Pressure to implement greater traceability measures to mitigate against food safety scares such as the recent cancer dye one, is set to drain the majority (55%) of food manufacturers IT resources over the next 12 months. Thats according to research commissioned by Ross Systems, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions for food and beverage manufacturers. Reporting tools are second in line with 36% of manufacturers citing this as an IT priority.
Interestingly, none of the food manufacturers surveyed cited RFID compliance as a priority. In fact, 55% believed their organisation was three years away from becoming RFID enabled. Conflicting demands from retailers are blamed for the lack of RFID adoption by 45%, closely followed by cost (36%) and lack of consensus on a common industry standard (18%).
Despite this reticence, the manufacturers surveyed hold the view that although pharmaceutical companies are leading the way in RFID adoption (82%), the food industry is hot on its heels (73%).
Wal-Mart is perceived to be the greatest RFID pioneer according to 82% of manufacturers with 9% citing Gillette.
Steve Baxter, managing director of Ross Systems, comments:
"It is encouraging that the majority of manufacturers are taking traceability seriously and dedicating the majority of their IT resources into getting it right. However it seems to have dislodged RFID as a priority. Although manufacturers feel they are leading the way in RFID adoption, few are taking measures to implement it in the near future. Key concerns around RFID such as standards, conflicting demands from retailers and cost remain very real obstacles to its adoption. However it seems that the board is the biggest influencer of IT decisions according to 45% of those polled, so its reassuring to know that the issue is being taken seriously at the right level.