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  • The Value of an Integrator

    The Value of an Integrator

    When implementing an asset tracking program using radio frequency identification (RFID) one of the questions that must be asked is whether or not to use an integrator. Here are some questions that may help you decide if you need an integrator for your RFID tracking installation.

    Why is an integrator necessary? The majority of end users are not equipped for RFID. They may not have sufficient expertise in RF and RFID technology. There may not be enough qualified manpower within the company. They may be inexperienced in integrating hardware and software for a complete solution. They may have limited contact for providers and limited knowledge of the products and solutions currently available on the market. Also, they may not have enough time to devote to one particular project.

    What value does an integrator provide? Integrators may provide such valuable services as a site survey or an RF analysis to help determine what kinds of specific needs may need to be addressed in order to achieve your objective. Depending on the level of involvement integrators may either recommend of completely install the infrastructure for your RFID tracking system including hardware, firmware and software. They may also work with an RFID tag converter to design the specific tags for the application to ensure they will perform as expected. Integrators may also have expertise with specific application (i.e. asset tracking, access control, vehicle tracking, work-in-process, etc.) that may prove invaluable when designing your RFID tracking system.

    What should you look for in an integrator? What is their area of expertise – i.e. asset tracking, access control, vehicle tracking, work-in-process, etc.? Does it align with your own objective? How many RFID installations have they done? Numerous installations show experience and are a good indicator that they know what they are doing. What kinds of services do they offer? Will they do a site survey? What about system design? Do they have facilities for in-house testing? Do they offer ongoing support? Will they do the hardware installation themselves?

    Implementing an RFID tracking system can be a challenging endeavor. By asking yourself some of the questions provided here you should be able to determine if you would benefit from having an integrator involved with this process.

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