This year, roughly 37 million higher-frequency RFID and RTLS-enabled asset tracking and asset management tags are expected to ship. But in 2014, such shipments will total almost 150 million, according to a new study released by ABI Research. The compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2014 is more than 40 percent.
“The basic function of asset tracking is to answer the question, ‘Where has my stuff been?'” said Practice Director Michael Liard. “Asset management, based on Real-Time Location (RTLS) technologies, refines that question to ‘Where's my stuff right now?' Some new systems even add sensors, allowing the additional question, ‘How are my assets?' Most industries need answers to these questions, but aerospace and defense, automotive manufacturing, commercial services, and non-CPG/industrial manufacturing are showing the fastest and strongest growth in the use of RFID systems.”
During the recent global recession, businesses have continued to realize that optimizing their return on assets and eliminating unnecessary asset investment is critical. As a result, the adoption of RFID and RTLS-enabled asset tracking and management solutions continues to grow at an impressive rate across verticals and regions.
A recent survey of 80 RFID end-user organizations (excluding those with no interest in RFID, and those using it for item-level retail tracking or people tracking in health care) revealed that 65 percent of respondents were piloting, deploying, or had already deployed an RFID-based asset tracking and/or management system. This was a higher percentage than those using RFID in its traditional areas of strength, access control and supply chain management.
Perhaps that should not be surprising after all, considering such systems' stellar ROI performance, with many break-even points measured in months, not years. “Most people assume the savings will be in ‘soft money': the ability to reduce employees' time spent on this kind of work,” Liard said. “But deployments that have been carried through to completion are delivering returns in ‘hard' money: lower capital expenditure and less inventory ‘shrinkage'.”