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DoD Issues RFID Policy

The Department of Defense (DoD) Thursday issued a radio frequency identification policy (RFID) to improve the management of inventory with hands-off processing. The new policy will require suppliers to put passive RFID tags on the lowest possible piece part or case or pallet packaging by January of 2005.

The military begin using RFID during the 1991 Persian Gulf War to track cargo and vehicles. With the expanded use of the technology, the DoD said it is now able to realign resources and streamline business processes with equipment that accounts for and identifies massive inventories.

Implementation of RFID minimizes time spent through the normal means of inventory processing. The technology allows the improvement of data quality, items management, asset visibility, and maintenance of materiel. Further, DoD said, RFID will allow the Defense Dept. to improve business functions and facilitate all aspects of its supply chain.

Acknowledging the impact on DoD suppliers, the department plans to host an RFID Summit for Industry in Feb. The RFID policy and implementation strategy will be finalized by June.

The RFID policy and the corresponding RFID tagging/labeling of DoD materiel are applicable to all items except bulk commodities such as sand, gravel or liquids.