MIS Quarterly Executive


Kaufhof Department Stores, in Germany, has had a long history of introducing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology into the global fashion industry. Its initial pilot tests began in 2003 and have progressed phase-by-phase into increasingly more sophisticated uses of RFID throughout its supply chain. This article recounts that history and points out that three major decisions played important roles in Kaufhof’s RFID success. The first decision was to embrace the role of being a global RFID technology leader, which allowed it to influence global industry-wide decisions. The second decision was to promote standards, which allowed it to achieve end-to-end supply chain compatibility. And the third was to roll out RFID in phases, which lowered its first-mover risks, while allowing it to continually move forward.