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DENVER, Colo. -- Twelve lucky Wal-Mart suppliers are going to get a big cash break, thanks to a special offer from radio frequency identification (RFID) consulting firm RFID, Ltd., based here, which said yesterday that it will offer its exclusive Black Box compliance service for $25,000 to the first dozen who sign up.
The typical cost, according to Forrester Research, can be upwards of $9 million to set up an RFID tracking system.
Almost 70,000 Wal-Mart suppliers have been mandated by the retail giant to use RFID chips, so that Wal-Mart merchandise can be tracked from the time it's loaded off the supplier's docks to when the customer takes it out the retail giant's door.
Nicholas Chavez, president of RFID, Ltd., said he will personally supervise the 12 implementations of Black Box RFID for Wal-Mart suppliers. "The first movers for RFID compliance mandates were large companies with billions in revenue," said Chavez in a statement. "We have taken the knowledge gained from those large implementations and have streamlined it for businesses doing less than $10 million to $100 million in revenue."
In 2005, Wal-Mart reported doing business with over 68,000 suppliers worldwide, all of which are required to comply with RFID requirements. The Black Box RFID solution provides all that is needed to comply with the RFID mandate, including hardware, software, middleware, implementation, and knowledge transfer, according to the company.
The offer, which officially began yesterday, is limited to the first 12 Wal-Mart suppliers who apply, accept terms, and are subsequently approved for implementation of the Black Box RFID program. To be approved, a supplier must agree to have the multi-day implementation process filmed for a documentary and for marketing purposes.
Chosen participants will be announced by April 1.