The task will undertake identification of meaningful business processes in the food industry (with particular attention to the perishable goods supply chain) that can demonstrate and validate the valuable impact of RFID applications from the economical and productive point of view.
DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The target group of this project is basically composed by the food sector SMEs and we look at them as part of an extended supply chain that includes production, logisticlogistics and distribution. The preferred approach to convince SMEs about goodness of RFID technologies take-up is definitely the “seeing is believing” one, therefore it’s of high importance the identification of processes and their modelling in order to provide at the end of the project convincing pilot projects. This WP will aim at:
• detecting business cases in the (perishable) food sector where the RFID application might have a significant business value and provide best opportunities for the sector stakeholders
• describing the product/process flow of 4 products (like wine, fish etc) taking into account the economical impact of new technologies adoption (i.e. production optimisation, lead-time, time-to-market, increased quality, better traceability, etc)
• highlighting the best opportunities and major improvements that an RFID application can bring to the sector through the entire extended supply chain
Task 1.1- Research and selection of target demonstration
The selection of the business cases will be driven by several factors and among them the following ones: number of SMEs involved in the supply chain number of consumers in the EU and non-EU countries (i.e. established and potential market) production and economical impact figures (production cost, retailing cost, price expectation of consumers VS increased quality issues, etc)
The Task partners will focus on 4 products and related supply chain; from a preliminary research it came out how wine and fish can be best fitting products given their complex production and distribution chain as well as potential applications of RFID technologies (as earlier briefly described in previous chapter). Other two products/areas will be defined according the above mentioned points and in collaboration with national or European stakeholders (i.e. food associations, technology platforms, etc). Needless to say how the selection of the demonstration sectors will be driven by the major impact that RFID technologies can give as well as preliminary feasibility study of possible applications along with, of course, a business impact model. The selection of the pilot demonstrations (at least 18) will be made on a later stage by the involved organisations.
Task 1.2- Characterisation of business process within target demonstrations and identification of potential RoI opportunities As said earlier the preferred approach to present new technologies and new applications to SMEs is the “seeing is believing” one. Therefore the main activity of this WP is the validation of the target demonstration identified in Task 1.1, also from the business point of view, taking into consideration heterogeneous aspects like:
- Process description (extended supply chain) from farm/raw material to consumer/retailer
- Application cost (RFID technologies as well as components, hardware and software, integration)
- Expected production figures (time to market, lead time, expected product cost change, optimisation)
- Economical impact (possible increase of turnover thanks to the RFID application)
- Social impact (traceability, increased quality perception, new markets penetration, certification, standards compliancy)
This activity will be done also in collaboration with external partners (i.e. economy faculty or well known consultancy companies) keeping in mind the ‘light house’ aspect that should be the demonstration of a real Return of Investment (ROI) from the company point of view. In fact the deliverable related to this task will be a business-plan like and shall be presented in a very easy to understand way during the dissemination activities forecasted. This Task is the last one before the start of massive technical Work Packages that will use the business process description of the target demonstration to study and deploy the RFID applications in terms of communication protocols and systems, hardware adoption, systems integration, new features development, etc.
Task 1.3- Business process modelling within target demonstrations
Once the RFID platform is prototyped after WP 2 and WP 3 in its major aspects like communication, infrastructure and integration, the demonstration cases (pilot) will assume the main role within the project. Despite preliminary contacts between the technology providers and the pilot companies (i.e. during analysis or trials of applications) the tasks that will be performed within WP 4 to WP 9 will witness the core activity of the project and will need an extensive interaction. It is therefore propaedeutic for the end users (demonstrators) have a tailor made process modelling according their characteristics. This exercise will have a twofold pros:
Better define the case histories (i.e. the pilot) through a snapshot of their process improved by the knowledge gained from Task 1.1 and 1.2 Demonstrate replicability of the approach (i.e. a shared methodology to deliver customized business process modelling for the pilot actors in different countries) and the validity of the methodology (i.e. through interaction with the involved actors and match-making with their production and business expectations)
Task 1.4- Evaluation of business process and RoI
The overall methodology adopted by the project is to include in each WP an evaluation Task leaded by a partner that was not heavily involved in the WP itself. This approach will allow the partnership to conduct a sort of self-evaluation action for each WP or for macro-activity. Beside the coordination and management Work Package (WP 0) this evaluation Task will be the most important as far as the business impact and ROI issue are concerned because will sense the success of the demonstration activities. The evaluation will be made through and economical verification of the results reached, with respect to parameters detailed in Task 1.2 and the real ROI deployed by the demonstrators. The business model time scale (3 yrs, 5 yrs) and the evaluation parameters will be discussed within Task 1.2
Task 1.5- Continuity and exploitation
This task will produce a plan for continued exploitation of the results of the project, and establish a framework for the continuation of the database and food tracking activities after the end of the project.