Category Archives: RF ROI

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RFID Reader Locates up to 5,000 items in 5,000 SQ Ft., 32 Zones!

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags,RF ROI Tags : 

The new Impinj Speedway Revolution model, R420-USA2M1 has maximum output power of 32.5 dBm.  This is 2.5 dBm more than the previous Revolution R420 and represents an amazing 178% increase in maximum output Wattage (1.78 W vs 1.0 W).  While you can’t use this extra power to exceed FCC (or your local government) guidelines on maximum RFID radiated power, you can now extend your RFID system by 25 Ft in any direction from a single reader with no net signal loss over previous reader model.  You gain 2,500 SQ Ft of extra RFID coverage area from a single reader!


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System Integration provides the largest return for the investment

Category:eChain News,RF ROI Tags : 

Even the best companies are challenged by systems and processes that don’t work together.  eChain Technology has focused on connecting businesses, systems and processes for over 15 years.  

Who hasn’t been to the doctor and find you are required to fill out 7 forms – and 90% of the information is the same on each form?  You have to enter the same information again and again.  Come back a year later and fill out the same forms again!  Insanity, right?


Now imagine this is the frustration that you sales person has when entering lead information from lead system into the CRM system.  Or your accountant’s frustration at having to enter that information again into the accounting system once the sale is closed.  Then the manufacturing manager enters the sale information into the manufacturing execution system from a printed form (or email).  Then the shipping manager enters the shipping information into the FedEx terminal from another printed form.  You hope the shipment is delivered on time and without problem, because you don’t check again until the customer calls to complain.

Collaborative Planning (CPFR)

Would you like to know the stock levels available from your suppliers in real time?  What about their capacity to deliver critical products you suddenly need for that huge order?  How about amount of stock available in each distribution center in your sales channel – even though some of those DC’s are not owned by you and run on completely different systems. How about mobile alerts to your key team members when something goes wrong (or right?).  Would you like to know what items in your warehouse are expired (or expiring) in enough time to sell them at a discount?

These are just some of the problems that System Integration solves for many companies.

System Integration is the highest impact business investment

This is worth saying again.  System Integration provides the largest return for the investment.  In 20 years of consulting, I have had the pleasure of working with many companies on even many more challenges.  In most cases, companies already own the applications and solutions they need to solve their problems – no need to invest millions in new systems.  They just need to make the systems they already own work better.  In some cases, this simply requires enabling currently unused features.  However, in many cases, connecting existing systems to better support workflow solves the problems.

The amazing thing is, I have seen small companies hire 2-3 extra resources to perform the manual data entry and manual reporting/oversight that could have been fixed with less than $5,000 in integration work.  Large companies engage the entire accounting department for a month to accumulate financials across all locations and divisions when these numbers should be available the next day.  Companies lose 5-10% sales because they sell items they aren’t sure they actually have in stock.

These business challenges can be solved easily, quickly and with minimal risk with low cost. System Integration initiatives save companies millions, reduce employee frustration and redundancy, and better service their customers. Whether large or small, companies can achieve huge benefits from integration.

System Integration Examples

At eChain, we are experienced integrating many kinds of systems using many technologies.  Maybe these examples can help you understand what is possible.

  • Sales Leads to mobile contact lists.
  • Sales CRM integration to Google Tasks using Google API – Tasks and Lead Follow-ups become tasks on mobile devices
  • Sales Email Marketing to CRM – provides real-time sync of live leads (or blacklist contacts)
  • Sales Quote to Parcel or Freight Cost (Shipping API’s) to provide total order cost
  • Shipping rated against multiple carriers for every order to achieve lowest possible freight charges
  • Shipping status updates to a central order management system (from EDI or API)
  • RFID messages updated to inventory management system for real-time inventory updates
  • RFID messages translated to EDI
  • RFID messages into email or text alerts
  • Inventory sync across multiple DC’s
  • Asset inventory update using mobile device
  • Reporting Operational Metrics
  • Reporting Financial Metrics
  • Reporting Predictive Analytics

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Connect Things to the Internet of Things

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Hardware & Tags,RF ROI Tags : 

It is hard to deny that the Internet of Things (IoT) has reached a critical mass of sorts and is now feeding and growing on its own momentum. Every day there is news from all over the world of companies adopting and utilizing IoT technologies in very interesting ways that improve their business, reduce problems and risks, and provide automatic accountability in a world of global availability. And IoT is finding its way into the consumer market as well, providing home safety and automation, secure access and accountability for school children, and the capability to locate indispensable items like bikes and car keys.

Every technology used in IoT is different. Primary technologies in IoT include RFID, Bluetooth and Wifi. These technologies have extremely different capabilities, strengths and weakness that ensure the best technology is available for specific scenarios. For example, do you want to track many things (clothing in a department store) or a few things (car keys)? Do you need extremely short range (contact-based access control, contactless secure payment system with read distance of a few millimeters). Medium-range (retail checkout scan of a few inches), or long-range (employee/patient tracking, long-range stock tracking at 30-50ft). Or do you need extremely long range sensors that indicate a mechanical failure or issue (lead level in water supply, miner experiencing oxygen issues in a mine shaft) at a distance of a quarter mile or more?

RFID Tag Serial Output

RFID Tag Serial Output

Each technology communicates using different comm protocols, timings, ranges, security levels, etc., and each technology requires a unique system to interpret and process the data to ensure relevant information is immediately communicated, while non-relevant information (redundant status updates) are filtered out.

00:16:25:11:22:C3 4 0C210501607131472202319F 1434760116623735 61

Unlike EDI or XML, each IoT technology communicates differently with no existing standard. Here is a great article by Sanjay Sarma of MIT Technology Review titled The Internet of Things: Roadmap to a Connected World.  Data from IoT sensors typically includes a sensor/tag identifier (in Hexadecimal) and sometimes a sensor data element (on/off or sensor reading like 121 degrees). Some IoT items communicate directly with the internet (onboard Wifi or Bluetooth). Others need a device to read the signal from the sensor/tag (Reader) and relay the signal to the internet (or server application). The Reader will add additional metadata to the tag/sensor data (reader identifier, timestamp, signal strength, etc.), translate the tag signal and transmit the enhanced signal data to a local application or to the internet.

The resulting data string might look something like this: “00:16:25:11:22:C3 4 0C210501607131472202319F 1434760116623735 61”

Professor Plumb in the Library with the Candlestick Holder

Professor Plum

Professor Plum

In the end, all you really want from your IoT device is the WHAT (Professor Plumb), the WHERE (Library), the WHEN (9:36PM) and possibly a sensor reading (Alive/Dead?). You expect your IoT application to monitor other tracked items in the vicinity (Candlestick Holder) and the relationship of items that would make the game of Clue extremely short if played using IoT technology. Of course, we would also know that Mrs. Peacock “expired” at 9:36PM in the Library… This status would trigger an alert to the designated authorities with the relevant information.

Big Picture

Sensors and machine-to-machine interaction is just the beginning of the IoT revolution. The real value lies in integrating these disparate data feeds into your day-to-day operations. Ask yourself – do I want to maintain a bunch of new applications and interfaces?

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

Do I want to deploy and maintain internet and “Edge” servers to reduce thousands of data records continuously generated (per minute) to extract the one relevant record (item x has stopped)? Do I want to spend the next 2 years experimenting with IoT and RFID technology to find out what works for me and my specific business scenario? How do I leapfrog existing legacy systems to take advantage of emerging IoT technologies and other related technology?

Ask yourself, would it be valuable for me to have multiple systems working together to provide a single view of the entire history of an item – including assembly steps and components, warehouse locations and movements, shipping updates from multiple carriers, quality inspections, service records, and record of employees who touched the item? In the case of catastrophic item failure (airliner crash, food poisoning) knowing where each component has ever been will be extremely important.

About eChain Technology

eChain Technology was founded in 2001 to design, develop and deliver innovative supply-chain solutions and enterprise project execution that improves efficiency and maximizes operational performance. We have a 100% success rate delivering more than $150 million in net income and value to Fortune-500, multi-national companies and government agencies. eChain Technology specializes in RFID, supply-chain and enterprise solutions that immediately address business cost areas and improve operational performance. We provide full service consulting, system integration and application development.

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Healthcare Inventory

RFID drives $68 Million Expected Savings at Hospital

Category:eChain News,RF Healthcare,RF ROI Tags : 

BJC HealthCare has achieved incredible results during the first year pilot of BJC SuppyPlus End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility (E2ESCV) project, partnering with Cook Medical and Cardinal Health,

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