Wal-Mart will move ahead with RFID strategy

April 14, 2006

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to continue to mine the supply chain benefits of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), according to the new head of the Wal-Mart Information Systems Division.

Rollin Ford, Wal-Mart's new executive vice president and chief information officer, strongly endorsed RFID technology at the biannual CIO Summit, hosted by Wal-Mart.

Ford told the audience that both logistics and information systems were at the center of Wal-Mart's competitive advantage. He views RFID "as a strategy that offers tremendous competitive advantage. There will be no slowing down. I have been a member of the Wal-Mart RFID executive steering committee for the past three years, so I know firsthand that we have a great team working on RFID."

Ford reaffirmed the company's commitment to the EPC standard and said he was impressed with the step change in performance the company had seen through the use of the EPC Gen 2 standard.

"When Gen 2 was released, we planned to make it our standard at the beginning of this year," he said. "We have done that, and I can confirm that we will be sunsetting Gen 1 on June 30."

He summed up by saying RFID "will transform the way we do business."