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Web-based Internet applications called extranets allow authorized external trading partners to enter protected parts of the organization’s internal systems to view relevant production schedules.Customer relationship management (CRM) systems use data mining techniques that allow sales and marketing personnel to understand historical sales data and create more personalized experiences for customers.This type of micromanagement of individually tagged items can deliver efficiency benefits, make the organization more effective in its decision making, and bring strategic benefits over rivals when integrated with other systems.
One reason why it is considered so innovative is that it can be used to track the location of items, monitor the surrounding environmental conditions, wirelessly communicate with strategically placed readers, and emit radio signals that can be used by other equipment to initiate changes to the object or its surroundings.
Essentially, RFID has the potential to bring computer-based intelligence to any mobile item that can be tagged.
For example, by tagging individual items held in a retailer’s stock room, the system can act as if there were a unique manager assigned to watch over each item in inventory.
If the stockperson begins to take an item to the showroom, a tag can notify the stockperson that a different item should be taken due to its soon-to-expire expiration date.
Further, these frameworks can help managers develop plans for organizational change that is often needed to take full advantage of the innovation.
In this research-paper, I provide an overview of RFID technology and suggest a framework to analyze the business case for adopting RFID.In the last few years, society has seen considerable interest in this technology as large buyers have seen the potential for using RFID to track inventory through the supply chain.Today, RFID technology is made up of three components (Information Technology Association of America [ITAA] 2004).An early version of this technology was used by the British during World War II to identify friendly aircraft.By placing powerful RFID tags on airplanes, these transponders could alert radar towers to their approach.These all impact the usefulness of RFID for a given application.Clearly, it is important to match the technical capabilities of the tag with the business need and the physical and financial limitations of the proposed application.The cheapest tags are passive tags, which have no internal power source but, rather, draw power from the signal sent by the reader.The reader scans the surrounding area by continuously sending out a signal within a certain frequency range.Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a technology that has the potential to dramatically alter the ability of the organization to acquire data about the location and condition of any item that can be physically tagged and wirelessly scanned within certain technical limitations (Curtin, Kauffman, & Riggins, 2007).When this type of new technology comes along, it is important to have frameworks that allow managers to judge the potential business value of the technology, which can help them build the business case for related investments.