Online retailer Amazon has long been considered leader when it comes to supply chain technology. Yesterday, Amazon announced a joint venture with the RFID Lab at Auburn to explore the business case for implementing RFID within its vast supply chain consisting of more than 100 fulfillment centers worldwide.
The announcement was made during Wednesday’s official grand opening of the RFID Lab, which relocated to Auburn from the University of Arkansas last year.
“RFID is a fascinating technology,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said in a press release. “As part of this joint project, we are excited to invent new processes and technology using RFID to enhance the experience for customers through better inventory predictability, faster delivery and, ultimately, lower cost.”
Amazon has utilized RFID technology in its fulfillment centers, the massive facilities where customer orders are picked from shelves, moved on conveyers and loaded onto trucks for rapid shipping and delivery.
Even though its location has changed, the lab has continued to work with leading retail, supply chain, manufacturing and technology companies.
“As the RFID industry expands, it’s important to have as many users engaged in the lab as possible as lessons from one industry often hold true for others,” says Justin Patton, director of the RFID Lab. “Having unique retail partners like Amazon engaged in the lab allows us to focus on the research questions that are most crucial to many different users, and add the academic validation that helps bring maturity to the evolving market.”