For Wal-Mart, RFID's payback will initially come in the form of improving the inbound receiving process at its Distribution Centers (DCs). Most manufacturers will not receive a return on investment (ROI) from RFID projects until the technology is used end-to-end across the supply chain. One exception is manufacturers that produce large, bulky products and do not have enough preexisting warehouse slots to store their goods. The use of active tags and a RF locator system can have good payback for these companies.
But for Consumer Goods manufacturers, investing in RFID will be the price of doing business with large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target. Therefore, Supply Chain Execution (SCE) suppliers must provide solutions that help manufacturers meet these new tag requirements at the shipping dock; facilitate receiving for the retailers; and provide additional support for other warehouse activities down the road. Ideally, suppliers will offer solutions that allow manufacturers to conduct pilot tests before full deployment and allow inexpensive extensions or upgrades to existing WMS software instead of requiring brand new implementations.