RFID warning: Don't expect miracles

RFID may be the next big thing for techies and retailers alike--but it doesn't mean the next big ROI. Just 38 percent of manufacturing execs expect a big return.

RFID may be the next big thing for techies and retailers alike--but it doesn't mean the next big ROI.

Just 38 per cent of manufacturing execs expect to see a high return on investment on their RFID outlay and 68 per cent are still chewing over the relative benefits of the tracking chips for their own companies.

The mandates of big name superstores like Wal-Mart don't seem to be having a huge effect on the adoption of the technology. Despite the fact that 22 per cent of those questioned by Accenture were being mandated by their customers to include the technology in their supply chains, just seven per cent said they had a rollout underway.

The main benefit of investing in the technology for the manufacturers was improved traceability of stock, with the second favorite being that recalling products would become easier.

For once, money didn't come in to it. The least commonly cited benefits were savings resulting from better supply chain management, profits from improved stock availability and reduced expediting costs.

Lyle Ginsberg, managing partner for technology innovation in Accenture's global Products Operating Group, said for companies who go further with their rollouts than just meeting minimum standards demanded by customers would derive greater benefit from the technology.