RFID tracking in the book supply chain: The transition from postponed to speculative tagging

Ville Hinkka (Corresponding Author), Jan Holmström, Kary Främling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses the question regarding the point at which books should be tagged in the book supply chain, and where tracking could begin at different levels of adoption among retailers. Alternative solution designs are analysed by comparing the costs and benefits of the supply chain-wide radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging with RFID tracking solutions that cover only part of the supply chain. The analysis is based on modelling the RFID tag as a product feature and considering the tagging of books as a potential postponement decision. The cost estimates are based on activity-based costing and used to compare alternative solution designs for introducing RFID tracking in book retailing. Attaching RFID tags in the manufacturing phase is in many settings likely to be cheaper than downstream tagging. However, early tagging requires a threshold share of retailers to adopt RFID tracking in their store operations and be willing to bear the additional product costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-214
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • modelling
  • printing industry
  • radio frequency identification
  • retailing
  • supply chain management
  • tracking


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