Steps to RFID SuccessRFID Implementation
Now that you’ve determined your specific RFID wants and needs, you’ll want to work with a GS1 US Solution Partner for the implementation.
There are many specific capabilities to assess depending on what services the partner is expected to provide. Our guideline for selecting partners provides guidance on how to evaluate different types of service providers, including checklists to help make comparisons.
VideoWhat Data is Encoded in an RFID Tag?
RFID ImplementationHere is a summary of some of the things you should consider:
- Familiarity with your industry and program requirements: Implementing RFID as part of a pharmaceutical pedigree program requires specialized knowledge that is different from an implementation to meet retailer program guidelines for consumer goods suppliers. While the physics of RFID are consistent among all industries, implementation best practices are not.
- Competence in the technical aspects of RFID: This includes knowledge of standards and regulations, familiarity with multiple tag, reader and antenna types, the ability to tune readers to improve performance and overcome obstacles, demonstrated software integration capability, etc.
- An understanding of your desired applications and work processes: RFID does not provide its greatest value when used as a straight replacement for bar code or other forms of data entry. Users can implement efficient new business processes that take advantage of RFID’s ability to provide unattended, simultaneous identification and monitoring. Solution providers should be able to recommend business processes and adapt their RFID offerings to accommodate your specific business requirements.
What’s Involved with RFID Implementation?
Tagging Your Product – Tag performance all comes down to the appropriateness of the tag selected and the precise location where it is applied to the product.
- Format & Symbol Placement for the Electronic Product Code (EPC) - Provide suppliers, retailers, technology providers, and service providers with guidelines for the efficient placement of EPC Tags.
- Review the GS1 guidelines on the use of EPC/RFID for consumer products, and download the EPC symbol and usage guidelines.
- Choose your tag type with the help of the Tagged Item Performance Protocol:
- The EPC Encoder/Decoder is an interactive application that translates between different forms of the Electronic Product Code (EPC). Use it to run real-time translations and create serialized Global Trade Item Numbers (SGTINs).
Managing the Unique ID - Unique ID makes the use of RFID technology possible. For an identifier to describe a specific instance of a GTIN®, a unique serial number is required to distinguish one product instance from all other instances of the same product. The combination of a GTIN and a unique serial number is referred to as the Serialized GTIN, or SGTIN.
Develop a Serialization Plan – Item serialization allows you to trace individual products as they move through the supply chain and into the hands of the customer. As you ramp up your Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging solution, you are faced with the decision of how to go about serializing the data encoded in the tags. This document outlines common serialization solution approaches and highlights key points to keep in mind.
The GS1 US Guideline EPC-enabled RFID Serialization Management for SGTIN-96 provides an overview of the different serialization strategies:
- Outsourcing to a third party - Service Bureau
- IT-Based Serialization
- Chip-Based Serialization
Defining and Purchasing Equipment & Secure Services - Consider the way you are currently doing business and if any of your vendors have RFID capabilities. This is key to specifying and buying your tags, printers, encoders, readers, and software.
Resources to help you get started:
Solution Partners for the Retail Sector
If you’re deploying EPC®-enabled item level RFID and need labels, software, hardware, or consulting services, a GS1 US Solution Partner will work with you every step of the way.
We're here to helpContact GS1 US Advisory Services
With a special mix of industry, technology, and standards expertise, we can provide a tailored RFID education and implementation program that is consistent with your company’s specific needs.