Australian Defense Force Builds RFID-Based Consignment Tracking Network

Aug. 1, 2005
Savi Technology Australia Pty Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of RFID supply chain solution provider Savi Technology (Sunnyvale, Calif.). announced an

Savi Technology Australia Pty Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of RFID supply chain solution provider Savi Technology (Sunnyvale, Calif.). announced an initial U.S. $10.1-million contract with the Australian Defense Force (ADF) to provide a consignment management solution enhanced by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies. ADF selected the Savi solution to improve the real-time visibility and accountability of military supply consignments both in-country and of joint-force operations into international theaters of operations.

The Savi SmartChain Consignment Management Solution (CMS), a software solution that leverages a family of Savi’s RFID products, will enable ADF to enhance its In-Transit Visibility System (ITV) to more effectively and efficiently track the movement of assets throughout the supply chain. This will also enable ADF to become interoperable with ITV networks already deployed by the U.S. Department of Defense, NATO and NATO member nations, including the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense and Denmark Ministry of Defense. Currently, the U.S. DOD’s expanding RF-ITV network is the world’s largest active RFID cargo tracking system, extending across more than 1,500 locations and 45 countries.

These RFID-based networks, which can function independently or interoperate with each other during collaborative operations, are based on the ISO’s 18000-7 standards. In addition, Savi’s CMS already complies with the recently agreed NATO Standardization and Agreement 2233, which provides a framework for RFID-based interoperability among NATO countries in tracking consignments and assets.

"This contract with Savi Technology is ADF’s initial step in leveraging RFID and other Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) technologies, thereby enabling us to maximize our materiel visibility and supply accountability in both ADF supply chains and those operated by a coalition partner," said ADF Director-General for Materiels Systems, Brigadier David McGahey. "It is our expectation that this increased visibility will significantly reduce our overall supply costs and make our logistics more efficient and effective. We currently have poor visibility of hundreds of millions of items, and we need greater collaborative visibility with our allies. We expect this system will help us to be more flexible and agile in responding to changing redeployments."

Brigadier McGahey said that initially the ADF would implement Savi’s solutions to interoperate more effectively with the United States and United Kingdom defense forces in collaborative operations in Iraq. The full solution includes the Savi SmartChain Consignment Management Solution (CMS), the company’s data-rich, active RFID tags (Savi Tag ST-654), fixed readers (SR-650) and handheld computers (Savi Mobile Readers SMR-650), which will improve real-time visibility of consignments shipped primarily in ISO containers and pallets.

A further advantage to the Savi solution, said Brigadier McGahey, is that it can interoperate with existing RFID-based systems at commercial checkpoints such as at seaports through which defense organizations move their supplies. U.S. DOD’s "Radio Frequency Identification Policy," issued on July 30, 2004, states: "In order to take advantage of global RFID infrastructure not already in DOD’s control, the DoD Logistics Automatic Identification Technology Office will assess the ability to leverage any compatible active RFID commercial infrastructure that commercial entities may establish."

Brigadier McGahey also emphasized that Savi’s solution platform enables the ADF to leverage a larger family of RFID-based security tags and sensor devices to improve the security of container shipments to help counter potential terrorist attacks in their supply chain.

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Report compiled by Clyde Witt.