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Sunday, July 18, 2004

From baggage to tires to beer, industry is rapidly embracing RFID as the ultimate tracking technology via MIT technology review

Some innovative uses of RFID technology in core business and their success is beginning to be reported As we wait for the Jan 2005 walmart deadline to be reached for embracing RFID technology by key walmart suppliers, initial reports of RFID technology by Delta and British brewery -coorg raises confidence that this system shall reap huge rewards.Previously, the breweries owned their own kegs and managed their shipment and returns—a costly and labor-intensive process. Trenstar, the logistics company hired by Coorg bought the kegs from these companies and outfitted each with an RFID tag. The breweries now contract the keg coordination with Trenstar, which provides detailed audit trails of exactly where the kegs are and when they’re due back. “The biggest benefit to brewers from RFID is the reduction of asset loss,Breweries lose on average five to six percent of their kegs every year. This has been cut by more than half already"
RFID implementation by the British breweries also had some positive unintended consequences. Because the technology provided an audit trail for each keg, the breweries were able to claim tax credits on the amount of beer left in each keg. Typically, a brewery is taxed on the amount of beer shipped out. With an airtight audit trail now in place, breweries weigh the kegs upon their return and receive tax credits on the bottom swill or, if the keg was defective, the full keg. "Companies save roughly $1 to $12 per keg, depending on how much beer is left in the container,The tax credit alone paid for the early implementations of this system!!”

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