Uptake of radio frequency identification
(RFID) technology could receive a major boost in July with a
report on an important commercial trial to be presented to
GS1 Australia, a non-profit supply chain standards body, will
present findings and recommendations from its
national demonstrator project (NDP) to a yet-to-be-determined
government minister following its conclusion in four to six
The project has been funded via the Department of
Communications, Information Technology and the Arts' Information
Technology Online (ITOL) program.
The NDP has seen RFID deployed in a full-scale supply chain
operation since September, with consumer goods companies Gillette
and Proctor and Gamble participating. The Australian Food and
Grocery Council (AFGC) has also been involved in the running of
the pilot, which could add to the influence of the report on
Fiona Wilson, general manager, standards development, GS1
Australia, told ZDNet Australia the report would provide examples
from the NDP as to where there was a business case for RFID and
the GS1 system.
"The point of the NDP was to prove such a network could work,"
"We wanted to tease out potential business cases. So if I'm a
brand owner, how could I use an [RFID] network to help my
There was plenty of interest from GS1 and AFGC members in the
NDP and the upcoming report, Wilson said.
"I will say it's been very easy to get participants for this
project, so much so that we've had to knock a couple back, cause
we can't restart the project.
"End users want to get involved because they really think [GS1
and RFID] will be good for their business."
There was also the potential for the NDP to be expanded in a
second phase, according to Wilson, but details were yet to be
While GS1 promotes its own identification system for RFID,
Wilson said the report would still be a critical look at the
technology and where it fits business operations.
"We're looking across the whole supply chain. Not every area
of the supply chain will benefit from RFID."
GS1 was a non-profit organisation and not driven by vendors,
"We're promoting [the project] because our members have asked
us to investigate the technology."
The report, to be freely available, will be launched at GS1's Impetus conference on
July 25 in Melbourne.