66% of manufacturers wont be ready for RFID for at least two years

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66% of UK manufacturers think that widespread RFID adoption will not be achieved for at least two years, according to a survey by Ross Systems UK (NASDAQ: ROSS), a leading provider of enterprise software solutions for process manufacturers. Only 11% thought that the industry could expect to see widespread RFID adoption within the next year. The survey of UK manufacturers questioned respondents on the pressures facing the manufacturing sector.

67% of those questioned blamed the lack of consensus on a common industry standard as the main reason preventing RFID adoption. A further 22% thought that cost was the main barrier to RFID with 11% blaming conflicting demands from retailers.

When it comes to the forthcoming traceability legislation, manufacturers look much more positive. 88% of manufacturers claim that they are already equipped to comply with the traceability laws that come into effect in January 2005.

The apparent lack of commitment to RFID by manufacturers is supported further by findings that show that only 12% of respondents will dedicate the majority of their IT resources to RFID technologies over the next 12 months. A total of 66% of manufacturers said they would be dedicating the majority of their IT resources to a combination of reporting and accounting to ensure compliance with accounting legislation. Traceability and forecasting technologies had an equal share of the vote with 11% each.

Commenting on the results, Steve Baxter, managing director of Ross Systems UK, said: "Our findings are very telling indeed. It is encouraging that the majority of manufacturers already have measures in place to deal with the traceability laws particularly as we are only a few months from the deadline. However, RFID is a different matter entirely. Despite much publicity surrounding RFID, it would seem that manufacturers arent ready to be RFID enabled, which is quite disconcerting when you consider the demands being placed on manufacturers by the bigger retailers. Manufacturers obviously need more support than they are currently getting to ensure that RFID is successfully implemented throughout the UKs manufacturing sector.

Worryingly, almost a quarter of manufacturers questioned said that they had no processes in place to measure the return on their ERP investment. The rest of the respondents measured their return on investment by simply examining the impact to the bottom line.

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