Publication Details

Fosso Wamba, S. & Boeck, H. (2008). Enhancing information flow in a retail supply chain using RFID and the EPC network: a proof-of-concept approach. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 3 (1), 92-105.


RFID technology and the Electronic Product Code (EPC) network have attracted considerable interest from businesses and academics in recent years. The interest is even stronger in the retail industry where firms such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Tesco, Target and Metro AG are capitalizing on the potential of these technologies. Based on a field study conducted in a three-layer retail supply chain, this paper tests several scenarios integrating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and the EPC network and evaluates, in a laboratory setting, their potential as enablers of information flow within a retail supply chain. Using an "open-loop" adoption strategy, our preliminary results indicate that RFID technology and the EPC network (i) hold some potential that can be grasped through Business Process Management (BPM), (ii) enable the synchronization of information flow with product flow in a given supply chain, and thus, (iii) provide a better level of information integration between supply chain members. The results suggest that these "new waves" of information technology (IT) could in fact provide end-to-end information flow between supply chain members.