New technology that tags and tracks inventory and equipment could save the packaged goods, retail and freight transportation industries billions of dollars each year, according to a study just released today by Accenture.
The technology, known as auto-ID technology, is a combination of electronic product codes and radio frequency identification (RFID).
The study describes how auto-ID solutions can extend a company’s ability to capture accurate information about the location and status of physical objectsan ocean container, a pallet of paper towels, hazardous materials or expensive stereo components, for exampleand track the objects as they move from the manufacturing shop to the retail store.
This capability increases the efficiency of individual processes and asset utilization, enhances forecasting and inventory accuracy, and improves the ability of companies to respond to rapidly changing supply and demand with a high degree of certainty. The result of these supply-chain efficiencies is reduced inventory and labor costs and increased sales.
"Our experience shows that the benefits of auto-ID are available today," said Lyle Ginsburg, managing partner for technology innovation in Accenture’s Products operating group. "In fact, we expect the RFID application market to expand to almost $7 billion by 2008. Companies that wait to use this technology will not only miss out on significant cost savings today but also risk losing their future competitive edge."
The study results were published in three white papers that Accenture developed in collaboration with the Auto-ID Center and its members as well as with clients vendors and members of academia. Accenture is a board member of the Auto-ID Center, which is an informal association of 90 companies and universities to explore the benefits and impacts of auto-ID technology.
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