Reference #: Date: March 13, 2015

Annual Audit Report


Auburn University’s RFID Lab conducted audits at eight major retailers across ten product categories in 2013-14. The goal of an audit was to capture the status of the RFID deployment by collecting accuracy and compliance data. The process also analyzed tagged items that did not work in the field, and determined the cause of failure.

The average accuracy from RFID system was 93.8% across all the retailers and product categories. 5% of the issues observed were related to compliance and execution in the supply chain and store. 1.2% of the issues observed were relate to technology failure. Non-tagging of items and double tagging of items were the major issues observed, 3.5% of the items on average had tagging issues with the best store having only 1% of the items with tagging issues but the worst store having issues occurring in 23.3% of the items.

It was also observed that these compliance issues affected the store employee’s confidence on the technology because it generated more work and undermined the trust they had in the technology. In some cases, low employee confidence lead to execution issues in the long term. The key lesson learned from the audits was that retailers should design and implement compliance verification methods relating to tagging execution and data collection for the long term success of the technology.