Feb 17 2015

New TIPP Standards Help Retailers Prove the ROI of RFID

Innovative companies can now conclusively determine whether their RFID initiatives are providing value to the business.

Introducing radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology into the retail environment has spawned some pretty amazing innovations.

The Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort in Oregon rolled out ski passes with RFID technology embedded in them, as BizTech reported in 2013. This upgrade allows skiers to bypass the time-consuming process of having their passes scanned with bar code scanners.

More recently, Marc O’Polo, a German clothing brand, rolled out RFID technology across its supply chain, which will enable “the retailer to track its merchandise from the point at which they are made,” reports RFID Journal.

In the past, retailers were left to their own devices when it came to establishing standards or benchmarks for their RFID deployments. But earlier this year, supply chain standards group GS1 US stepped up and formalized the Tagged Item Performance Protocol (TIPP), reports Essential Retail.

TIPP comprises three components that provide an industry-scalable solution for defining tagged-item performance: tagged-item grade definitions, testing procedures and a product catalogue that defines the RFID tag orientation and layout of common retail items.

Melanie Nuce, vice president of apparel and general merchandise at GS1 US, remarked: "Historically, retailers have conducted their own RFID performance testing and set their own individual expectations for tag inlay solutions that may be used to tag products destined for their stores.

"This required suppliers to provide different solutions for different retailers. TIPP now allows retailers to set performance levels for a specific use case, and it also allows suppliers flexibility in how they meet grade levels from multiple retailers."

It is hoped that these standards will bring some clarity and organization to the use of RFID technology and that they will make the case for selling RFID implementations through a retail company much easier for the IT department.


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