Interview with George Hoffman

George Hoffman
George Hoffman
FineLine Technologies
FineLine Technologies

Who are your clients globally and in Asia?

With major retailers both in the US and Europe pushing item-tagging to the vendors, there will be a considerable market for locally supplied RFID-enabled tickets and labels in those apparel manufacturing countries.

How has India emerged as a market for your products?

As the move to source-tagging increases, many vendors supplying apparel to both US and European retailers will be required to purchase RFID tags locally. This will create challenges as RFID tag production is still in its infancy, and there are few reliable suppliers who can handle this emerging demand. This will also be true in other countries that are major exporters of apparel such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. Another problem created by the shift to source-tagging will be vendors-tagging compliance. Currently, the vast majority of RFID-tagging is taking place in the US and Europe, and by either large national brands, such as Levi's or Hanes, or by the retailers themselves. But in either case, the people tagging today have vastly more RFID-tagging knowledge and experience. When vendors in remote manufacturing locations are given responsibility for this task, there will be substantial confusion and given the cost of tagging, there will likely be a tendency to cut corners by using less costly and unapproved RFID tags. This will in turn force retailers to quickly implement RFID-tagging compliance guidelines as they push tagging back to the supplier.

Which is your largest market?

The US and Europe are the major markets for RFID but this will change as source-tagging takes hold and purchasing of RFID tags moves to the apparel exporting countries.

How has the demand surged or flattened in the last one year?

Demand for RFID, while sporadic, is growing steadily. Some of the fluctuation was due to Wal-Mart and JC Penny strongly endorsing RFID only to pull back after not realising required ROIs. However, there are many more US and European retailers conducing pilots then there were 2-3 years ago, which bodes well for suppliers of RFID products.
Published on: 20/03/2015

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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