Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The RFID Market today

I have been tracking a lot of Linked In Post, and trade publications over the last few months and the same questions come up time and again. Who is the best supplier, or what is the best solution?

Problem is there are hundreds of answers to these questions with just as many answers. What has happened is everyone has envisioned the demand for automated location tools and raised untold amounts of venture capital to fund just about any type of RFID tool one can imagine. WiFi, UWB, Passive and Active, all using Radio Frequency to communicate they fall under the RFID moniker.

Ok is this bad? Inherently no, but it has added much confusion to the market place. We have so many products crowding the market that overlap each other it makes deciding the correct technology to use almost impossible. This has driven competition and tighter margins along with the merger of many companies or the dissolving of others. This is not much different than the Dot Com bust just the RFID industry is for the most part privately funded. Just as the RFID market was starting its upswing we experience one of the world’s largest economic meltdowns affecting just about every economy.

So we have a lot of RFID Vendors competing in a cool to say the least market. End result is a buyer’s market with every vendor trying to get any and every sale they can without regard to if their product it is a good fit for or not.

Just my observation but a Buyer’s Market or not it is too easy to select the wrong solution. Research what you intend to do and retain good counsel. Keep the playing field level and let the correct tool make its ROI generating ability apparent. Good vendors are out there so let them help but insist on doing a Proof of Concept or Pilot run to assure you of your selection (Remember these do cost some money and after the down turn and limited market you may have to fund all or part of the pilot).

When you have all the facts and see the product work in your environment then you can be assured of the solution. You may have to spend some money but the long term savings and performance will more than return the investment.