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How can you know if your RFIFD project is going to work?

Planning for RFID Pilot & Proof of Concept Projects

Often an RFID project starts with a great idea but will it be practical? Is it technologically feasible? Will it perform in your business environment? Will it deliver the functional and financial benefits that you hope for?

Getting the right answers to these questions is crucial if the right investment decisions are to be made but getting the answers when you are still learning about a technology can be difficult.

Experience shows that the best road to a successful RFID project is often via a pilot project or by exploring the original idea with a Proof of Concept.

How should you go about organising such a project and what questions should you set out to answer?

Prepare for the Proof

The first essential in developing any proof of concept project is to have a clear idea of the answers that the project is expected to provide. Is it to validate a particular technology or is it to measure the acceptability of a system to those that will be affected by it? Is it to assess the likely capital costs of equipment or the potential costs of installation? Is it to identify the data management issues or potential problems arising from integration with other systems that may come about as a result of the implementation?

So, the first golden rule of successful pilot and proof of concept projects is:

“Know what you want to know.”

Some of the things that you might want to find out in a pilot project are listed in our RFID Pilot Projects : Twenty Questions listed below.

We work with our clients to design pilots and proof of concept projects that answer the questions that are important in each particular case. Some questions – around cost, financial benefits and likely pay-back period are common to all projects but other factors such as staff and public acceptance, the technical environment and the systems that the RFID component has to be connected to / integrate with vary greatly from system to system. Only thorough careful project design, detailed results measurement and thorough post project analysis can pilot and proof of concept projects lead to useful results.

“Well designed pilot and proof of concept projects provide the essential data needed  for successful RFID implementations,” Munzoor Ali, Technical Director, CoreRFID 

RFID Pilot Projects : Twenty Questions

Here’s a list of the twenty questions that we most often need to answer when exploring the use of RFID for a particular business application in pilot and proof of concept applications:



Your Project?

Process1.     How will the system be used in the workplace and can my staff work with the changes needed?
 2.     How will tags get added to the items being tagged?
 3.     How does this process affect suppliers or customers?
 4.     Is there a risk of tags being damaged and how can this be countered?
 5.     If this process involves the public / other companies’ staff, how will they react?
 6.     How will the system deal with unexpected untagged items?
Technology7.     Will the tags I plan to use work when attached to the items being tagged?
 8.     Can I get the read range needed with the readers / antennas I plan to use?
 9.     Can I get the reading success rates that I need?
 10. Will tag writing characteristics be acceptable in practice?
 11. Can I physically install readers and antennas in the locations intended?
 12. Will there be interference from other tags / systems?
 13. What is the best location, orientation and fixing method for tag attachment?
 14. Is international operation important for this application?
Data15. How will tag identities and item identities be tied together?
 16. How will data on tag location /movement be processed?
 17. How will tag updates be securely handled?
 18. How will data privacy issues be addressed, if relevant?
 19. How will data be integrated with / collected from other systems?
 20. What coding system should I use and what data should I store on tags?

How We Can Help

CoreRFID is happy to work with our customers on the planning and implementation of pilot projects. Why not contact us for a conversation about how we could help you?