Ed Coyle, chief of the automatic Identification Technology Office for DoD Logistics, reportedly announced at the RFID Opportunities for Transport and Logistics Providers conference in Dallas that the reason for the pushback was a contracting delay, due in part by a lack of documented specification for the RFID tags. But other factors could also be contributing to the DoD’s delayed mandate. Line56 reported an RFID tag shortage adding to the problem.
The delay, however, should not be seen as the government throwing over its RFID plans. The army has over $100 million invested in the technology and is not expecting full supplier compliance for all commodities shipped to DoD locations until 2007. Tom Ryan, an analyst with Aberdeen Group, also was reported pointing out that the January 1st mandate was never a steadfast deadline, only part of the contracts that were up for negotiation for at the end of 2004.