Volume 3, Issue 4


an apparent change in the direction of an object caused by a change in observational positioning that creates a new line of sight.
From the Greek: to change
Para: to see.
Demystifying the EPCglobal Network:
An explanation of ONS, EPC-IS, and EPC-DS

By Bill McBeath
As goods traverse the supply chain, various parties need to exchange information about these goods. This requires interoperability across the global network, creating the need for the EPCglobal Network.
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The Interview
By Shigeki Oyama of Nikkei Business Solutions
Ann has interviewed many interesting people in this column. But this time Ann is on the other side of the interview table (or other side of the globe) as she is interviewed in Japan about market trends in ERP geared for small-medium-sized businesses and SCM.
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Welcome to Parallax View!

Last month we started a discussion about the changing Supply Chain and its enablers—technology, changing business models, etc.  It’s a large task to talk about this topic, so we have much more to add this month.  We had to take a world view once again, since this is Supply Chain!  And this month we circled back again to RFID. 

I had the honour of addressing the PoweredCom Forum in Japan last week. https://www.poweredcom.net/event/forum2005/basic/index.html

A fascinating exchange of incredibly high tech world citizens exchanged views on what it means to be in this connected world. The Japanese are our admired cousins—who brought us the Nikon Camera, Toyota Camry, the Sony Walkman, the cell phone that take pictures and Hello Kitty.  Yet their challenges in many ways are like ours—reduced labor costs is putting manufacturing off-shore.  But their challenges with China are, well, more challenging. Commerce, we hope, will continue to heal old wounds.

The challenge for Japan and the US is how to remain the innovative leader in the world on ‘one besting on manufacturing and supply chain costs’.  In addition, the architectural and standards issues (3G vs. GSN, different frequencies on RFID, and semantics) make Japan’s continued major roll in High Tech a challenge on the global basis.  Little things can really get in the way.

I did hear that the MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) of Japan joined EPC Global. This I hope will bode well for Japan’s dealing with the global ‘data currency’—a one world standard—which would reduce trade friction and adoption costs if something could be worked out.

It made me think again, in spite of our ideas on how the world should work. The issues, though appearing to be small, will cost billions to solve. 

….Such as the no votes in Europe last week of EU principles. “It is about your future and that of your children, the future of France and of Europe," said Chirac. "On Sunday, everyone will have a share of the destiny of France in their hands." And they did—except perceptions are different, I guess, on what’s good for our children.

For this transnational person, sitting in Japan, drinking green tea, reading headlines on Chinese/Japanese discord, US/China trade bantering and Non vote on the EU constitution, it was a set wrinkle in the road toward universal harmony!

Many of you participated in ChainLink’s research project on RFID drivers and adoption. And we will be publishing the results shortly. The adoption philosophies between visionary and margin strapped thinkers is wide—but you can’t blame the accounting types for wanting to know what it will cost, and what they will get.

For example, in retail, smart card roll-out in the US estimates is over $12b.  So, though smart cards are a great idea, they will only happen in cases where there are clear and high ROIs.

RFID, though small and almost invisible to the human eye, will be all too visible, in terms of North American roll-out.  Each industry has a number.

But most challenging will be the understanding and data synchronization— and most rewarding, if users can take the time to understand this— and the value.

As we become more global, as professionals are on the move, the technology that will allow us to be agile and successful will change to support the way companies work and the style in which people work.

The biggest challenges to all the world, though, will always be the bureaucracy of small minds.