycle. Everyone will have different needs. Everyone will have different questions.
So let’s start with the questions. For those looking to overcome the perceived complexity and spearhead an effort to implement Auto ID in a commercial, government or military organization, getting the answers they want, begins with asking the right questions. Ask yourself:
1. What are the clear benefits my organization will realize using Auto ID technology?
2. What commercial or government standards does my Auto ID solution need to meet?
3. Do I choose barcode? RFID?
4. What business processes will be impacted?
5. Will the Auto ID system hardware and software meet the needs of all stakeholders?
6. How about system mobility? Do I need industrial-strength devices? Smartphones? Either? Both?
7. Will the solution improve my decision-making and help me make better use of resources?
8. What ROI can I expect?
A2B can steer you to the right answers by helping you assess your Auto ID needs – taking into account all the key players and operations being impacted. We provide the consultation, systems, software and an expanded range of professional services to help you implement a barcode or RFID solution that yields the best possible results. With Auto ID, you can improve your inventory, supply chain, production and other operations – and meet compliance standards and make better decisions.
Hey, you might even become a superhero.