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Category: RFID, Automated Data Collection, and Internet of Things

RFID, AIDC, and IoT News Update for Week of June 26, 2017

We should have Bought Impinj Stock; More IoT Major Security Warnings; New Grocery Self-Scanning App from Barclays

June 26, 2017
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Below are our selection of the top stories of the week in RFID, automatic identification technoligies, and the Internet of Things.

Did You Buy RFID-Maker Impinj Stock Last Year?

In June of 2016, an article in SCDigest asked the following question: Should You Buy Into RFID Solution Leader Impinj's New Initial Public Offering?

Impinj was founded in 2000 based on the research of Carver Mead at the California Institute of Technology and his student Chris Diorio. In 2006, Impinj became one of the first the companies to introduce products based on the EPCglobal UHF Gen 2 standard.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

The fundamental problem is using the internet to control devices that it was never intended to control.

What do you say?

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The short answer to the question above on buying Impinj stock should have been Yes.

The company has been growing revenue rapidly, to $112 million in 2016 from $78.5 million the year before. While it fell to a $1.6 million loss last year versus a modest $900,000 profit in 2015, Wall Street is excited about the company's growth potential.

After opening at about $18 per share with its IPO last summer, the stock has mostly headed up, as shown in the chart below. After moving to over $42 per share in early June, as can be seen in the chart the stock got a big boost in recent weeks when Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods. Impinj's stock price rose to almost $60 per share, making it almost a "four bagger" since the IPO.

Why did Amazon's deal send Impinj's stock so much higher?

Both Seattle-based companies, Amazon is a member of RAIN RFID, an alliance co-founded by Impinj in 2014 to spread awareness of RFID technology. Further developing the relationship, Amazon and Impinj are co-hosting a meeting of this group in Seattle next month.

Investors are betting that Amazon may use Impinj's RFID solutions (tags, readers, software) at Whole Foods. Impinj also had a stock bump when Amazon announced its Go store concept last year, on speculation that "grab and go" approach was powered in part by RFID, though it remains unclear if that is the case.


Impinj's Stock has been Up Sharply Since Its IPO Last Summer


So all SCDigest can say is we teed Impinj up as a potential investment a year ago – alas, we didn't pull the buy trigger then either.

We Should be Very Worried about IoT Security

SCDigest has written many stories about the potential security risks from Internet of Things (IoT) technology, but here's another, more ominous than most.

(See More Below)


Learn More about Softeon's Innovative Supply Chain Solutions


The fundamental problem is using the internet to control devices that it was never intended to control. So says Joe Weiss, a highly respected electrical engineer. Among these areas are industrial systems in power plants or factories, devices that manage the flow of electricity through the energy grid, medical devices, smart-home systems, and many more, Weiss said, in an interview for the web site.

The Quartz article relays a problem that occurred last year with the popular Nest IoT home thermostat system. In mid-January 2016, there was a problem with a software update from the month before. The result: a software glitch caused the devices to use up all their battery power, shutting them down and causing thousands of customers to have their heat turned off in the middle of a cold winter night.

"The Internet of Things is just a marketing term that somebody thought up long after millions of machines were already networked," Weiss told Quartz, "And most of them are networked in ways that can be accessed, perhaps indirectly, from the public internet."

Case in point: In Oct. 2016, over 100,000 video surveillance cameras connected to the internet were compromised by a hacking group, turned into a botnet, and then used to launch a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on one of the largest internet address lookup sites, the Domain Name System servers, taking down hundreds of major web sites for a while.

And did you know this? While many IoT devices are protected by a user-generated password, often the manufacturer writes its own password in the source code so that it can always get in if it needs to. These so-called hard coded passwords are discovered and sometimes sold on the internet black market,

And one hesitates to think of the nightmare that hacked accessed to connected medical devices, such as pacemaker, could cause, as manufacturers in that sector jump on the IoT bandwagon.

While actions are being taken to add protections, "the internet is and will remain the new Wild West for on-line criminals," Weiss fears.

The UK's Barclays Bank Working on Self-Scanning Mobile App for Groceries

With the aforementioned Amazon Go stores testing the idea of simply removing an item from the shelf triggering a charge to a customer via a smart phone app and a whole bunch of other technology, British bank Barclays is working on a smart phone app to allow customer self-scanning of groceries.

The "Grab+Go" app basically turns a phones camera into a bar code reader, with consumers scanning items as they are placed into a cart or shopping bag. When finished a consumer checks out inside the app, with purchases charged to a linked credit card. It then generates a digital receipt that the merchant also has access to, in case they suspect a consumer is hiding unscanned items.

The "pocket checkout" concept is currently being trialed in the staff canteen at Barclays' London HQ, with further testbeds in UK and US offices going live in the near future. A retailer is expected to have a Grab+Go pilot up and running within the next year.

Barclays says it thinks the technology is not likely to be used by major grocery chains, but rather at smaller shops and smaller convenience stores, the kind of places customers pop in to for just a few items. This technology would allow them to avoid the check out line.

Will consumers be honest, especially if they have trouble scanning an item? That would seem to be the key question.

Any reaction to these news stories? Let us know your thoughts aththe Feedback button below.

Your Comments/Feedback


Senior Consultant, Infosys
Posted on: May, 22 2016
Great article. I am a little suprised not to see BNSF in the mix while I understand their financial mode/operation is a little different. 

That would only give a complete perspective with all the players in the pool.

Mike O'Brien

Senior editor, Access Intelligence
Posted on: May, 26 2016
Surprised to see Home Depot fall off the list; thought they were winning with Sync?

Julie Leonard

Marketing Director, Inovity
Posted on: Jun, 27 2016
Using the right tool for the right job has always been a best practice and one of the reasons, we feel, that RFID has never taken off in the DC as exponentially as pundits have been forecasting since 2006. While these results may seem surprising to those solely focused on barcode scanning, the adoption of multi-modal technologies in the DC makes perfect sense for greater worker efficiency and productivity.

Carsten Baumann

Strategic Alliance Manager, Schneider Electric
Posted on: Aug, 19 2016

The IoT Platform in this year's (2016) Hype Cycle is on the ascending side, entering the "Peak of Inflated Expectation" area. How does this compare to the IoT positions of the previous years, which have already peaked in 2015? Isn't this contradicting in itself?

Editor's Note: 

You are right, Internet of Things (IoT) was at the top of the Garter new technology hype curve not long ago. As you noted, however, this time the placement was for “IoT Platforms,” a category of software tools from a good number of vendors to manage connectivity, data communications and more with IoT-enabled devices in the field.

So, this is different fro IoT generally, though a company deploying connected things obviously needs some kind of platform – hoe grown or acquired – to manage those functions.

Why IoT generically is not on the curve this year I wondered myself.



Jo Ann Tudtud-Navalta

Materials Management Manager, Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City, Philippines
Posted on: Aug, 21 2016

I agree totally with Mr. Schneider.

I have always lived by "put it in writing" all my work life.  I am a firm believer of the many benefits of putting everything in writing and I try to teach it to as many people as I can.

This "putting in writing" can also be used for almost anything else.  Here are some general benefits (only some) of "putting in writing":

1. Everything is better understood between parties involved.  There are lots of people types who need something visual to improve their understanding.
2. Everyone can read to review and correct anything misunderstood.  This will ensure that all parties concerned confirm the details of the agreements as correct.  This is further enhanced by having all parties involved sign off on a hard copy or confirm via reply email.
3. Everything has a proof.  Not to belittle the element of trust among parties involved, it is always safest to have tangible proof of what was agreed on.
4. There will be a document to refer to at any time by any one who needs clarification.
5. The documentation can be useful historical data for any future endeavor.  It provides inputs for better decisions on related situations in the future.
6. This can also be compiled and used to teach future new team members.  "Learn from the past" it is said.

There are many more benefits.  Mr. Schneider is very correct about his call to "put it in writing".

Sandy Montalbano

Consultant, Reshoring Initiative
Posted on: Aug, 24 2016
U.S. companies are reshoring and foreign companies are investing in U.S. locations to be in close proximity to the U.S. market for customer responsiveness, flexibility, quality control, and for the positive branding of "Made in USA".

Reshoring including FDI balanced offshoring in 2015 as it did in 2014. In comparison, in 2000-2007 the U.S. lost net about 200,000 manufacturing jobs per year to offshoring. That is huge progress to celebrate!

The Reshoring Initiative Can Help. In order to help companies decide objectively to reshore manufacturing back to the U.S. or offshore, the nonprofit Reshoring Initiative's free Total Cost of Ownership Estimator can help corporations calculate the real P&L impact of reshoring or offshoring.


Transportation Manager, N/A
Posted on: Aug, 30 2016
 Good article!  I am sending this to my colleagues who work with me.  We have to keep this in mind.  Thanks!

Ian Jansen

Posted on: Sep, 14 2016
SCM is all about getting the order delivered to the Customer on date/ time requested because happy Customers = Revenue. Using the right tools to do the right job is important and SCM is heavily dependent on sophisticated ERP systems to get right real data info ASP.

I've worked in a DC with more than 400,000 line items and measured the Productivity of Pickers by how many "picks" per day.

I've learned that one doesn't have to remind Germany about your EDI orders.

Don Benson

Partner, Warehouse Coach
Posted on: Sep, 15 2016
Challenge - to build and sustain effective relationships at the level of the organizations that are responsible for effectively coordinating and colaborating in an otherwise highly competitive environment 


Admin, Fulfillment Logistics UK Ltd
Posted on: Oct, 02 2016
Of course we all need to up our game. We need to move with the times, and always be one step ahead of what the future will bring.

Mike Dargis

President of asset-based carrier based in the Midwest, Zip Xpress Inc. (at
Posted on: Oct, 03 2016
Thanks for the article, but I know there's a lot more to this issue than just the pay rates. Please check out my blogs on the subject at


Inventory Specialist, Syncron
Posted on: Nov, 16 2016
Lora, great article! I agree that companies choose the 'safe' solution more often than not. My solution is a bolt-on for legacy ERP's and we even face challeneges of customer adoption. Most like to play it safe and choose an ERP upgrade, which is more costly, time consuming, and has lower ROI across the board. Would love to learn more about your company, we are always looking for partnerships.


Bob McIntyre

National Account Executive, DBK Concepts LLC
Posted on: Nov, 21 2016
This is a game changer in GE's production and prototyping.  It also has huge implications across the GE global supply chain with regard to the management of their support and spare parts network. 

Kai Furmans

Professor, KIT
Posted on: May, 22 2017
I am referencing to the comment that leasing of warehousing equipment (beyond forklift trucks) is a vision for 2030.
Just recently in Europe, such a business model has started, see here:

I am following with a lot of interest, how the business develops.

Stuart Rosenberg

Supply Chain Consultant, First Choice Supply Chain
Posted on: Jun, 05 2017
If we limit the standard on judging or determining the best supply chain to just three calculations it does not tell the entire picture.  Financial performance metrics are valuable as they capture the economic consequences of business decisions.  But supply chain managers make decsions and use organizational resources that impact a company's financial well being.  Where is a firm's earnings over a period of time determined by sales less product costs and general/adminsitrative costs?  Where is the metric for determining the sources and uses of cash from three perspectives - operational, investment and financial?  Where are these supply chain metrics: on-time delivery, lead time, response time to customers, product returns, procurement costs, network distance, inventory carrying costs, forecasting accuracy, sourcing time, etc,.  Without knowing the results of all these supply chain calculations the there must be a question as to the accuracy of the 25 top supply chains.

Dustin Calitz

Project Commercialization Manager, Mondelez
Posted on: Jun, 06 2017
I feel this ranking misses the mark in SC. It does not seem to consider a key indicator in days inventory on hand, which is key to determining a SC company's ability to forecast, manage inventory costs and reduce aged stock. In additiion I realize it's difficult to understand what goes into the customer survey, but would I assume specific metrics are being asked. For examples customer's opinion on service level differentiation and the ability to deliver the right product on time, which should then be allocated a bigger weighting than 10%. It would also be interesting to take a view of the above list's SKU portfolio complexity, seasonality and launches/promotions. I would again assume some companies on the list above have a far more complex SC to manage and lead, ultimately requiring a lot more innovation within a SC to stay ahead of competitors, and ultimately satisfy their customers demands.  I understand above metrics are difficult to measure, as mentioned in the article, but they somehow need to be considered to give a true reflection. 

Michael Hurd

Lean Consultant, Unemployed
Posted on: Jun, 10 2017

A Very Good Article...

While some feel that lean is a scam that pushes for more out of the personnel and out of the companies through reduction of waste and adding value for the customer, there are several things to remember:

1) Lean methodologies are designed and implemented to reduce time wasting, so this may seem that you are working harder as an employee.

2) Lean methdoligies only work when everyone from the janitor to the owner of the company get involved and back the program.

3) Lean methods are there to make you work smarter not harder, although it may feel you are working harder.

4) YES... Sometimes lean methodologies fail! This is due to project overun or taking on too large a problem and trying to fix it all in one go and not taking the smaller problems that are associated with the large problem and fixing them first. Sometimes fixing the small problems leads to resolution of the larger problem.




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