Anthony Palermo, - Director, Business Development Academia RFID Centre of Excellence
“We don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake. We believe in technology for solving business problems – and RFID can solve a lot of business problems.”
Anthony Palermo - Director, Business Development Academia RFID Centre of Excellence
How is your organisation involved with RFID technology?
Academia RFID is an R&D, consulting and training center. Our company was founded in 2006 by a team of PhD researchers, and in our early days we were almost entirely focused on RFID training and certification. But then, several different customers we had trained asked us if we could help them with their RFID deployment projects. To be honest, we hadn’t had that idea when we started – but today, consulting and project management represent 85% to 90% of our revenues.
You certainly seem to believe in the value RFID brings to businesses.
We don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake. We believe in technology for solving business problems – and RFID can solve a lot of business problems.
Are there situations where RFID is NOT the right answer?
Yes. We always ask our clients – and ourselves! – whether there is business value to using RFID. If there is no clear business value, then RFID isn’t the right choice. We’ve studied certain situations and ultimately decided that there was no need for item-level identification, and that the client should keep using barcodes.
That leads us to the next question: Will RFID replace barcodes some day?
No, I don’t think it will. RFID makes business sense in some cases, and barcoding makes business sense in some other cases. They are complementary. In fact, they can even work together as part of a hybrid solution: RFID does the inventory arrival and departure aspects, and barcodes are read by the Point of Sale systems. It doesn't have to be an “either/or” question.
What is your vision for the future of RFID?
We’re very optimistic. For example, some suppliers have gotten into RFID tagging because one of their customers has mandated it. We think these companies are going to start taking advantage of it for themselves, instead of just considering it as a cost of doing business. We think they will soon be saying, “Well, maybe I could deduct from my inventory as these shipments leave my warehouse” or “I think I’ll set up an automatic FIFO (first in first out) system in my warehouse.” There are many ways to leverage the investment of putting tags on boxes.
Academia RFID is a research & development, consulting and training center driven by a team of PhD researchers and accredited RFID instructors in the fields of industrial engineering, operations management, supply chain management, transport & logistics, distribution & retail, and e-commerce marketing. Creator of RFIDRadio.com (a bi-monthly educational podcast and blog), Academia RFID offers expert RFID services and training/certification courses worldwide in-lab, on-site or on the web. For more information, visit for more www.RFIDacademia.com