HP Extends Leadership in RFID Technology with New Developments

5/17/2004 - HP announced several developments to extend the company's leadership in radio frequency identification (RFID), a data collection technology that provides suppliers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors with up-to-the-minute supply chain visibility, from inventory and logistics to freshness dates.

HP also announced that it has been designated a strategic RFID technology provider to Hasbro, Inc., a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services.

In order to drive global RFID standards, HP has launched the first of several RFID Centers of Excellence and expanded its RFID technology offerings. HP also has joined EPCglobal, an international RFID standards board leading the development of industry-driven standards for RFID and electronic product code (EPC) technologies. HP also has been implementing RFID practices within its own supply chain and developing new solutions and services to help customers simplify change and reduce costs.

"HP regards RFID as a key technology that will help retailers, manufacturers and other users reduce supply chain costs while speeding the flow of merchandise from the factory, through the distribution center and to the retail store, ultimately providing customers with better product availability," said Jim Milton, senior vice president, Customer Solutions Group, and managing director, HP Americas.

"HP is uniquely qualified to help customers take advantage of this emerging technology because of our depth and breadth of expertise, partners and experience from being an early RFID adopter in our own manufacturing facilities."

Expanded customer engagements and alliances
HP's RFID solutions have withstood rigorous field-testing not only in its own manufacturing facilities but also by demanding commercial clients. Toy and game-maker Hasbro, for example, has selected HP as its strategic RFID technology provider and, based on successful pilot programs, is increasing its investment in RFID technology with HP and Shipcom Wireless, a provider of supply chain RFID solutions.

"HP is enabling Hasbro to implement RFID technology in a cost-effective and low-risk manner to meet our own customer requirements and, at the same time, make supply chain improvements," said Steve Marcolini, vice president of IT, Business Integration, Hasbro, Inc. "HP's expertise in this area is invaluable as we explore new possibilities around RFID."

Another HP RFID customer, Conros, is a leading supplier to Wal-Mart. Conros' familiar brand-name products include PineMountain® firelogs and matches, Northland® firelogs, SummerLights® citronella candles, and StarterLogg wood firestarters.

To comply with new Wal-Mart requirements set to begin in January 2005, Conros selected HP Services to oversee its RFID implementation, which incorporates solutions from partners Shipcom Wireless for RFID software and Matrics' EPC-compliant reader infrastructure and tags.

The comprehensive solution will track pallets and cases from manufacturing plant to warehouse, and finally to the Wal-Mart distribution center. This combined technology will enable production order validation, visibility into plant-to-plant product transfer and delivery confirmation.

"By being one the first suppliers to integrate RFID technology with our business processes in compliance with the Wal-Mart mandate, Conros will gain a competitive advantage as well as demonstrate our commitment to lower overall supply chain costs and improved service levels. We are proud of our relationship with HP, leading the way in the deployment of RFID," said Navin Chandaria, chief executive officer, Conros.

RFID for the Adaptive Enterprise
RFID holds tremendous potential to improve operations by speeding and providing greater visibility into supply chains, improving inventory control and enhancing relationships with customers. RFID data is linked to business processes, which in turn enable business decisions and trigger business events. This exemplifies the link between business and IT that characterizes an Adaptive Enterprise, as faster and smarter business decisions can be made and acted upon on the basis of real-time information from RFID technologies.

HP's expertise with RFID solutions is multi-faceted, as the company is a producer of RFID-enabled retail goods, a provider of RFID consulting and integration services, a participant in global RFID standards development, an early adopter of RFID in its own operations, and an innovator in RFID-related technology solutions such as tags, readers and middleware, as well as business applications for tracking, tracing, inventory management, safety and security.

New RFID programs from HP Services include:

These services are designed to address the rapidly growing market for RFID-specific hardware, software and services, which some analysts predict will increase from $1 billion today to more than $3 billion by 2008.

To further HP's leadership in RFID, HP has joined the board of EPCglobal and is represented by Dick Lampman, HP senior vice president of research, and director, HP Labs. HP's support of EPCglobal is part of the company's effort to promote broad adoption of the standards that will be necessary to secure the position of RFID as a cost-effective and readily available technology.

"Development of RFID technology hinges on two elements a framework of effective standards and a technology process that can be employed globally," said Linda Dillman, EPCglobal board member and Wal-mart's executive vice president and chief information officer. "HP's membership in EPCglobal will help to move these objectives forward."

RFID Centers of Excellence
HP has launched the first of several RFID Centers of Excellence at HP Labs in Palo Alto to showcase HP's vision of the future and technology capabilities of RFID.

The center exhibits the latest innovations and research from HP Labs, including secure and manageable sensing infrastructure for locating and tracking objects and their interactions. These technologies are expected to provide a more accurate and richer picture of objects in a warehouse or distribution center, enabling applications ranging from shrinkage prevention to detecting counterfeit goods.

HP unveiled a second RFID Center of Excellence in Taiwan in April. Future centers are expected to provide a demonstration and lab environment where customers can build their RFID roadmaps, conduct proofs of concept and understand their RFID infrastructure requirements. HP plans to open other centers in Geneva, Singapore, Tokyo and the United Kingdom to provide venues in which HP can share its expertise in supply chain implementation.

HP is a featured partner at SAPPHIRE '04, New Orleans, May 11-13, booth 331. Ron Eller, vice president and general manager of Enterprise Solution Alliances at HP, will deliver the opening partner presentation, "Change+HP: Building an SAP® solution Infrastructure That Embraces Change." Ian Robertson, RFID program director at HP, will address "Global Implementation of RFID at HP."

In addition to highlighting developments in RFID, HP will display new products, services and solutions at its booth, including:

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended Jan. 31, 2004, HP revenue totaled $74.7 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at www.hp.com.

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