Business Plan for an RFID testing center
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Business Plan for an RFID testing center Business Plan for an RFID testing center Document Transcript

  • “Scanning the Future” Prepared for Professor Todd Myers Professor Tod Brokaw Dr. Gary Combs Professor Mary Keifer Professor Larry Rogers Prepared by Team 3 Todd Blaskowitz Adam Graham Ryan Hartley Jamie Hittner Patrick Homce Lauren Janning Adam Links Logan Pozenel Matt Williams June 1, 2005
  • Tri-Pod Copeland Hall 107 (740) 597-1000 Athens, OH 45701 _________________________________________________________________________ June 1, 2005 Prof. Todd Myers Stocker Engineering Center RM 124b Athens, OH 45701 Dear Mr. Todd Myers: Here is the business report you requested May 10th for the RFID Testing Center. We spent over 2 weeks consolidating available information to creatively develop a working business model. We focused on the market, ownership structure, and financials to develop an operational and implementation plan. Even though our business model is geared toward retail inventory management, the operational plan (equipment, location, staffing and other resources) were planned by the class as a whole. This comprehensive plan is what pod 3 believes to be the most effective way to go about the process of developing an RFID testing center while incorporating Ohio University. We would like to thank you, for your help and guidance throughout the process, as well as several other individuals. We thank the rest of the Cluster faculty for their guidance, John Kiefer, and our fellow classmates. Furthermore, please contact us if you have any questions or would like further information to which we may have come across. Also, let us know if we can be of assistance when you are developing your business. Sincerely, Tri-Pod Todd Blaskowitz Adam Links Logan Pozenel Lauren Janning Adam Graham Ryan Hartley Patrick Homce Jamie Hittner Matt Williams ii
  • Table of Contents Letter of Transmittal............................................................................................................ii Executive Summary............................................................................................................vi The Ohio University RFID Testing Center..........................................................................1 Environmental Analysis.......................................................................................................1 Industry Overview......................................................................................................1 Market.........................................................................................................................1 Changes in the Industry..............................................................................................2 Opportunities and Threats...........................................................................................2 Description of Business.......................................................................................................2 Objectives...................................................................................................................2 Description..................................................................................................................3 Structure/Liability.......................................................................................................3 Service/Products.........................................................................................................4 Testing Variables........................................................................................................4 Testing Procedures......................................................................................................4 Qualifying the Label.....................................................................................5 Qualifying the System...................................................................................5 Delivering the Results.................................................................................................6 Benefits of Services....................................................................................................6 Competitive Advantages.............................................................................................6 Competitors..........................................................................................................................7 Direct Competitors......................................................................................................7 Paxar............................................................................................................7 ITTC.............................................................................................................7 Sun Microsystem, Inc..................................................................................7 RedPrairie Corporations...............................................................................7 Indirect Competitors...................................................................................................7 Barcode.........................................................................................................7 Smartcard......................................................................................................8 Magnetic Strip Card......................................................................................8 Marketing Analysis..............................................................................................................8 Target Market: Retail Industry Leaders......................................................................9 Targeting Through Organizational Size.......................................................9 Food Retailers.....................................................................................9 Clothing Retailers...............................................................................9 Consumer Electronic Retailers.........................................................10 Home Improvement Retailers...........................................................10 iii
  • Marketing Mix..........................................................................................................11 Product............................................................................................................11 Promotion........................................................................................................11 Trade Shows...............................................................................................11 Attend Conferences....................................................................................12 Website......................................................................................................13 Price................................................................................................................13 Distribution.....................................................................................................13 Operational Plan.................................................................................................................13 Funding.....................................................................................................................13 Other Considerations................................................................................................14 Location....................................................................................................................14 Security.....................................................................................................................15 Testing Center Assets...............................................................................................15 Fork Lifts...................................................................................................15 Conveyer Belts...........................................................................................15 Computers..................................................................................................16 Smart Shelves.............................................................................................16 Loading Dock.............................................................................................16 RFID Readers.............................................................................................16 Employment Structure..............................................................................................16 Training......................................................................................................17 Financial Plan.....................................................................................................................17 Start-up Investments Requirement............................................................................18 Revenue Sharing.......................................................................................................18 Profit Sharing............................................................................................................18 Financial Projections.................................................................................................18 Implementation Plan..........................................................................................................19 Funding.....................................................................................................................19 Operational Development.........................................................................................19 Operational Execution..............................................................................................19 Conclusion.........................................................................................................................20 Notes ................................................................................................................................20 Bibliography......................................................................................................................23 Appendix A : .....................................................................................................................26 Appendix B :......................................................................................................................27 Appendix C :......................................................................................................................29 Appendix D :......................................................................................................................30 Appendix E :......................................................................................................................31 iv
  • Appendix F :......................................................................................................................34 Appendix G :......................................................................................................................35 Appendix H :......................................................................................................................37 Appendix I :.......................................................................................................................38 Appendix J :.......................................................................................................................39 Appendix K :......................................................................................................................40 Appendix L :......................................................................................................................41 Appendix M :.....................................................................................................................42 Appendix N :......................................................................................................................43 Appendix O :......................................................................................................................45 v
  • Executive Summary The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) industry is a rapidly growing technology. More companies are attempting to incorporate RFID into their operations, but many do not have technological resources or information required to test it. Currently, a RFID testing center is in the process of being developed in Athens, Ohio, that will work closely with Ohio University. This testing center will be completely independent, and versatile enough to test in the manufacturing, retail, medical, and wholesale fields. Testing Center The Ohio University RFID Testing Center will test numerous technologies within the RFID field. The center will help solve many problems of retailers, including those that distribute metallic and liquid products. This is a large problem in the industry because the RFID signal has trouble penetrating or reflecting off of these items. RFID will also help inventory control, reduce theft rates, and improve customer service. Testing processes that the center will offer include conveyor testing, portal testing, dock door testing, and continuous inventory tests. The conveyor test will test RFID technology at different speeds and location on the products. The portal testing will move skids of product through portals and test the placement readability. Dock door testing will test how readable of tags when they enter the building off of the truck. The continuous inventory testing will test the readability of tags on static shelves in warehouses and in stores. The testing center at Ohio University is not the first RFID testing center in the country, but it does hold many competitive advantages. The first and most significant advantage is that is the first truly independent testing center. This means that the center is not trying to push a certain company’s products onto the customer. The center will test products and give a nonbiased report. Another main advantage is versatility. This RFID testing center will be able to test from the manufacturing of a product through distribution all the way until it leaves the retail outlet. Market/Marketing Numerous markets have been identified as targets for this testing center’s retail capabilities. Food retailers offer a wide variety of products to large numbers of people everyday. It is important to be able to keep an accurate and updated inventory of these products. Another large segment of the retail market is clothing industry. The inventory of clothing retailers is constantly changing. With the use of RFID clothing retailers will be able to track inventory and buying behavior of customers. This technology can also be used as an anti-theft device. Incorporating a tag into these products will allow retail outlets to prevent theft and stop shoplifters before they leave the store. Consumer electronics retailers can also take advantage of this technology. Use of RFID in this industry will allow great control over supply chains, preventing theft, and keeping records of buying trends. This will allow greater profits for electronic manufactures and retailers. vi
  • The final retail outlet that has been identified as an industry that could benefit from RFID is the home improvement industry. This technology will help keep track of inventory, reduce theft, and help make employees more efficient. Large home improvement retailers such as Lowe’s have already begun to test RFID. To promote the services of the Ohio University Testing Center, representatives need to attend different trade shows, and conferences to get information out about it. At tradeshows the testing center should have a booth set up, and be available after the conference to talk with perspective clients each day. The customer needs to trust the testing center so building a strong customer base will be very important, because of the large amount of money the customer will be putting into this technology. Operations and Implementation The RFID testing center will be located at the Central Learning Classrooms first floor. This will be remodeled for the centers purposes. Different testing equipment will then be brought in such as: forklifts, conveyer belts, computers, smart shelves, and RFID readers. To afford all of this multiple funding sources should be utilized such as grants and government loans. There will be a very basic employee structure. This structure includes an executive representative from the COB, as well as one from the Russ College of Engineering. A fulltime technician will be important to keep the technologies operational, and four different MBA students who will represent the different testing capabilities (retail, manufacturing, health care, and wholesale). The implementation for this testing center has been broken down into three phases. The first phase is funding. In this stage, the center will focus solely on funding options and finding capital resources. The next stage is operational development. This is the phase where the building will be assembled, employees will be hired, and the employees will be trained. The final phase is operational execution. Testing will begin in this phase. Marketing the product to customers and keeping up customer relations will also be important. Keeping up on current technology and increasing revenues are other important steps in this phase. Taking advantage of Ohio University’s reputation, and the new opportunities in RFID technology, will contribute to the success of this testing center. With the increase in the customer base, the final phase of operational execution will be another key to the centers success. vii
  • RFID Testing Center 1 The Ohio University RFID Testing Center Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology that presents many potential opportunities. Emerging RFID technology benefits countless business operations. Many companies have a desire to use RFID technology but are unsure on how to test the effectiveness of RFID in there organization. This is where an RFID testing center is needed to serve these companies that have a desire to use RFID technology. This document is a business model for an RFID testing center. Included is an environmental analysis, description of the testing center, marketing information and suggestions and both an operational and implementation plan. Environmental Analysis There is a need for RFID technology due to today’s fast pace business world. With the implementation of RFID technology, many organizations will have the ability to track the exact location of products, and gather information almost instantaneously. This will give these organizations an edge over those competitors who have not applied RFID at the early state. RFID can be applied to almost all products and can be used to manage the supply chain better than traditional systems. It is imperative that organizations gain a firm understanding of this relatively new technology and understand how to apply it in order to more efficiently manage their business. Industry Overview The RFID testing center industry is growing rapidly due to the recognition of its efficiency in product identification. The current major players in supporting RFID research include Wal- Mart, Proctor & Gamble, Philip Morris, and Gillette. These major companies, along with 30 other vendors, paid over $300,000 to support RFID research.1 Paxar, ITTC, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. are some of the major testing centers that are quickly appearing nationwide. These testing centers have proved to be beneficial, but all seem to be limited in one way or another. Testing centers such as Paxar only test certain brands such as Alien, SAMSys, and Symbol.2 With more and more RFID testing centers making partnerships with certain vendors, companies are severely limited with the choice of options when looking to test and implement RFID. Market RFID technology is evolving in supply chain management to increase efficiency, reduce staff, and most importantly reduce data entry error.3 The technology can be implemented in multiple fields such as military and defense, manufacturing, livestock, environmental control, airline bag tracking, library checkouts, automated vehicle identification (AVI) and gas station payment.4
  • RFID Testing Center 2 The retail industry would be a prime market for RFID. This is because it would reduce theft rates, help inventory control, and improve checkout time and customer service. Changes in the Industry With new technologies constantly emerging, the retail industry must adapt to these vast changes to be more efficient. While previous forms of product identification, such as bar codes, allow for the immediate gathering of information of a specific product, the use of these tracking devices has limited perks. Many of the current product identification systems require line of sight technology, while new systems such as RFID allow businesses to track products with out individually scanning each item. Many companies are exploring the use of RFID technology due to this reason and because the technology has the ability to hold more information about each product. RFID technology may not replace bar codes, but will allow businesses to manage different information about products to better their organization. Opportunities and Threats Retailers plan to implement RFID technology to track exact locations of products which proves to be a crucial part in supply chain management. Companies such as Wal-Mart are projected to save an estimated 8 billion dollars in one year. However, there are many threats that arise with the opportunities of RFID. One disadvantage is that tags cannot be read through water or metal, which poses a threat for many products. Another threat is the increased price on goods because each RFID tag averages forty cents. However, experts predict the price of each RFID tag will decline to approximately five cents by the year 2010. Since RFID is an emerging technology, there is not much research that proves that this is a secure investment. As of today, no company has fully proven a return on investment after the implementation of this technology. Description of Business The mission of Ohio University RFID Testing Center is to provide testing services to companies that desire to enhance their current distribution operations by evaluating the use of RFID and/or test different RFID platforms and components. These services will also be available to technology vendors that wish to test their proprietary systems and/or perform comparison testing of their systems with other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) RFID component vendors. Objectives The objectives of this center are outlined below: • To provide retail companies customized service that would coincide with their products/services, testing objectives, and needed information • Offer unprecedented versatility that would allow each company to choose what RFID products and software that will fit their specified testing needs
  • RFID Testing Center 3 • Become a widely known and respected testing center within the RFID industry that would bring attention to the university and southeastern Ohio • Develop new testing methods and software that can enable clients to maximize their RFID potential and be more profitable by better managing organizational operations. Description The Ohio University RFID testing center will be a service business. Customers will come to the testing center seeking to enhance their current retail distribution operations through RFID platforms and components. The RFID testing center will provide the service of testing RFID hardware and software for companies wishing to implement this new technology. The testing center will evaluate the company’s operations and advise them on how to implement and successfully use RFID technologies. The RFID testing center will provide unbiased advice to companies seeking to implement RFID technology. The RFID testing center will be a new business endeavor. The testing center will strive to make an instant regional impact concerning RFID. With RFID emerging as the newest technology in retail tracking, the testing center will provide highly sought after services that will be beneficial for new companies to integrate this technology. This testing center will be one of a kind because it will focus fully on clients needs, allowing them to test their specific needs with RFID. The success of this testing center will come from top retail companies looking for customized RFID testing services that can be found at our facilities. Structure/ Liability The Ohio University RFID Testing Center will be modeled after the Voinovich center headed by Mr. Sherman. The testing center will be under the Ohio University name, but will act as a separate entity, allowing Mr. Todd Myers and the designated COB project leader to make managerial decisions. Refer to Appendix A for the notes taken from the interview with Hugh Sherman.5 Ohio University will assume full liability over the testing center because it is associated with the Ohio University name. This means that Mr. Todd Myers and the COB project leader will not be held liable for the center’s potential debt or lawsuits. The testing center will go through the university’s lawyers who will take full care of any legal obligation. The university will only oversee the funding aspect of the testing center as long as the testing center is within budget on projects and is operating by legal standards. Ohio University will not interfere with any of the projects the testing center will conduct as long as all requirements are fulfilled. If the testing center is going over budget, then the university will watch the project more closely to make sure the testing center compliments the originally proposed budget.6 Refer to Appendix B for a SWOT analysis of The Ohio University RFID Testing Center.
  • RFID Testing Center 4 Services/Products The Ohio University RFID Testing Center will offer a great deal of products and services that will appeal to companies and attract them to use the testing center. The testing center will offer the necessary testing options and equipment to cater to the needs of each individual company. Several testing variables will be offered to create a competitive advantage, service benefits, and deliver results to each company. Testing Variables. The Ohio University RFID Testing Center should follow logical steps to identify the variables that would most affect a particular client’s simulated RFID model. In order to understand these variables and to ensure that label placement is optimized the center must account for as many of the variables as possible, and comply with the requirements set by the client, the client’s customer, or both. The variables that can affect positive RFID outcomes and will be tested include: • Radio Frequencies (RF) absorbing water/liquid content in food items and manufactured goods • RF absorbing water content in corrugated cardboard packaging, with added variability due to changing in humidity of indoor/outdoor climates • RF reflecting and/or RF shielding metal content in both goods and packaging, even foils and metallic inks • The individual scenario, which defines single or multiple reads and static or dynamic characteristics • Label types, specifically communication protocols and performance • Label substrates, including electrical and mechanical properties • Label placement and orientation, at pallet, case, or item levels • Label application, so that the type and speed of the applicator mechanism as well as the efficacy is hitting the prescribed target pallet, case, or item level • Antenna distance and the inverse correlation of distance to the number of correct reads • Antenna configuration, which can overcome other systems or environmental limitations when strategically applied • Reader frequencies: Low-frequency (125/134KHz); high-frequency (13.56 MHz); ultra high-frequency (850-950 MHz); and super high-frequency or microwave (2.4 GHz) • Reader protocols, depending on the manufacturer • Tolerances between readers and labels and their performance specifications • Through-put speeds of pallets, cartons or items on fork-lifts, pallet jacks or conveyors • Environmental issues, such as “noise pollution” – signal interference from other RF devices – or the reflective and/or shielding characteristics of a scenario surroundings. • Software device and data management architectures, efficiencies and robustness.7 Testing Procedures. The time and cost considerations of RFID scenario simulations and testing procedures depend on a client’s requirements; including the number of products to be tested, the amount of metallic and/or liquid content in the goods and/or its packaging, the degree of desired
  • RFID Testing Center 5 RFID performance, the number of scenarios to be simulated, etc. In order to fulfill the client’s requests, the RFID testing center will need to consist of and offer the following: • Assigning a team. A team will meet with a client to learn as much as possible about its business drivers for deploying RFID and both the physical and process contexts for its use. • Surveying the client’s site. A survey of the client’s site is important to extend the team’s learning and understanding of the client’s RFID requirements, especially in relation to where the technology will ultimately be in use or deployed. • Qualifying the label. Any performance testing process should use a series of tests that qualify the use of RFID EPC labels on actual client product samples. • Qualifying the system. With many steps involved in the RFID tracking system, it is critical to test the products as they move through various stages of the supply chain. • Administer management information system tests. This would allow technology vendors to test their proprietary systems and perform comparison tests of their systems with other OEM RFID component vendors. Upon these findings and results, companies can choose the MIS software the best suits their operational need.8 Qualifying the Label. Qualifying a label will be implemented by using tests that will ensure the validity of these labels/tags. Tests used to qualify these are: • Label Performance Qualification – This procedure puts labels on a client’s case-level carton packaging and confirms the read distance of the labels. • Label Write Test – This EPC Class 1 test is done using a single label on a single carton of a client’s product and determines the programming performance of a selected label on the client’s carton. The assessment verifies the label’s ability to write at a specific distance and considers all known variances. • Label Placement Qualification – This assessment determines the optimum location on the client’s cartons for the EPC label’s placement. It also accounts for package moisture and how pallets are built. 9 Qualifying the System. Procedures that should be used in qualifying the system are as the following: • Conveyor Tests – These tests determine the EPC labels’ readability on a customer’s product(s) as they pass over a conveyor system at various speeds, product concentrations and label orientations. • Portal Test – This procedure moves a pallet of EPC-labeled cartons of a client’s goods through a portal that is set up according to the client’s portal scenarios. It measures the readability of each labeled carton as well as the pallet tags as the pallet moves at variable speeds through center, left and right lanes of the portal width. • Dock Door Test – This procedure moves a pallet of EPC-labeled cartons (also built to client specifications) through a dock door that reflects other retailer’s dock door dimensions, or the client’s own dock door scenarios. It measures the readability of each labeled carton as well as the pallet tags as the pallet moves at variable speeds through center, left and right lanes of the dock door’s width. • Continuous Inventory Test – This test determines how an EPC-labeled pallet performs in static warehouse shelf conditions with cartons labeled according to placements recommended by the Label Placement Qualification Test.10
  • RFID Testing Center 6 Delivering the Results. After completing the required tests the next step in the process should include benchmarking the results. When analyzing the results, it is important to compare them to baseline performance criteria and evaluate the results thereafter. Based on the results of the earlier procedures, a final report will be delivered to the client. The report will include performance details and recommendations on how to optimize label and system performance given the client’s scenario models. Benefits of Services. While RFID is conceptually simple to understand, using it correctly depends on engineering the control of a wide range of interdependent material, component and environmental variables. Before initial site deployment begins, the modeling and performance testing of Electronic Product Code (EPC) label placement, label application and RFID system operation in lab and field environments is imperative. Companies deploying RFID could potentially incur time-consuming, trial-and-error system tunings as well as opportunity costs- both of which could put them at risk of delaying and possibly diminishing the ROI of their RFID investments, if not tested beforehand. By first simulating supply-chain scenarios relevant to their businesses and processes, companies can ascertain the performance levels of their RFID system designs for themselves and for their retail channel partners who may require it. As a key industry driver of RFID adoption, Wal-Mart as of January 1, 2005 required its top 100 vendors to establish effective RFID use in their supply chains and expects the same of all its other suppliers by the end of 2006. Target Stores, Albertson’s, Tesco and Metro have issued similar requests, indicating that RFID will soon become a global requirement for the retail supply chain. Testing the performance of RFID systems before they are deployed is not only sensible, but a key step and a worthwhile investment in company’s ultimate RFID success and payoff.11 Competitive Advantages. The Ohio University Testing Center will not be the first one in the country, but it will have many unique characteristics that others do not. One major advantage the testing center will provide is that it will be the first truly independent center (the others that exist test the company’s products and middleware). This will allow customers to come to the center, and choose what products and product mixes they would like to test. The Alliance Lab at the University of Kansas claims to be independent, but they are involved in partnerships with Bluetooth Technologies.12 Another marketable advantage the Ohio University RFID Testing Center will have is it’s vast versatility. The versatility the center provides is unprecedented in the RFID field. The site chosen for center can be set up and manipulated for the customers’ specifications. A customer can test RFID technology from the time a raw product is shipped, all the way through the manufacturing process. Customers can then have RFID tested in distribution, retail, and all the way out the door of their store if they wanted- depending on future legal and privacy regulations.
  • RFID Testing Center 7 Competitors There are two types of competitors the Ohio University RFID Testing Center will face when opening its’ doors. One is other means of product identification, with the other being additional RFID testing centers. Both pose a threat, but will not be significant enough if the new testing center shows change and versatility over competitors. Direct Competitors There are limited RFID testing centers across the nation that would act as direct competitors to the university. The five major companies that could impact the testing center’s success are listed below: Paxar. Utilizing 5 major tag hardware brands (Alien, Symbol, SAMSys, UPM Rafsec, Impini) Paxar works with their customers for optimal results through the use of hands-on testing and cost-benefit analysis. Paxar is customer oriented but may not be as versatile as the Ohio University RFID Testing Center poses to be.13 ITTC. Information and Telecommunication Testing Center is a non-profit facility. ITTC prides themselves in accurate fair services, and being objective.14 Sun Microsystems, Inc. Wal-Mart’s testing center, Sun Microsystems, Inc.; has a promising future as a business but may not be as open to other companies. Sun Microsystems is booming because they are opening testing centers in other countries, but they are not posing as a threat for these reasons. The new testing center’s main competitors will be smaller, more versatile companies. RedPrairie Corporation. RedPrairie Corporation aims to please its customers with speedy and versatile services. RedPrairie uses multiple types of equipment and provides numerous services such as testing, installation and tuning, systems integration, pilot design and evaluation, and project management.15 Indirect Competitors The indirect competitors are the different types of product identification systems that are available. These different systems include: barcode, smartcard, and magnetic stripe card. All of these pose as a threat to RFID, due to the high cost and uncertainty of implementing this new and emerging technology. Barcode. There are a variety of competitive product identification systems that exist in the retail market. The most popular form of product identification is the barcode. Most businesses and organizations use barcodes to make everyday business applications more simple and efficient. Barcodes help one keep better track of products so businesses can save time and respond more quickly to inquiries and changes. Barcodes also reduce supply chain management costs.
  • RFID Testing Center 8 Although they have provided many advantages in the retail industry, they have also been a major asset on the manufacturing floor. Components are often bar coded to improve materials handling, increase productivity, and maintain inventories at high levels. They also reduce the chances of people making mistakes through manual methods.16 Bar codes are easily scanned with a variety of electronic devices. The disadvantage of this is that barcodes are an optical "line-of-sight" technology and the scanning device needs to see the barcode that is to be read and interpreted. Barcode labels may be scuffed, damaged, or wrinkled, which makes it difficult to obtain a valid scan, however, the chance of error is very small. Barcodes are also cheap and inexpensive to manufacture.17 Smartcard. A smartcard is a type of card with a computer chip that stores and transacts data between users. They store data in their memory cell, which can be manipulated and processed by the Smartcard Reader. Smartcards improve the convenience and security of transactions because they provide tamper proof storage of user and account identity. They can hold large amounts of personal information such as health history or personal preferences. Smartcards make it easy for consumers to secure information and cash. In addition, they can hold thousands of times the information storable on magnetic stripe cards, but still need to be individually read.18 Smartcards provide great opportunities for businesses as well as consumers. With the introduction of more card functionality, businesses can differentiate themselves with improved Customer Relationship Management. Smartcard technology allows effective card holder profiling, giving the ability to provide consumers with new products and features which best suit their lifestyle, while providing the business and card issuer with valuable information on customer habits.19 Magnetic Stripe Card. The magnetic strip card fist appeared in the late 1970’s in the banking industry. Magnetic stripe cards can be printed on heavy paper or plastic. A magnetic stripe is the black "line" found on the back of debit and credit cards. This black magnetic stripe contains "tracks" of encoded information. Magnetic stripe cards can contain as many as three "tracks" of information. The first two tracks typically contain information used in transaction processing, such as a name and account number. However, the third track has been introduced in recent years to contain personal and demographic information, such as a user's zip code. Magnetic stripe cards can not hold nearly the amount of information that smartcards can, and each card needs to be individually scanned- this is a time consuming process.20 Marketing Analysis The criteria for the target market selection were determined by several factors. Organizational size was a key factor in determining target markets. Different industries were selected based on their relative need and possible benefits RFID would provide them. Also, industries were selected based on the idea that problems would arise with their organizational operations and how RFID technology would decrease the change of problems occurring.
  • RFID Testing Center 9 Target Market: Retail Industry Leaders While RFID technology has proven to help companies within the retail business, it is important to focus on other industries that would have the capability and needs to implement and test this new idea. Concentrating on companies that are leaders in their industry will cause a “trickle down” effect and better ensure the confidence of smaller companies who may be unsure of integrating this new technology. Targeting Through Organizational Size. In general, the majority of top retailers have already begun testing RFID technology for future implementation. Due to the vast range of retail organization size, upper to mid level size based companies can also implement RFID. With these larger companies already testing, it can enable the smaller size based companies to realize the possible benefits they could experience. Since the RFID testing center will not be opened immediately, it will give more retail companies an opportunity to develop interest in RFID technology. Below are some examples of possible retail industry targets that fit the above criteria. Food Retailers. Food retailers are an important part of the retail industry and can be seen as a good candidate for the implementation of RFID. Due to their wide customer base, numerous wide spread locations, and the basic need for their products on a regular basis, RFID could be proven valuable for everyday operations. Some main food retailers to consider are grocery stores, convenience stores, and all purpose retail stores that offer food products. If RFID technology were to be implemented, it would not only benefit the organization, but also better serve the customer and their needs. Several benefits of RFID would be presented to both the consumer and retailer. Consumers would benefit because they would not have to wait in long checkout lines, which would reduce wasted time and they would be less apt to shop in overcrowded stores. The consumer and retailer could both be benefited through in-store marketing. RFID technology would enable the store to record customer purchasing trends and market those products to them. In return, the customer would have an easier time of locating the products they desire. The retailer would have the ability to track customers, inventory, and daily operations. Stock and inventory management would be greatly benefited from implementing RFID technology. This would help to cut costs and allow the business to be run more efficiently. Clothing Retailers. Clothing retailers make up a large part of the retail industry. They can be defined as department stores, mall clothing retailers, high priced fashion retailers, and all purpose stores that offer clothing products. There are numerous benefits that a clothing retailer will gain from using RFID technology. It will greatly increase inventory management, give retailers real-time information about what is currently on the shelves, and where products are located. The real-time features of RFID clear the way for a variety of innovative applications that can be beneficial to clothing retailers.21 Additionally, RFID will help to reduce theft in clothing retail stores. By implementing RFID technology, a company will increase sales and reduce theft, thus increasing overall profits.
  • RFID Testing Center 10 Department stores in the U.S. have combined annual revenue of about $475 billion. Some of the top department store retailers in the U.S. include Sears, Target, Wal-Mart and JCPenney. The department store industry includes 10,000 companies that operate 40,000 stores. The industry is highly concentrated with a high level of competition. Department stores are always looking for new ways to gain an advantage over their competitors.22 Because of all these factors, department stores should be included as a target market. Consumer Electronic Retailers. The electronic retail industry is a competitive and ever changing industry that constantly updates with the newest technology in order to improve business operations. It offers a great deal of products and services (better categorized as audio, video, mobile and wireless, integrated home systems, and other). RFID technology presents innovative possibilities for capturing and conveying information which will greatly aid the industry and individual companies looking to run their business operations more effectively.23 The electronic retail industry can be benefited through the adoption of RFID technology. It will enable companies to have greater control over supply chain management and reduce the costs and possible problems that arise from those operations. It will also help to reduce the theft of their products, which is important due to the generally expensive products offered in these stores. The electronic retail industry as a whole can benefit greatly from implementing RFID tags into their daily operations. “RFID is electronics, and since electronics companies supply the underlying technology that enables RFID, they are well positioned to discover ways in which they can supply customers with innovative products that can generate growth,” says Dr. Hagen Wenzek, who leads the global electronics team of the Institute for Business Value in IBM Business Consulting Services.24 With the development and implementation of RFID technology, the electronic retail industry can grow and become a stronger and more profitable industry as a whole. “By integrating RFID functionality into their products, electronics companies will enable a global RFID infrastructure,” says Wenzek. According to Wenzek, “by providing physical objects with the infrastructure needed to communicate with each other via the Internet, RFID will help fuel the growth of the burgeoning global network of interconnected devices.”25 Individual companies like Best Buy have already begun to test RFID technology, while other companies such as Circuit City are waiting to see how successful it will become. It is important to target the electronic retail companies that have yet to begin testing and implementing RFID into their business operations. They can utilize the testing centers and better manage their individual organization, and also maintain competitive with those companies who have already implemented RFID technology.26 Home Improvement Retailers. In the past few years, the home improvement retail industry has taken off with companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s. The need for RFID within this industry could help to cut costs through inventory management, theft reduction, and enabling employees’ greater efficiency opportunities. RFID technology can be utilized at not only large hardware chains, but also smaller sized locally based home improvement stores.
  • RFID Testing Center 11 In 2003, the industry estimated about $197 million in sales. 85 percent of all the United States homes were built prior to 1980, and many of the homes are in constant need of frequent maintenance. Some experts have estimated that the nation’s home improvement sales will reach $265 billion by 2008.27 Home Depot is currently the leader in the home improvement retail industry with revenues around $18.97 billion.28 While RFID is not a major focus for the company, the need for this technology within the industry is, therefore, high. Lowe’s has already started testing this technology and has always led the industry in IT developments. Home Depot’s current IT department is struggling to enact infrastructure changes that will improve customer satisfaction and operations. RFID technology could greatly improve the average checkout time per customer and aid in inventory control.29 Marketing Mix Product. The RFID testing center will offer an abundant amount of services to adapt to the various needs of clients. Products will be given different types of RF labels and will be tested on the efficiency of how well the different types of labels can be read and interpreted under diverse circumstances. These different circumstances will include the variation of the content of each individual product (water, metal, wood, plastic, etc.), different levels of humidity, placement of the labels, the speed and accuracy of products and how they can be read, placement of antennas, placement of shelves, different reader frequencies, environmental impacts of RFID, signal interference, unloading and loading of products with labels, and other similar tests. A survey will be conducted of the client’s current site, and different tests will be implemented for the different client needs. This survey will implement how tests should be conducted and the results will be interpreted to determine the validity of the actual test, and how well the different RF labels performed under all kinds of circumstances. This information will be given to the client, along with a decision of which type of RFID software is most applicable for the client’s needs and interests. Promotion. In order to promote the services of the Ohio University RFID Testing Center, customers must be marketed differently than those looking for specific goods. One advantage of being funded by Ohio University is that it will give companies an incentive to use the University’s valued resources to further research in RFID testing; where as a profit driven company may be viewed as providing a service strictly for profit rather than knowledge and research. Promoting the testing center should be done through presentations and demonstrations in trade shows and conferences. Trade Shows. Participating in trade shows will provide name recognition and promotion to the right crowd. The National Retail Federation’s 95th Annual Convention and Expo is Jan 15th through 18th 2006. It is held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, NY. This past year’s event claimed to have been taken over by RFID technology and gained retailers’ attention.30
  • RFID Testing Center 12 Representatives from the Ohio University testing center should attend this event, specifics are as follows: Expense Estimated Cost Booth Space $12,00031 Flight (Delta) $35032 Convention Center Hotel (Jan. 14th – 19th) $20033 Taxi $300 Car Mileage and Gas to Airport* $54 Todd Myers Salary for Trip* $1,055 Shipping $500 (allocation) Booth Equipment** $800 Food $450 (allocation) Entertaining and Customer Relations $2,000 (allocation) Total $17,394 *Refer to Appendix C for these calculations **Have: Video, Business Cards Need: Equipment for testing examples, brochures of OU’s company and others to whom they work with, banner (Kinkos) The Airport provides transportation to the Convention Center which is located .2 miles away. Estimated costs include entertaining and developing CRM to get to know potential clients. All equipment should be shipped (weight unknown so the total shipping cost is unclear). Any nonspecific equipment such as tables and televisions should be requested ahead of time. Before leaving, a small business credit card should be applied for well in advance. Attend Conferences. In order to unite with the target client and spread the name of Ohio University’s testing center, there are several Conferences that can be looked into. The RFID Journal Live! 2006 will be the RFID Journal’s 4th annual conference that exhibits everything involved with RFID manufacturing and testing. It will be held in 2006 from May 1st – 3rd in the MGM Grand Las Vegas. It not only provides objective information, but is a great opportunity to network.34 The University of Wisconsin is also holding a conference that consists of presentations by those who have already adopted RFID, its challenges, advice on technology dealing with retail, distribution, packaging and more.35 This conference is the day of June 7th and costs $175.
  • RFID Testing Center 13 Booths trade shows or presentations elsewhere, such as those listed prior, will inform the target clients of the benefits of using a non-profit testing center. They should also be used to stress the versatility of the company in types of tags, software, and products. Website. On the business cards that will be distributed should be a website to which the potential client could find out more information. The website will contain the Mission Statement and along with other specifics about the company, it will most importantly give them the opportunity to revisit the idea of using this service and they will be more likely to come in contact for more information. An example screenshot of a presentable home page is in Appendix D. Price. The cost for the Ohio University RFID consulting services will vary depending on the tests performed and the scope of the clients needs. The pricing strategy will be modeled after other testing centers, where costs are incurred in multiple phases as RFID initiatives are conceived and tests are conducted. Initial consulting could be as little as $20,00036 but can easily run into the hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of dollars, depending on the extent of RFID deployment.37 Given that the market is very new and complex, an industry average engagement value has not been firmly established and cannot be used as a benchmark for the Ohio University RFID Testing Center.38 Each project will have to be quoted separately and an hourly rate for consulting will be added to the total. Refer to Appendix E and F for IBM Pricing Model and industry IT consulting prices. Distribution. All tests and consulting services will take place at the Ohio University RFID Testing Center in Athens, OH. The testing center is located on the first floor of the Central Classroom Building. Operational Plan The operational plan is extremely important to the overall business plan for the testing center. Funding, location, security, testing center assets, and employment structure are all explained within this section. Funding must be secured before anything can be purchased, but you must understand the amount of capital you will need for the location, assets, and employees. The final step of the operational plan is the training of the employees, and how they can best be utilized. All of these things were considered when creating the operational plan. Funding There is a variety of funding and grants available to help start the RFID testing center located in Athens, Ohio. Loans and grants are available at the Federal, State, and Local levels. The loans vary depending on many different factors, such as size standards (the total number of employees), the maximum amount of money that is to be distributed, the term of the loan, the type of loan (usually partial loan guarantee), and what the loan is to be used for (inventory, working capital, fixed assets, real estate, etc.).39
  • RFID Testing Center 14 There are also many “strings” attached to these various loans. Some of these “strings” include that only a certain amount of money is to be given to the business per number of employees. For example, the city or bank may only agree to finance $10,000 per every employee. The loans also vary depending on the amount of money needed, and the overall interest rate; both of which depend mostly on where the money is coming from. It appears that loans have a lower interest rate from the federal government, but they begin to increase as they move down the chain of government- from state to local.40 There are also many different grants available for funding businesses. However, one can’t depend on the government giving money to help finance the new testing center. It would be wise to apply to some of the grants and then determine how much money is needed through loans. Ohio University has agreed to “match” some of the money that is given for the testing center through the different organizations, and this should also be considered. Some of the different loans available can be seen in Appendices G and H. These loans are thought to be some of the better loans available. Other Considerations. Another thing to consider, other than applying for grants, would be tax exemptions. The testing center is directing technical research to create better business processes, and under the Research and Development Tax exemptions, the testing center would be able to receive a tax break on the equipment being purchased. Refer to Appendix I for details. In addition, the testing center would be eligible for receiving training dollars from the Ohio Department of Development. This program could reimburse the testing centers training costs by as much as 50 percent- excluding wages of trainees. For more information, refer to Appendix J.41 Location The Ohio University RFID Testing Center will be located on the first floor of the Central Classroom Building at 1 Riverside Drive. After talking to Tom Daniels PhD, building management of Ohio University, the Central Classroom Building was the best available building owned by Ohio University. The cost of the building would include the cost of tearing down walls and utilities at a price of $450,000. The alternative building at the ridges would cost approximately $11 million in comparison with the chosen location ($40,000 a month for a five year lease). The site at the ridges was also located on the second floor, and did not include a loading dock, which is critical for testing purposes. The Central Classroom Building would be 9,000 square feet and include a loading dock. The floor change of the building can be seen in Appendix K.42
  • RFID Testing Center 15 Security Due to holding companies products, ranging from a dollar to thousands of dollars in the testing center, there will need to be a secure building to protect against theft and possible damages. After renovating the building to receive maximum use of space, the testing site will bring in a security company contracted by Ohio University to put motion detectors, door alarms, and window alarms around the interior parameter of the building. Ohio University usually commits with the lowest bidder on outside resources, this is why the company can not be determined right now, but the average price for this type of security is $2,500.43 Testing Center Assets Numerous items need to be purchased by the testing center to fully utilize the testing center’s capabilities. These items include a forklift, conveyor belts, computers, and smart shelves. With the addition of these assets, clients will be able to determine how RFID technologies will help their companies. Fork Lifts. A fork lift will be vital in the testing center’s daily testing activities. This will allow the person administrating the test to come in and out of the building with pallets and other materials off of a truck, while tests are being run. There are numerous brands of forklifts and forktrucks available. Some of the largest and most reliable manufactures are Nissan, Hyster, and Komatsu. They all offer similar products and services of machines. For the purposes of the testing center, an electric counterbalanced lift is suggested. An electric forklift can operate indoors without letting off a harmful emission, and can also save on fuel costs because it is battery powered. The down side of the electric lift is that it is slower, and less powerful than the propane power forklift. Propane lifts can be operated indoors, but must be in a well ventilated area. Either can be purchased or leased, and is all dependent upon the dealer. The range of prices will vary between propane and electric, and new and used. The average price of used electric forks lifts was approximately $23,000. The testing center should lease a used electric fork lift for their purposes. RFID readers can be applied to the forklifts according to the customers needs.44 Conveyer Belts. A conveyer belt system should be installed at the testing center to reduce the number of employees hired to do the redundant testing on the different RFID technologies. Gilmore-Kramer offers numerous conveyor belt systems. Two different belt systems should be used inside the testing center. The first model will be the Trasnorm Belt Curve Conveyor. This provides a belt is curved on a 45 degree angle. Four of these should be purchased to be used with the other belt. The testing center can use this to create a circular area that the products will run on.45 Please refer to Appendix L for pricing details.
  • RFID Testing Center 16 The other belt that will be used is the Horizontal Belt Conveyor. This belt provides a straight track that items being tested can run on. Six of these should be purchased, and two should be put end to end on either side connecting to the trans-norm belt while one is put between the two trans-norm belts on either end. This process will create a circular area for test items to run continuously. These belts will allow numerous products to be tested without the continual use of an employee. They can also be used to test conveyer belt applications for a customer. Refer to Appendix M for pricing details.46 Computers. The middleware that will read the data from the receiver and store it must be run on computers. It has been estimated that the testing center will need a maximum of 18 computers. Since the center is affiliated with Ohio University it can utilize CNS and the deal that it has with Gateway 2000. The approximate price per computer will be $800. The computers should be set up at each testing site (loading dock, smart shelves, conveyer belts, etc), and should use about 16 computers to read and analyze the data. The other two computers should be equipped with Microsoft Office, and other software that can assist in the daily operations of the testing center.47 Smart Shelves. The use of smart shelves within the testing center will coincide with the use of the forklift RFID technology. Once the item is put on the shelf the reader will tell the computer that it is no longer on the fork lift, and that the product is now on the shelf. Currently, the shelving systems are made by independent contractors. There are two companies that have combined to create a smart shelf unit that can be used in retail outlets. LG&P and SAMsys have begun a partnership to start creating not only smart shelves, but also smart displays that are beginning to be used in CVS.48 Loading Dock. A loading dock is already available at the Central Classroom Building chosen for the location of the testing center. RFID antennas and readers can be placed around the dock and integrated with the forklift technology, depending on the customers needs. The loading dock can then track when products or skids leave the truck and enter the distribution or retail store. RFID Readers. Anywhere RFID antennas are located, readers that supplies energy and that can send the information to a computer are needed. Multiple companies manufacture these readers. Depending on customers needs, a reader should not be purchased until the center knows what the customer is looking for. The price range also varies on these readers, and is dependent on range, code that it reads, and tag that it reads. Employment Structure There are two different entities that will be working within the testing center. Their employee base will be similar, and sometimes overlapping. The following chart will show the employment hierarchy of the testing center:
  • RFID Testing Center 17 Each Department Head will be in charge of how many tag appliers will be working under them, if any. This structure may be different, because each customer has different needs. The COB Executive and Todd Myers will need to determine who the head of each project will be and delegate workers accordingly. Training. Employees and graduate students hired for the RFID Testing Center should be well informed of what they are assigned and they should have good understanding of the RFID testing concept as a whole. An information or training session should be required for all employees. The session should consist of a “crash overview” of what RFID comprises, and what the company’s mission includes. The second part should consist of the role they are to complete and how they are to carry it out. This part should give them detailed instruction on how to carry out their own specific job description and answer all relevant questions. The time that it is taken to educate the employees is subject to the amount of information and how long will take to inform the employees of everything needed. An example of the training program is as follows: Session: Part 1 • Introduction/Welcome • What is RFID • Testing Center’s mission (Lunch Break) Part 2 • Employee’s role • Instruction on how to carry out specific role/job • Questions/Answers Financial Plan Multiple sources of funding are available for the testing center. The manner in which the money is spent is vital to calculate the revenue sharing and return on investment. The profit sharing will
  • RFID Testing Center 18 be divided between the College of Business and the College of Engineering. The following will explain the testing center’s start-up investment required, the process of revenue sharing and profit sharing, and financial projections for the future. Start-up Investment Requirement The start-up investment required for the RFID testing center will be a significant amount of money. The initial start-up investment will require approximately $550,000. In addition to this initial investment there will be an annual monetary requirement of at least $310,000. However, this additional requirement should be covered by revenues generated by the RFID testing center. Due to the various costs associated with the RFID testing center it is estimated that the organization will need approximately $1,000,000 to open and successfully operate. Revenue Sharing Since the RFID testing center is a part of Ohio University, the testing center must share its revenue with Ohio University. 40 percent of all the revenue generated by the RFID center will go to Ohio University. The remaining 60 percent of the revenue will be used to cover costs and expenses of the RFID testing center. Once all of the cost and expenses of the testing center are covered, the remaining money will either be put back into the testing center or be divided between the College of Business and the Russ College of Engineering. Profit Sharing Any profits of the RFID testing center that are not put back into the center will be divided between the College of Business (CoB) and the Russ College of Engineering. The percentage of the profits each college will receive depends on the amount of time and resources each college exhausted in the RFID testing centers projects. For example, if the CoB totaled 40 percent of a project and the Russ College of Engineering had 60 percent, then the CoB would receive 40 percent of the profits, while the College of Engineering would receive 60 percent. Financial Projections Due to the fact that the Ohio University RFID testing center does not currently exist, all financial projections concerning revenues are only estimates. When looking at the financial estimates one should realize that the numbers given are merely estimates and can not be taken as entirely accurate. Generally, in the first year of business an organization rarely sees a profit. This is because there are many one time expenses that an organization incurs in its first year of operation. In an organizations second year of existence its ROI will normally be better than that of the first year. In general, this idea holds true for the other methods of measuring an organizations financial
  • RFID Testing Center 19 success such as Payback Period and Economic Value Added (EVA). Refer to Appendices N and O for Financial Statements. Implementation Plan The implementation steps outlined in this portion of the paper should provide the testing center with a general idea of the segments that should be involved during the fund raising phase, operational development phase, and operational execution phase. Funding Finding funding for the testing center is a primary step that should be taken. When the funds are secured it will allow the testing center to know how much money can be allocated to each of the other phases. During the funding phase these key things should be look at: • Finding grants, loans, and bonds • Propose idea to Ohio University (startup capital) Operational Development During the operational development phase the testing center will begin to put into place the things that it needs to be successful. The following areas are important in the operational development phase: Building  Renovations  Equipment People  Find COB rep.  Hire full-time technician  Determine criteria for hiring of MBA employees  Hire employees Training  Setup training process  Develop individual jobs and positions Operational Execution The operational execution phase is an ongoing and extremely liquid phase in the implementation process. This will be continual and allow problems to be solved with ease. This will help avoid problems all together. The following topics have been identified as keys to operational execution: Testing  Develop standards and protocol for similar testing
  • RFID Testing Center 20  Setup testing area for specific customer needs Marketing  Develop customer base  Maintain customer relations  Develop supply chain relationships  Identify competitive advantage Technology  Maintain knowledge of current technology  Develop and identify new technological trends  Continually train on new technology advancements Revenues  Make money for investors (40% goes to OU)  Continual reinvestment of capital into program There are other key topics that have not been outlined, but should not be ignored. These are merely the main points that have been identified in the earliest stages of the testing center. Once the testing center enters into each phase it will encounter new problems and solutions that will need to be implemented. Conclusion With new companies striving to implement RFID everyday, the need for a testing center is not only justifiable, but valid. Not only will this testing center help companies integrate this new technology, it will bring numerous opportunities to Ohio University and the surrounding areas if strong implementations and operations are performed. New software and testing systems can be developed that will bring prestige to Ohio University and could open doors for many students that are looking for a future in this industry. The testing center could also bring attention to this part of the nation and gain the interests of some of the top retailers. The Ohio University RFID Testing Center is an opportunity to bring together some of the brightest minds in engineering and business and run one of the greatest RFID testing centers in the nation.
  • 1 “AIDC Technology” December 2001 http://www.mobileinfo.com/AIDC/RFID.htm (Accessed May 18, 2005) 2 “RFID News Roundup” March 11,2005 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1441/1/1/ (Accessed May 19, 2005) 3 http://www.accusort.com/rfid/rfid_faqs.html (Accessed May 18, 2005) 4 Ibid 5 Conversation with Mr. Sherman, Voinovich Center Representative, 26 May 2005 6 IBID 7 “RFID Performance Testing”, Sensormatic, (2004 8 IBID. 9 IBID. 10 IBID. 11 “RFID Performance Testing”, Sensormatic, (2004) 12 “RFID Alliance Lab” http://www.rfidalliancelab.org/index.html#news (Accessed May 20, 2005) 13 “RFID News Roundup” March 11,2005http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1441/1/1/definitions_off (Accessed May 20, 2005) 14 “RFID Alliance Lab to Test RFID Products” September 22 , 2004 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1129/1/1/ (Accessed May 20, 2005) 15 Collins, Jonathan “Red Prairie Launches RFID Bundle” May 18, 2004 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/947/1/14/ (Accessed May 20, 2005) 16 “A Revolution in Automatic Data Recognition” http://www.addict3d.org/index.php? page=viewarticle&type=news&ID=1634 (Accessed May 28, 2005) 17 IBID 18 “Smart Card Overview” www.smartcardbasics.com/overview.html (Accessed May 20, 2005) 19 “Smart Card Benefits” http://www.ecebs.com/benefits.asp (Accessed May 22, 2005) 20 “Magnetic Stripe Readers Moving Into Other Markets” January 1998 http://www.businesssolutionsmag.com/Articles/1998_01/980110.htm (Accessed May 23, 2005) 21 “RFID Technology and EPC in Retail” http://www.symbol.com/products/whitepapers/RFID_and_EPC_in_Retail.html (Accessed May 20, 2005) 22 “Department Stores & Discount Stores Industry Profile” http://www.firstresearch.com/Industry-Research/Department- Stores-and-Discount-Stores.html (Accessed May 24, 2005) 23 “RIFD in Electronics Will Spark Use” http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1245/1/1/ (Accessed May 23, 2005) 24 IBID 25 IBID 26 IBID 27 “Home Improvement & Hardware Retail Industry Profile” http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/profile/rthome_1539.html (Accessed May 21, 2005) 28 IBID 29 Baker, Pam “CIO Bob DeRodes on Digitizing Home Depot” May 11, 2005 http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20050511/tc_nf/34568 (Accessed May 22, 2005) 30 “NRF 94th Annual Convention and EXPO” http://nrfannual05.expoexchange.com/ (Accessed May 22, 2005) 31 “Trade Show Tips and Pointers” http://www.gapent.com/seminars/trade_shows_faq.htm (Accessed May 25, 2005) 32 www.expedia.com 33 http://reservations.conventioncenterhotelsguide.com/nexres/reservations/availability.cgi? hotels_id=11280383&ses=68bb6e5d4adc38b16b33dd8ec89cb8af87520ps&src=10005692&path=&doa_mm=01&doa_dd=1 4&dod_mm=01&dod_dd=19&num_adults=1&num_children=0&num_rooms=1&bed_type=NP&num_beds=1&smoking_p ref=NSMK&corp_acct_number=&freq_gust_number=&currency_id= 34 “RFID Journal Live, 2006” http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1571 (Accessed May 23, 2005) 35 “UW E- Business Institute” http://www.uwebi.org/RFIDConference/default.shtml (Accessed May 21, 2005) 36 http://www.ibm.com/us/ (Accessed May 25, 2005) 37 Shutzberg, Larry “Scoping Out the Real Cost of RFID” November 1, 2004 http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=51201525&tid=13692 (Accessed May 26, 2005) 38 http://www.ibm.com/us/ (Accessed May 25, 2005) 39 Athens Chamber of Commerce http://www.athenschamber.org/ (Accessed May 22, 2005) 40 IBID 41 IBID 42 Daniels, Tom, May 23, 2005 Interviewed by Ryan Hartley
  • 43 Ohio University Police Department , May 23, 2005 Interviewed by Ryan Hartley 44 “Bugle Forklift Sales & Rentals LTD.” http://www.bugleforklift.com/cgi-bin/listman/exec/search.cgi? search=1&perpage=10&lfield1_keyword=Electric&sort_order=7%2C123%2Cforward&pagenum=2 (Accessed May 24, 2005) 45 Gilmore-Kramer Company http://www.gilmorekramer.com/more_info/hytrol_transnorm_belt_curve_conveyor/hytrol_transnorm_belt_curve_conveyor. shtml (Accessed May 24, 2005) 46 IBID 47 Hartzel, Chris May 25, 2005 Interviewed by Lauren Janning 48 “SAMSys Eyes Smart Shelf Market” November 20, 2005 http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/view/118/1/1/ (Accessed May 23, 2005)