New Software Designed to Help Companies Meet Wal-Mart's 2005 RFID Deadline

Grand Rapids, Michigan-Provia Software, a leading provider of supply chain execution software solutions, announced that the company's RFIDware bolt-on compliance kit fully meets all the requirements set forth by Wal-Mart at a recent meeting with the giant retailer's top suppliers. Wall-Mart is requiring its top 100 suppliers to begin shipping RFID compliant pallets and cases by the January 2005 deadline and outlined the technical requirements to suppliers at the meeting.

RFIDware is an Electronic Product Code (EPC)-compliant, bolt-on RFID solution developed by Provia to enable product suppliers and 3PLs with an existing WMS, ERP or host system to easily become RFID compliant. The EPC is a unique number that identifies a specific item in the supply chain. The EPC is stored on a RFID tag. Once it is retrieved from the tag, it can be associated with dynamic data such as where an item originated or the date of its production.

"RFIDware is designed for companies that now have the requirement to ship RFID compliant pallets and cases to Wal-Mart, the Department of Defense and other companies that will soon require it as well," said Paul Crist, Provia vice president of sales and marketing. "Our approach to this solution was to offer a bolt on or drop in product that works in conjunction with a company's existing logistics software solution and process flows. This puts the suppliers back into control of prioritizing their IT projects because they can be easily and quickly compliant with Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense requirements for RFID. The next step for them is to look at how they can reap the benefits of RFID internally within their own operations."

During its supplier meetings last week, Wal-Mart addressed its requirements for RFID compliance and identified which of the company's distribution centers will initially accept RFID shipments. Wal-Mart will receive RFID compliant shipments at three distribution centers that service 150 Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, and Neighborhood Market stores across the country.

"Provia's solution, which amounts to an add-on module, has merit," said Steve Banker, supply chain management service director for the industry analyst firm ARC Advisory Group. "Provia is one of the leaders in RFID among SCE suppliers. Their product development is further advanced than most, and they have an advantage in being able to work with a manufacturer who is on the cutting edge in this area."

"Provia is excited to play an important role in this initiative," added Crist. "Being able to offer companies a low cost, fully compliant option in our RFIDware solution is the answer for companies among Wal-Mart's top suppliers and required to be RFID compliant, but also for those companies not in the list, but eager to grow their relationship with Wal-Mart. Any company that ships to Wal-Mart or other leading retailers should look at RFIDware because it easily coexists with your existing WMS, ERP or host system and is among the easiest of ways to achieve compliance in the required time frames."

Provia's Supply Chain Execution solutions include RFID-enabled warehousing, transportation, order and yard management products seamlessly integrated together with web-based visibility tools to create a real-time, end-to-end supply chain execution solution. For more information, visit http://www.provia.com

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