Radio frequency identification tagging: supplier attitudes to implementation in the grocery retail sector

Hingley, Martin and Taylor, S. and Ellis, C. (2007) Radio frequency identification tagging: supplier attitudes to implementation in the grocery retail sector. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 35 (10). pp. 803-820. ISSN 0959-0552

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Abstract

Purpose – The principal rationale for this study is to investigate the implications of the introduction
of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging on suppliers. Emphasis concerns the impact it is likely
to have on suppliers to the UK grocery retail market.
Design/methodology/approach – Primary research focuses on UK grocery suppliers’ perception,
with two specific research questions: “What are the implications of the introduction of RFID on
suppliers?” and “How will these implications impact on the success of RFID in the future?” In-depth
interviews were conducted with a selection of different suppliers to gather attitudes towards RFID
technology.
Findings – RFID is highly topical, and currently at the forefront of many supply chain managers’
minds. This study focuses on business-to-business implications of RFID to the FMCG/perishable food
sectors, notably in comprehension of an under-researched area of supplier perspective. This study
concludes that in order to keep costs of application of RFID to a minimum, retailers and suppliers need
to develop standardized but flexible systems. Implementation of RFID must take into account the
context of supply chain power imbalance.
Research limitations/implications – Reviewed literature suggests existing focus has been on the
operational benefits to be gained from implementation of RF-technology, and a good deal of work
conducted has concerned the issue of consumer privacy. There has been one major investigation (in the
UK), conducted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution concerning implications for the retailing
industry; however, there is still a gap in the literature concerning attitudes of suppliers (notably with
regard to the grocery sector). This study redresses this balance by conducting field work with
suppliers.
Practical implications – To prevent any future animosity retailers and suppliers must work
together and costs need to be more equitably distributed. The FMCG/perishable food categories
appear to offer a specific challenge to RFID introduction; however, future study is considered
necessary to capture the diversity in these sectors.
Originality/value – The paper provides information of value to all those involved with methods of
verification in the supply chain.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Purpose – The principal rationale for this study is to investigate the implications of the introduction of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging on suppliers. Emphasis concerns the impact it is likely to have on suppliers to the UK grocery retail market. Design/methodology/approach – Primary research focuses on UK grocery suppliers’ perception, with two specific research questions: “What are the implications of the introduction of RFID on suppliers?” and “How will these implications impact on the success of RFID in the future?” In-depth interviews were conducted with a selection of different suppliers to gather attitudes towards RFID technology. Findings – RFID is highly topical, and currently at the forefront of many supply chain managers’ minds. This study focuses on business-to-business implications of RFID to the FMCG/perishable food sectors, notably in comprehension of an under-researched area of supplier perspective. This study concludes that in order to keep costs of application of RFID to a minimum, retailers and suppliers need to develop standardized but flexible systems. Implementation of RFID must take into account the context of supply chain power imbalance. Research limitations/implications – Reviewed literature suggests existing focus has been on the operational benefits to be gained from implementation of RF-technology, and a good deal of work conducted has concerned the issue of consumer privacy. There has been one major investigation (in the UK), conducted by the Institute of Grocery Distribution concerning implications for the retailing industry; however, there is still a gap in the literature concerning attitudes of suppliers (notably with regard to the grocery sector). This study redresses this balance by conducting field work with suppliers. Practical implications – To prevent any future animosity retailers and suppliers must work together and costs need to be more equitably distributed. The FMCG/perishable food categories appear to offer a specific challenge to RFID introduction; however, future study is considered necessary to capture the diversity in these sectors. Originality/value – The paper provides information of value to all those involved with methods of verification in the supply chain.
Keywords:Suppliers, Food industry, Identification, Radiofrequencies
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N850 Transport Studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N240 Retail Management
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D642 Food and Beverage Delivery
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:4398
Deposited By: Martin Hingley
Deposited On:12 Apr 2011 19:36
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:41

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