People Innovation Excellence

TAG THEM ALL

RFID-Tag

Picture source:www.realassetmgt.com

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER ? VOLUME 47 NUMBER 3

BY KEVIN MCMANUS

Disney is converting to an RFID-based customer experience. RFID is becoming more affordable and common, and it is building momentum, although the ?expensive? or ?controversial? management pushback remains strong. At Disney, queue lengths were shorter. The buses flowed more effectively between parks, and wait times for service in general were significantly less.

I have to think that implementing fleet management software and RFID-based tracking had something to do with this. Better information, especially real-time information, can lead to better decisions and more effective asset utilization.

Before you push back, you might want to think a little about whether you have been tagged already. If you have ?locations? activated on your cell phone, you are being tracked, just as cookies track your Internet usage. New U.S. passports have tracking chips, and it is only a matter of time until tags are in every driver?s license and tags replace VIN numbers in cars.

Given my age, it is easy for me to think about Big Brother whenever I discuss tagging all assets. At the same time, I have seen the reductions in personal injury, equipment damage and process wait times. More importantly, as a customer, I have often experienced the improvements in customer service and service value that real-time technology has helped provide. In most cases, I am willing to make the exchange.

People will push back as these new technologies are used and deployed to greater degrees. Compared to the past, they are more intrusive, but at the same time, they help us manage processes and meet customer expectations more consistently. When your time comes, how willing will you be to tag them all?


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