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ARCwire for the Week Ending April 30,2004 reaching over 60,000 professionals worldwide.

Please forward this to a colleague. Anyone can sign up for a free subscription on their Web site at http://www.ARCweb.com

===== ARC BENCHMARKING SURVEYS =====

>> Benchmarks for Managing a Lean Manufacturing Program

This survey will provide an understanding of how companies manage their Lean Manufacturing programs. It is designed to help understand best practices for achieving positive business results. Those who take this survey will be given access to the results and an opportunity to gain insight into best practices among companies who use Lean Manufacturing.

To take the survey, please click here: www.arcweb.com/ss2/wsb.dll/ARC/LeanMfg.htm

===== INDUSTRY TRENDS =====

>> Will RFID Save the Warehouse Management Systems Market?

The worldwide market for Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) experienced a rough year. Year over year revenues (2003 as compared to 2002) have shrunk. Total revenues dropped by 2.7 percent. One thing is different, however, that could play a role in helping to save the WMS market. A new technology - passive tag Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - has emerged.

>> California RFID Privacy Bill Passes

Bill 1834 on RFID privacy passed the California State Senate by virtue of a 22 to 9 vote on Thursday, April 29th. The bill was passed on to the full Senate by the state's Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee after a 6 to 2 vote on Tuesday, April 27th. This bill, amended since its original introduction, "prohibits any person or business from using (RFID) tags on store products and from using RFID readers to collect personal information about people..." unless certain conditions are met. Key conditions cited in the bill include the provision that information is provided by the customer in order to purchase or rent an item, and that no information is collected using RFID prior to or after completion of the transaction. Any information collected must only be about a customer who actually presents the item for purchase, and only in regard to that item. The bill applies to both retail stores and libraries. Registered opponents to the bill include the California Chamber of Commerce, California Grocers Association, Consumer Specialty Products Association, and Grocery Manufacturers of America.

ARC Vice President Chantal Polsonetti said, "Existing privacy laws set limits on what consumer information businesses can collect in the course of a transaction and with whom they can share it. The amended version of SB 1834 does not change this, instead it focuses squarely on how consumer information can be collected and, in this context, zeroes in squarely on RFID. The bill aims to achieve electronic privacy by outlawing the gathering of any consumer information via RFID either before or after the actual purchase or rental transaction."

===== COMPANY NEWS & BRIEFINGS =====

>> Wal-Mart Begins Rollout of RFID & EPC


The first phase of Wal-Mart's implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology at the case and pallet level started today. Wal-Mart and eight product manufacturers begin testing Electronic Product Codes (EPC) at select Supercenters and one regional distribution center in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. This real-world trial follows extensive testing at the company's RFID lab and months of collaborative preparation by Wal-Mart and its suppliers. Wal-Mart has set a January 2005 target for its top 100 suppliers to be placing RFID tags on cases and pallets destined for Wal-Mart stores and SAM'S CLUB locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area. The eight manufacturers participating in the first phase of the trial include Gillette, HP, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft Foods, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever. ARC Vice President Chantal Polsonetti said, "After much lab work and partial field trials, the time has come to determine whether RFID can provide Wal-Mart its ultimate deliverable: 100 percent readability of pallet tags coming into the distribution center and 100 percent readability of case tags on DC conveyor belts. While pallets and cases have been the focus of coverage leading up to this event, this early foray also includes some item-level tagging for the HP photo printers and ScanJet scanners."

 

===== ACQUISITIONS & PARTNERING NEWS =====

>> Manhattan and Matrics Alliance for RFID Adoption

Manhattan Associates, Inc. and Matrics Inc. announced their strategic alliance to accelerate adoption of RFID technology in the consumer goods supply chain. Manhattan Associates, Inc. provides supply chain execution

(SCE) software. Matrics Inc. makes electronic product code (EPC) compliant Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems.

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