University project offers crop delivery visibility – from seed to table – for small farmers, regulatory agencies and consumers
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. – June 3, 2020 – Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, announced that South Carolina State University (SCSU) selected a Zebra RAIN RFID solution to provide small, local farmers and their partners with enterprise-class insights into their supply chains.
As a land-grant university, SCSU’s mission includes working together with local communities for the public good. Along with Zebra PartnerConnect Solution Partner Advanced Mobile Group—innovators in RFID with its ViziTrace RFID solution, as well as wireless and mobile computing solutions—the university is developing techniques for tackling challenges that farmers and distributors face within the supply chain. These include threats from terrorism and helping secure South Carolina’s agricultural resources in some of its most vulnerable areas.
Built using Zebra RAIN RFID readers and barcode scanners, the automated solution replaces manual, pen-and-paper record keeping and reporting. The new platform is designed to provide state- and federal agencies, distributors and seed suppliers with real-time crop data. Zebra RAIN RFID technology is integrated into each step of the supply chain, helping farmers and their distributors track key food safety metrics such as the quantity as well as where food products are stored and exchanged.
“The great value of RAIN RFID solutions is their ability to automate and enhance previously manual tracking processes, quickly unlocking real-time data to transform supply chain visibility,” said Chris Schaefer, Director, Data Capture Market Development, Zebra Technologies. “At South Carolina State University, the Zebra solution enables the sharing of key insights to help improve the agribusiness ecosystem and protect the local community’s agricultural livelihood.”
Rapid adoption of the new platform will drive success. “Like many other industries, usability is a major factor for onboarding the agricultural community with a new technology. If they can’t just pick it up and run with it, chances are that they won’t adopt it,” said Craig Littlejohn, Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering at South Carolina State University. “Zebra RAIN RFID and Advanced Mobile Group’s ViziTrace solutions enable users with varying degrees of technology experience to quickly and easily read, record, and share data.”
In addition to improving food safety, the university is working with farmers to understand more traditional challenges, including spoilage and leakage, to overcome any barriers to help deliver quality produce to market. Increasing public interest in how foods are grown and brought to market is also offering farmers an opportunity to use the new platform for providing consumers with a higher degree of visibility into the supply chain.
The project currently focuses on a handful of farms and early successes are providing a case for rapid expansion. “We’re communicating our initial findings to several local farms and project stakeholders,” said Littlejohn. “We’re encouraged by greater insights that have been driven by the ease of adoption and expect to get many more farms onboarded before the end of the year.”
- South Carolina State University is leveraging a RAIN RFID solution from Zebra and the ViziTrace solution from Advanced Mobile Group to build a platform for improving food security and increasing visibility into the supply chain for customers.
- Advanced data collection techniques—powered by fully integrated wireless, mobile, and RAIN RFID technologies and an intuitive user interface—enable farmers, regulators, and government agencies to quickly develop and share enterprise-class insights.
- The next-generation supply chain platform captures yield, security, and regulatory data for the public interest.
Zebra (NASDAQ: ZBRA) empowers the front line of business in retail/ecommerce, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, healthcare, public sector and other industries to achieve a performance edge. With more than 10,000 partners across 100 countries, we deliver industry-tailored, end-to-end solutions that intelligently connect people, assets and data to help our customers make business-critical decisions. Our market-leading solutions elevate the shopping experience, track and manage inventory as well as improve supply chain efficiency and patient care. In 2019, Zebra ranked #166 on Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Employers, and the company joined the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.zebra.com or sign up for news alerts. Participate in our Your Edge blog and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
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