The Asia Pacific real-time location system (RTLS) market is poised for high growth as the technology offers a high level of precision in location tracking compared to other existing methods. Companies have realized that a surefire route to more efficiently managed operations is through better manageability of their resources, both in terms of assets and personnel. RTLS is a means to achieve this end.
Unlike other track-and-trace technologies, RTLS offers higher granularity. This is essential for various applications, which require a greater degree of accuracy. Various governments along with industry-based associations have been investigating and promoting RFID usage across verticals to highlight potential benefits.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan entitled “Asia Pacific RTLS Market” finds that the market earned revenues of more than US$111 million in 2009 and estimates these to reach $3.7 billion in 2016.
“Although RTLS is relatively a nascent technology and is more prevalent in North America and Europe, the Asia Pacific community is now beginning to understand what RTLS has to offer,” said Parul Oswal, Industry Analyst, Frost & Sullivan. “The region on the whole is beginning to see more deployments taking place in enterprises across various verticals including health care, manufacturing and logistics, transportation and emerging markets such as personnel tracking.”
Despite the bright outlook, the RTLS market is not without its challenges. RTLS technology is still in the nascent stage; hence, there is lack of standards governing the usage of this technology. This is a major barrier for widespread adoption. A collective effort by all vendors in setting up standards will be vital for the overall acceptance of RTLS in the global market. To ensure that RTLS technology is more standards driven, vendors are required to form a working group and collaborate their innovations on an agreed set of platform or architecture.
Apart from this, the total cost of ownership of this technology remains a major impediment to deep market penetration. Both hardware and system integration cost can be significant especially for larger-scale rollouts. Hence, many potential end users prefer to wait for the cost of RTLS to decrease before embarking on an initiative.
In order to not only grow but also ensure survivability during this current economic meltdown, stakeholders need to be more dynamic and be willing to invest in areas where strong promise of ROI is achievable. Initial results have shown that RTLS provides tremendous promise in cost-saving activities, besides significantly improving operational efficiency and enhancing security levels, which are also critical in running any organization.
“Proper feasibility studies or cost benefit analysis obviously need to be conducted first, and once potential gains are deduced, stakeholders need to push ahead and lead towards an RFID initiative in order to bring its operations to a higher level,” Oswal said. “Stakeholders need to be more aggressive and seriously consider leveraging on RTLS as a technology to enable a more competitively run enterprise as this is crucial for long-term sustainability and profitability.”