In the first indication of how difficult it is for suppliers to meet its RFID deadlines, Wal-Mart says that some of its pharmaceutical suppliers expect to be compliant with RFID by June 30 – three months late.
In the first indication of how difficult it is for suppliers to meet its RFID deadlines, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says that some of its pharmaceutical suppliers expect to be compliant with the retailer’s RFID mandate by June 30 – three months late.
Wal-Mart declines to say how many of the 18 pharmaceutical suppliers that had been expected to meet a March 31 deadline were tardy or why they missed the deadline. “Some made the deadline, others are close behind, but it will be June 30 before all 18 are compliant,” a spokesman says.
He insists that Wal-Mart did not move its original deadline, but declines to say what if any penalties suppliers incurred by missing the date. Wal-Mart is calling on all of its suppliers to begin placing RFID tags on all cartons and pallets shipped to Wal-Mart’s distribution centers according to a system of staggered deadlines. RFID, or radio frequency identification, uses radio frequency tags and readers to track shipments, making shipment status available over the Internet to allow retailers and suppliers to immediately respond to disruptions in the flow of goods.
Wal-Mart says its 100 largest suppliers are on course to meet their January 2005 RFID deadline, adding that more than 30 smaller suppliers will also be operating with RFID by then. It expects more of its some 25,000 suppliers to be RFID compliant by January 2006, though it has yet to say how many suppliers it wants to meet that deadline, the spokesman says.