Based on a cross-sectoral survey among 114 RFID-using companies in Germany, the constitutive factors for performance improvement are evaluated. Analyzing realized target variables such as lead time or production downtime, we can show that the performance-enhancing impact of RFID can be ascribed to the three effects automation, informatization, and transformation. However, automation alone – i.e. a reduction of manual data acquisition activities through RFID – does not systematically contribute to performance enhancement. Rather, we found evidence indicating that it is necessary to exploit improved information about enterprise resources (informatization) and/or to re-engineer business processes (transformation) on the basis of RFID. No matter what sector an enterprise belongs to, investments in RFID technology that are exclusively aimed at an automated acquisition of information are inadvisable. This might be of special interest to companies who are facing a mandate in the near future.