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Defense Dept. orders its suppliers to use RFID tags by 2005

The new policy will cover practically everything purchased by the U.S. military. The U.S. Department of Defense will require all of its suppliers to use passive radio frequency identification tags (RFID) on all cases and pallets by January 2005, a mandate whose impact will likely dwarf a similar policy that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. imposed on its top 100 suppliers in June. Analysts said the Defense Department and Wal-Mart projects would impose “massive” infrastructure costs on supply chains over the next two years, with little return for suppliers. The new policy will cover practically everything purchased by the U.S. military — from beans to bullets and from toothpaste to tank parts — or roughly 45 million line items, according to Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary for supply chain integration. Full Story

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