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Nov 07, 2012

Impinj features S3Edge on their blog
Source: Impinj


  1. What do you mean by mission-critical tracking solutions in the context of RFID?

    When we talk about mission-critical, the classic definition (from my Microsoft server software background) goes something like this "Mission-critical applications are business applications, excluding email, that would bring your company to a stop if they were not running. Mission-critical applications are typically supported and managed by a central IT staff. Examples of such applications are airline reservation systems and order processing for a retail store chain."


    Now, when you combine the above software application taxonomy with RFID technology, you combine this nature of software with hardware and tags in a seamless manner to achieve a unique class of enterprise-ready solutions that are 'Always On By Design' - or in other words: the failure of a solution of this nature, will result in the failure of a business's mission-critical operations which is never a good thing


    It is very important to note that this mission-critical class of solutions is very different from the majority of solutions we see today with RFID technology (i.e. applications that find a niche and fill it are not required to be mission-critical, and usually adapt the business to the process) because they represent the 'primary' process and are designed from the ground up to be 24×7, high-availability solutions in production. We believe the continued adoption of mission-critical solutions will be the catalyst for the broader adoption of RFID technology for enterprise-wide process automation and tracking. I've written more about this topic here.


  2. We've been seeing more movement towards UHF in healthcare. What are your expectations for the future of UHF in this industry?

    There is no question in my mind that the future is extremely bright for UHF technology in the healthcare field both from a value and a needs perspective. Whether it is high-value asset tracking, tracking blood and other biologic products, or in enabling a better healthcare experience for patients with more efficient processes, UHF technology is slowly gaining momentum.


    To expand on this a bit, based on our experiences using HF technology in tracking and error-proofing operations across the transfusion medicine industry, we absolutely see how UHF can not only 'speed-up' some of the bulk-check-in, movement tracking, and reconciliation operations, it is also very clear that longer term this would be a preferable approach for blood centers and hospitals to cost-justify a solution of this nature.


    Healthcare is a highly regulated industry (rightfully so as human lives are at stake), and it will take 'approved' mission-critical solutions before UHF takes off as a standard across the board. In other word it's not necessarily a technology barrier that we need to break through, but rather a confidence barrier to bust this vertical open. We believe S3Edge is in a unique position, along with Impinj, to enable this class of applications for the transfusion medicine industry that include the right set of regulatory approvals to achieve scale.


  3. How is RFID technology being used for compliance? What does it mean and why is it important?

    Compliance, in the applications we've deployed, is mainly driven by strict regulation requirements. For example, Auto-ID technology can very clearly help blood centers and hospitals prevent errors by tracking the movement of physical assets across their transfusion operations in addition to helping improve efficiency of operations (helping them do more with less). This in turn directly impacts compliance readiness as compared to relying completely on paper-based processes. The electronic audit trails combined with the real-time error-proofing of operations that Auto-ID technology enables provides a high confidence tool that natively safeguards against potential audit violations by a regulatory authority.


    Another great example is the FME (Foreign Materials Exclusion) services our software enables in nuclear power plants. As you can imagine these are extremely highly-regulated environments where every single asset (from tools to personnel) need to be accounted for every day at the beginning and end of a maintenance job cycle. Compliance errors usually have an extremely high price tag-not only from money and time to bring operations back into compliance but also with fines and reputation loss for audit failures.


    In summary, a well-designed, mission-critical Auto-ID solution can not only help automate and improve the efficiency of 'as-is' paper-based processes, but the electronic tracking of asset movements that a solution of this nature enables out of the box goes a long way in ensuring that highly regulated environments stay in compliance with standard operation procedures (SoPs).


    To read more about how Turkey Point, a nuclear reactor facility in Florida is using Auto-ID technology to achieve this, and why it's important to them, visit my blog.


  4. Why is RFID a good fit for distributor manufacturing and warehouse applications?

    Discrete manufacturing and warehousing operations by definition contain a lot of material movement that is performed during (and which is critical to) their day-day business operations - this in turn represents a unique opportunity for Auto-ID based solutions to mistake-proof and automate paper-based operations. This slide encapsulates some of the areas where RFID can add a tremendous amount of value.


    To share an example, Carrier Corp, a Fortune-50 company, a UTC company and the largest HVAC manufacturer in the world is using our software and Impinj readers + tags for a high-availability solution which achieves the following:



    • Improved efficiency of the trailer load process

    • Streamlined pack-out

    • Reduced errors


    And I am proud to say that roughly half a million units later, Carrier, S3Edge & Impinj have achieved something that's arguably not been witnessed in our industry yet - a mission-critical solution of scale that is the primary automation system of record, running in a high-available, highly dynamic, fast paced environment which also happens to be Industry Week's #1 Manufacturing plant in America.


    Some of the benefits Carrier is reaping include:



    • A tremendous amount of financial savings from improved efficiency and productivity at shipping, mistake proofing (reduced warranty, repair, and logistics costs), and reduced expenses

    • 33% improvement in shipping productivity

    • 80% reduction in shipping errors

    • Increased safety of personnel in shipping zones

    • Innovation and productivity increase of manufacturing here in the US


    I hope to be able to share more about how we went about achieving this at Carrier in a case study and a webinar in the coming months. Carrier Corp will also give a keynote at RFID Journal Live! in May.


    http://www.impinj.com/blog/guest-post-qa-with-anush-kumar-of-s3edge/


 
 

To get more information about how the S3 RTVS portfolio of solutions enable significant improvements to your business processes in a rapid manner without having to invest heavily upfront, please e-mail us at info@s3edge.com.

 
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Transition

We are extremely pleased to team up with S3Edge to design, and develop this innovative application for the transfusion medicine industry. Our collaborative, best-of-breed approach, which brings together the domain expertise in Transfusion Medicine practices and S3Edge's software strength, will deliver unparalleled levels of efficiencies for blood centers and hospitals across their supply chain operations


Rodeina Davis
Vice-President & CIO, BloodCenter of Wisconsin

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S3 Edge’s unique capabilities and deep understanding of Microsoft’s Mobile RFID platform was crucial in deploying a turnkey solution at RiteCare pharmacy for warehouse visibility – their ability to go from design to fully operational in 60-90 days at the customer site is a testament of their abilities to show demonstrable ROI and lower the barrier to rapid solution deployment.

Judy Huang
Product Manager RFID
Unitech Electronics Co., LTD

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S3Edge continues to raise the bar in the area of software innovation to address customer needs. The support for Android-based devices for our transfusion medicine RFID applications will give healthcare professionals in our field an easy, well-understand interface to quickly adopt a new set of auto-ID applications aimed at cutting costs and eliminating errors in the blood supply chain. This new-paradigm is going to be the game-changer in the adoption of RFID based applications in Healthcare.

Clive Hohberger
RFID Systems Architect,
Blood Center of Wisconsin

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The S3Edge's RTVS based WiP (work in process) solution delivered on the promise of real visibility, real time in record time to enable GKB (Carl Zeiss Vision JV partner) to continue to raise the bar in the level of service .The WIP solution was delivered at ZEISS Brand Lab at Goa (a Carl Zeiss "Star One" accredited lab). In addition to enabling fewer delayed orders, and a multi-fold increase in customer satisfaction with a RFID based solution on the manufacturing floor, S3 is also closely working with us on designing innovative solution for our retail stores in India to further increase our customer value.

Manish Soni
General Manager
GKB Hi-Tech Lenses Pvt. Ltd.

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S3 Edge is our most preferred RFID technical partner

Kian NG
SOA, Process Platform & RFID Solutions Sales - ASIA Lead
Microsoft Asia Pacific

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Our strategic partnership with S3Edge allows Microsoft BizTalk RFID users to exploit the Speedway® reader’s advanced capabilities and performance. I highly recommend S3Edge as a partner to work with in building end-to-end solutions on the Microsoft RFID platform.

Daniel Bowman
Sr. Marketing Manager, Impinj, Inc

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"S3Edge is a key partner in developing packaged solutions that fully utilize the capabilities of the Microsoft BizTalk RFID platforms to address real-world customer need. Their Spotlight product is a good example of how partners are innovating to deliver complete end-to-end solutions for customers on the Microsoft Application Platform, across the globe"

Sudhir Hasbe

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S3Edge has helped Motorola take our partnership with Microsoft BizTalk RFID to the next level.

Matt Eschbach
Global Strategic Alliance Manager
Motorola Enterprise Mobility Business

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"We selected S3Edge after evaluating solution providers based on their experience, and ability to deliver a mission-critical, large-scale enterprise application focused on the operator and the flow of work in our existing processes. Thanks to this approach and S3Edge's focus on delivering to commitments, the project benefits were realized within three months of launch with little to no re-engineering required. The system has been running live in a high velocity, dynamic manufacturing environment for over a year with no issues"

Balaji Suresh
Materials Manager, and project sponsor
United Technologies

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S3 Edge's RTVS capabilities enabled RiteCare Pharmacy to envision, design and implement game-changing business processes. The S3 Edge RTVS software built on Microsoft BizTalk platform has enabled us to cut down our cycle times to ship by 50%, eliminate errors due to mis-ships, and double our throughput times. This innovative real-time visibility platform for warehouse ensures RiteCare can now scale rapidly in the future to fulfill our promise of a quality pharmacy in every neighborhood with wide variety of medicines.

Seshu Guddanti
Managing Director of RiteCare

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S3Edge's packaged asset tracking software has enabled us to go from assessing technical feasibility to building out a set of applications that address the operational needs of blood centers and hospitals in a relatively short period of time. Their technical abilities and experience in deploying enterprise-ready applications has helped the consortium deliver on the promise of a packaged mission critical solution to improve the safety and efficiency of our nation's blood supply


Tina Chang
CEO, SysLogic Inc.

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"S3Edge's commitment to quality, flexibility, and RFID domain expertise in deploying enterprise-ready software in an operationally challenging environment using a variety of devices, is second to none. Their approach to deploying a scalable Real-Time Visibility & Control System has allowed us to take a complex, emerging technology and convert it into a competitive advantage for our business and customers"

James Chan
General Manager

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The RFID system provided equivalent capabilities to those of IPR in terms of detecting and resolving process errors. It additionally provided the blood bank staff real-time visibility for blood products in transit from the hospital blood bank to the point-of-care and in remote storage in our emergency department.

Dr. Thomas J. Raife,
MD, Clinical Professor & Medical Director,
UIHC DeGowin Blood Center

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We are extremely pleased to team up with S3Edge to put this exciting system development into the hands of our clients. Our unified, best-of-breed approach, which brings together Access Solutions’ deep domain expertise in the FME industry and S3Edge’s Spotlight technology for RFID-based asset tracking, as well as their systems integration bench strength and expertise, will deliver unparalleled levels of efficiencies across the enterprise

Kelvin Mann,
President  & CEO, Access Solutions

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Thanks to the outstanding work of the entire consortium team, we have successfully piloted the new system to track blood products as they move from fixed and mobile donation sites, through the blood center and to distribution. After 24 weeks of running the system in a pilot mode here at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, we have seen process efficiency and traceability gains, as well as marked improvements in reconciliation

Lynne Briggs
Vice President and
Chief Information Officer,
Blood Center of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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"The expertise and credibility of the S3Edge team made it an easy choice for us to engage with them to build out our device provider capabilities for the BizTalk RFID platform. In addition, their ability to deliver ‘80% done, 20% customizable’ software solutions via their rich RTVS solution framework is a much needed piece of the puzzle in enabling our integrators to deliver high-value, complex solutions in a repeatable cookie-cutter manner, with lesser custom code"

Sal Scafidi
Strategic Business Manager
Omron RFID Division
United Technologies

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Tel : (424) 832-1133
Fax : (503) 645-9457
Email : info@s3edge.com
     
  Spotlight based RFID Software provides an automated method of identifying the movement of assets across various locations by deploying a packaged inventory-tracking solution across various devices, that can then be customized for specific business-process workflows.