Intermec Technologies today announced it is teaming with SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) to launch an RFID starter kit for consumer goods companies. The ready-made package contains all the necessary components for an easy-to-implement and fully scalable RFID system that suppliers can use to fully meet the requirements of retailer mandates, such as Metro's.
The package includes hardware and software, a pre-configured application for goods despatch and all the support services required to complete implementation. Available from now until 31st October 2005, the fixed price starter kit enables companies to commence implementing RFID technology quickly, effectively and in the knowledge that there will be no additional costs.
The package's pre-configured application supports the labelling of supply chain units such as pallets and cartons with RFID smart labels. As a minimum it can be used as a "Slap and Ship" solution to comply with Metro's RFID mandate, but it also offers greater functionality and potential for further development. Companies can also use the technology to gain higher visibility of their supply chain and obtain business intelligence reports from SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) software.
The RFID starter kit is based on SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure, a component of SAP NetWeaver. SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure supports the efficient development of future-proof RFID processes and guarantees the easy implementation within a matter of days of a goods despatch process. SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure is highly scalable and its integrated reporting functions provide enhanced supply chain transparency.
Intermec hardware included in the starter pack comprises the IF5 fixed UHF reader and PM4i intelligent RFID printer. All the equipment connects directly to SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure without the need for any middleware. The RFID starter package enables customers to label pallets with a barcode, write an RFID tag inside the label and then verify the smart label.
The Intermec IF5 intelligent RFID reader can be used as an edge server running its own operating system that drives multiple peripheral devices and handles signals from multiple antennae. The intelligent PM4i RFID printer writes and verifies tags before printing bar code labels with the tags embedded. Complete with its own processor and wired or wireless connectivity, the PM4i can be used to connect scanners and readers without the need for a separate PC.
SAP and Intermec support services are included in the RFID starter kit, with both organisations working closely with the customer throughout implementation. Intermec and Intermec partners conduct an initial survey of a customer's premises and use this to draw up the most appropriate hardware infrastructure. SAP Consulting defines the application and pre-configures reports based on customers' requirements.
The RFID starter kit offers a cost effective entrance into RFID technology and the potential for later integration of additional SAP or other backend systems as well as further Intermec AIDC (automated identification and data capture) hardware. The package allows companies to build a flexible and powerful foundation for RFID-enabled integrated supply chain management and enterprise collaboration.
"We have been working successfully with SAP for over 10 years now to offer our customers optimum software support from our hardware," said Stuart Scott, Director of Marketing & Business Development EMEA of Intermec Technologies. "This new package is ideal for mandated suppliers to Metro, who have to deliver RFID tagged pallets by the end of this year. It combines the benefits of minimum cost and a strategic pathway for future development."
"The RFID starter kit offers a risk-free introduction to RFID technology. Companies that need to implement RFID today get a complete and totally integrated, scalable and future proof solution for a fixed price," added Anselm Roth, Senior Manager, Supply Chain at SAP. "The strategic benefits for the supply chain can be enhanced by a step by step integration into the ERP backbone."