Looking for ROI from RFID in Retail

May 18, 2006
New study tries to find exactly what a retailer's ROI from RFID can be
Looking for further proof that security and ROI can go together in the same sentence? Then take heed of news today from ADT and OATSystems, which jointly announced an RFID ROI program today.

The program -- which ties together ADT's RFID technologies and OATSystems's software platforms for using the RFID data -- will attempt to validate a retailer's return on investment for RFID technology.

The companies (www.oatsystems.com and www.adt.com) are partnering with Intel Corporation and will provide a full 10-store retail deployment to track products from companies like Proctor & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark which are tagging their goods. The program also involves access to an academic institution of the retailer's choice to study the RFID deployment results.

According to the companies involved, the ROI study will be a six-month process, with 10 stores at five separate retailers, and involving a handful of product manufacturers. The research study involving the academic community will compare the results from live-implementation stores and control group stores to get a sense of the ROI value.

"As we continue to explore future uses of RFID technology, we expect to gain valuable insights on how to improve the effectiveness of various business applications built around scaleable standards, such as product promotions," said Kimberly-Clark's senior vice president and chief innovation officer Cheryl Perkins. "This standards-based approach will ensure we deliver the right product solutions to the shopper at the right time - increasing the success of our product promotions."

The companies are primarily touting these systems as being useful for tracking promotion display execution and stocking, and while the funding for these systems is not likely to come from within security budgets, many retailers have already seen potential benefits to a retailer's loss prevention operations as well.