Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy Holidays from the S3Edge team!

The pictures on our holiday card says it all..Whether it was:

  • Our CEO riding the Segway (outfitted with the RD5000 from Motorola), demonstrating the first forklift application on the Microsoft platform to an enthralled audience at RFID World,
  • The President of the company rolling up his sleeves to help out with a deployment on the production lines of a Fortune 100 customer, or
  • The dev team celebrating the end of yet another successful project milestone (while the test and the deployment teams were still slogging it out ;)) ,

We love what we do and look forward to continuing to delight you in the year ahead!

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To the entire RTVS tribe from the S3Edge Family – Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and THANK YOU for your continued support of S3Edge!

 

The S3Edge team!

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A great way to end the year, and usher in what promises to be an exciting and event-filled 2010!

Here’s what one one of our valued customers (Asia’s leading 3PL) had to say about the S3Edge team – To Quote:

  • Commitment to qualityResponsiveness and support is top-class
  • Flexibility Willingness to accommodate changes in requirements and commitment to close up gaps in expectations 
  • RFID domain expertiseTechnical ability in RFID and Biztalk RFID is second to none
  • Device coordinationMost impressed in getting all the different devices to work in a complex environment, shows RTVS indeed has the correct architecture and framework to support this challenging requirement

Could not have scripted it any better to cap off what truly was a remarkable year for our team – Here’s to yet another of adding tangible value to solving end-user problems!

Cheers!

/a

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The ‘R’ in the ROI for RFID deployments , Part2 [Focus on Corporate Asset & Personnel Tracking]

In Part 2 of my 2 part series on ‘Returns’ from RFID based solution deployments (Part 1 being RFID based ROI for Vertically Integrated Manufacturers), let’s look at the benefits that our end-user community is obtaining from in the second solution area we focus on –> Corporate and Personnel Tracking with RFID.

The slides below were composed based on data gleaned from our end-user community using S3Edge’s software for Corporate Asset and Personnel Tracking in the Financial Services, & Corporate Security Industry Verticals – organizations where sensitive assets need to be protected at all times – or need to be verified in real-time along with the personnel carrying them – and often require real-time snapshots of where personnel are inside various building locations to aid in swift evacuations. So without further ado, let’s examine these scenarios and benefits in more detail:

On a related note, these scenarios are perhaps a lot more “packagable” in that a ‘1 click install’ for both web and device SW gets you up and running to achieve the desired results and I will address / showcase what I am talking about via a demo in a later post. 

As always, I’d love to get your thoughts and insights on the content and brainstorm additional areas where RFID adds value to your existing business process.

If you’d like to learn more and review a data-sheet / white-paper, along with a detailed deck on the scenarios and ROI for similar projects you are considering, send us a note at info@s3edge.com or sign up for a demo session online at www.s3edge.com

Look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers

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The ‘R’ in the ROI for RFID deployments , Part1 [Focus on Vertically Integrated Manufacturers]

Building on my previous post (Er…Isn’t this really about “Execution”), in this 2 part series of posts, i’d like to illustrate the ‘Returns’ that our customers are seeing on deploying packaged SW to eliminate errors and improve productivity on their factory-floors and warehouse operations – this is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of returns that are possible / being observed but rather a brief snapshot based on information gleaned from our end-user community using S3Edge’s software for Supply Chain Asset Tracking in the HealthCare, Pharma, 3PL, & HVAC Industry Verticals.

In Part 1, we will look at returns that Vertically Integrated Manufacturers are obtaining (where a vertically integrated business  is defined as “absorption into a single firm of several firms involved in all aspects of a product’s manufacture from raw materials to distribution”; Classic example: Carnegie Steel) by deploying packaged RFID-based software for Real-Time Visibility & Control of their assets across a close loop supply chain.

Slide #1 addresses manufacturing specific scenarios, the second slide addresses warehousing and distribution scenarios, and the way to interpret the data on the slide is as follows :

  • Blue boxes on top represent existing business processes
  • The middle light blue box walks through a Before and After analysis (comparing the value of RFID technology usage when compared to current existing processes, where the RFID solution was used to extend and complement the existing Line-of-Business layer vs. replacing it – and this is extremely important to be recognize)
  • And finally the green box illustrates the ROI in terms of $ impact to the business when this is deployed

As always, I’d love to get your thoughts and insights on the content and brainstorm additional areas where RFID adds value to your existing business process.

If you’d like to learn more and review a data-sheet / white-paper, along with a detailed deck on the scenarios and ROI for similar projects you are considering, send us a note at info@s3edge.com or sign up for a demo session online at www.s3edge.com 

Look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers

/a

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Er…Isn’t this really about “Execution”?

 

 

Source:IStockPhoto

Like me, I am sure you’ve come across some of the recent articles around why ‘broad adoption’ is taking so long to happen. These articles essentially hint that although RFID a promising technology, it has failed to keep up to it’s promise due to it’s cost and complexity.

Some of these examples include:

RFID in 2010: Will Anyone Care (Who Doesn’t Work for an RFID Company, That Is)?

RFID Makes Slow And Steady Progress

If the Delivery Guy Drops Your Package, Senseaware Updates You Online

While I do not necessarily agree with some of the proposed reasons for the slow pace in adoption (ex: integration with existing LoB systems), this healthy dose of skepticism is a good thing… in fact a very good thing!

Surprised that is coming from a RFID software product vendor? Well you shouldn’t be – there’s more to this than it may at first seem. At the end of the day, a very small % of these deployments are actually succeeding in production and I believe this is due to the the large number of moving pieces and skills required to ‘pull it all together’… in other words, the real problem this industry faces can be boiled down to one word – Execution.

To elaborate, I can see why this might be happening having been on different sides of the fence. Working at Microsoft on the team that developed the RFID platform gave me strategic knowledge and deep insight into how some of the larger companies think about integrating RFID into their environments; My current job at S3Edge gives me a front row seat and tactical knowledge of the rapidly evolving hardware innovation and a deeper understanding of the day-to-day issues that a RFID deployment would need to address to be deployed successfully. My take on this has been documented and discussed in detail in my previous posts, namely:

Michael Dortsch’s statement, “(RFID) technology is complex and costly to implement, requiring investments in the chips (ultra-high-frequency tags still run more than 7 cents apiece), readers, software, and new business processes ” is largely true because of the fact that there have been a proliferation of custom solutions and ‘packaged’ s/w offerings that are hardly configurable or easily customizeable. To date, most of the solutions that are in the market are custom developed from the device-layer up, and these solutions result in high risk and high on-going support costs, which in turn ‘is ‘hindering’ mass adoption… leaving the end-user with something that looks (unfortunately) like this…

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Luckily, it is not all doom and gloom – there are RFID solutions out there that, with a little bit of planning and thought, can help you execute efficiently and effectively.

The most crucial step to ‘success’ is to engage with a software team with deep domain and systems expertise (hardware and software) that understands how to deploy scalable enterprise applications that are closer to the device than the LoB app. In other words, successful RFID deployments are about deploying a scalable software + hardware system that informs the enterprise application of real-world asset movements and helps control / enforce asset operations while being easily configurable and customizable . This approach is fundamentally different from trying to boil the ocean from day 0 with supply chain visibility across various trading partners, as change in process at the same time as change in technology is almost always a bad idea. Another important aspect often overlooked, from an overall successful execution standpoint, is the ability to deploy and manage software on the handheld device while is critical to the success of the overall solution. This is done via instructions to the mobile worker via hand-held / forklift terminal applications in concert with audio / visual cue’s like alarms and lights, while supporting synchronization of data across intermittently connected environments.

In summary, there are a variety of close loop applications focused on hard ROI (namely elimination of errors and increased productivity / operational efficiency due to the utilization of the technology in question (aka RFID) – applications that are adding real value to an organizations short-term and long term goals vs.. being an overhead (put in a different way: Something that the CFO would gladly sign a check for based on hard $ returns) – But it all starts with the small but perhaps the most important detail of identifying the right team that can well, Execute 🙂

In my next post, I will discuss the scenarios and the ROI our early adopter clients are seeing in the vertically integrated manufacturing arena (close loop discrete manufacturing + ware house ops scenarios) – stay tuned and as always send me any comments / thoughts that you may have on the above, or content you’d like to see more of here.

Until next time,

Cheers

/a

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