National RFID Planning Workshop 2009 - Creating a Niche for Malaysia
The recently concluded National RFID Workshop which was held in Shah Alam, Selangor from the 2nd to the 3rd of December 2009 was considered a success as it managed to bring together a diverse group of people in a single platform. A total of 37 speakers and approximately 220 delegates comprising of technologist, potential end user groups from a myriad of industries, several teaching staff from institutions of higher learning and also government officials from different ministries and agencies participated in this workshop with aim to discuss the role and potential of RFID as a strategic enabler to in moving Malaysia towards a fully developed nation by the 2020.
This workshop was jointly organized by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) with Frost & Sullivan as the Knowledge Partner is seen as an important milestone in creating a strategic direction for RFID deployment in Malaysia. A total of six persons from Frost & Sullivan comprising from the research and consulting, sales and corporate communications team attended and supported the organizers for this event.
The National RFID Planning Workshop 2009 could be considered an important milestone for Malaysia. This was seen as a concerted first but crucial step from the Government itself to push for a well structured RFID roadmap which will not only ensure that the country is not left out in the global push for RFID initiatives from a national level but also ensure the nation is able to reap various strategic benefits through wide scale usage of this technology in all areas. Findings, feedback and suggestions from this workshop will be used to draft the National RFID Roadmap for the time frames of 2011 to 2015 which coincides with the 10th Malaysia Plan.
To mark the beginning of this event, MCMC and SIRIM signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with EPCglobal Hong Kong and Guangdong RFID Technology Service Centre on the establishment of a National RFID Engagement Centre which will serve as a testing and standards accreditation facility of all RFID hardware and software in Malaysia. This will in fact be the first centre of its kind in the ASEAN region to have such facilities, and could serve in ensuring standards driven RFID solutions not only for Malaysia but potentially for the region and beyond.
This was followed by two keynote tracks and eight individual tracks over the two days which covered several areas:
- Keynote Track 1: National RFID Roadmap
- Track 1 – Postal & Courier Services
- Track 2 – Agriculture & Primary Industries
- Track 3 – Transport & Logistics
- Track 4 – Manufacturing & Asset Tracking
- Keynote Track 2: Planning for Ubiquitous RFID Infrastructure
- Track 1 – Halal Food
- Track 2 – Ubiquitous Libraries
- Track 3 – Telecommunications
- Track 4 – Retail
My presentation entitled “RFID Economic Impact and Benefits for Malaysia” for the Keynote Track 1 was based on findings done for a study commissioned by MCMC, and could be considered the basis for the entire workshop. This study done by Frost & Sullivan could be considered among the earliest to investigate the financial impact of RFID from a country level, and personally it was a challenging yet interesting project to be involved in as it looked at the potential of this technology beyond the typical enterprise level usage ROI and benefits but instead more at macro-economic level – the findings indeed showed a significant impact RFID has from a country level adoption. They key findings of this study were included as part of my presentation and it included observations of other national level RFID programmes and potential impact derived. Other areas covered in this presentation included potential GDP contribution to Malaysia derived through the usage of RFID and ROI gains, potential impact on total factor productivity (TFP) and labor competitiveness besides having a snapshot view on total macro-economic benefits leveraging on RFID (full presentation can be downloaded below). Overall, it was felt that majority of the floor was receptive to the findings presented.
Based on what all speakers had presented, it could be summarized based on feedback and views of other speakers and participants that RFID has passed the hype phase in Malaysia and majority not only know of the technology’s capabilities and benefits, but they are ready to move to the next step by seriously considering deployment within the near future. As Mr. Yow Lock Sen of MCMC had rightly pointed out in the Summary of the event, the time is now for the country to move towards wide scale adoption of RFID but nevertheless, it will require the push and promotion from the Government themselves to ensure its vision for a National RFID Roadmap is achieved (full presentation can be downloaded below).