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Tag, You're It

You can be RFID-compliant, even on a tight budget.

Radio frequency identification tags may be the wave of the future, but right now they can be a big investment. Growing businesses that deal with Wal-Mart or the Department of Defense are already familiar with the pressure to be RFID-compliant. A complete RFID system that includes readers, a printer, tags, software, system integration and support can cost thousands of dollars.

Businesses that need RFID right away can avoid hefty upfront equipment costs with a different kind of solution. Several companies offer varying types of slap-and-ship systems. RFID Ltd., for example, offers a slight variation on the concept, with a tag-only solution that costs $1 to $2 per tag, depending on volume. RFID Ltd. encodes and prints the tags and delivers them to the company, which then attaches them to their products, pallets or shipping containers as needed. The tags meet all compliance requirements.

This tag-only approach is one way for businesses to quickly meet RFID mandates. It can be an effective stopgap measure until RFID tags and equipment become more affordable.

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This article was originally published in the May 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tag, You're It.

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