Dominique is a researcher at the Institute for Pervasive Computing of ETH Zurich and a Research Associate for SAP Research Zurich. He is also a member of the Auto-ID labs. He was formerly a researcher at the Information Management group of ETH...
Council Interview with Björn Anderseck
Björn Anderseck is project manager from smaRTI, a project that seeks to simplify the implementation of smart reusable transport items (RTIs).
Council: In the RFID Journal "Every supply chain partner," you explain, "would know the exact location of the goods, in which process step they are, and if the goods are in the front store or in the back room." To what extent does this process entails the enduser?
Björn Anderseck: The enduser has currently of course no insight in the logistical processes. He´s is also not always interested in a logistical process behind the products he wants to buy. But he is definitely interested in a high availability of all the products.- That is what counts and where you need a real time transparency over the complete supply chain. The enduser is, however, beginning to show more interest where the product comes from, what quality it has - look for example at Sourcemap, but in smaRTI it is about the logistical information of the pallet itself. The enduser is not interested in the transport item.
Council: If this process is seen in the light of an Internet of Things world are large stores and retailers still necessary? Shops, window displays, city department stores stem from the 1880s and the Industrial Revolution. Will full traceability, energy efficiency and control of 'flow' not lead to others forms of transferring products to homes?
Björn Anderseck: On the one hand, online shopping is more and more a growing market, yes. But on the other hand in case of food for example the customer first wants to see the product, especially in the case of fruits and vegetables. So, the retail stores are an important sale channel but their concept can improve a lot by applying the idea of the internet of things in logistics. A higher product variety and less stocks are possible, because the handling of the supply chains is much more easy.
Council: In the RFID Journal "Every supply chain partner," Anderseck explains, "would know the exact location of the goods, in which process step they are, and if the goods are in the front store or in the back room." As information is stored on the RFID chip itself, does that mean that all partners gain insight into the logistical process of one another?
Björn Anderseck: No, we keep to the GS1 Global Standards. Our identifier is the GRAI (global returnable asset identifier) which is on the RFID-Tag as well as on the Barcode. The information behind that identifier is stored in cloud based databases.