Affiliations: Information Systems and Operations Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA | RFID Lab, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, Italy
Note:  Corresponding author: A. Volpi, RFID Lab, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Parma, Italy. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The objective of the paper is twofold: on the one hand, to design a testing protocol to measure performances of RFID devices. The protocol matches operational conditions in supply chain processes and is particularly tailored to the apparel industry. On the other one, the paper strives at benchmarking performances of inlays, fixed and handheld RFID readers, and printers when deployed in the apparel logistics and retail processes. DESIGN, METHODOLOGY, APPROACH: We developed a testing protocol that makes it possible to assess performances of RFID devices in simulated supply chain processes. The testing protocol has been designed by a panel of academicians, whose research activities are focused on RFID applications and logistics, and retail executives from the apparel industry. We applied the testing protocol to 7 inlays and hard tags, 3 fixed readers, 4 mobile handhelds, and 1 printer, all operating according to EPC class 1 gen 2 protocols and ETSI regulations. We measured and compared read rates, accuracies, and read times. FINDINGS: By simulating a real-world environment, test results give a direct insight of performances to be expected from different RFID devices. Therefore practitioners can find answers to how a specific piece of hardware — such as an inlay, reader or printer — performs, or which hardware would be the best choice for a company's specific application, such as logistics, inventory checking or store security. At the same time, researchers focused on the business value of RFID applications can validate RFID-reengineered business processes.