That was the conclusion of consultant ARC Advisory Group. However, ARC found that many of Wal-Mart’s top suppliers will ship only a limited number of products with RFID tags.
“Thus, the prospective shortage may not be as severe as feared,” says Steve Banker, ARC’s supply chain management service director. “Rather than a firm deadline for all suppliers, Wal-Mart has engaged in a series of ad-hoc negotiations, and they have proved willing to listen to suppliers [that] had valid reasons for moving at a more deliberate pace.”
However, some RFID suppliers, particularly Alien Technology, said they are sold out of Class 1 labels and that customers should expect a three-month delay. Other producers report a backlog of orders, and some potential customers are concerned that shortages will drive up costs.