RFIQ And Its Potential As A New Metric In Retail Operations

RFIQ And Its Potential As A New Metric In Retail Operations

RFIQ And Its Potential As A New Metric In Retail Operations

IQ in its usual sense refers to an individual’s cognitive potential and abilities— in the same way, RFIQ refers to an organisation’s ‘IQ’ regarding their use of RFID. It is a relatively new concept coined by retail expert Marshall Kay.

Marshall Kay’s model is unique because it proffers quality instead of quantity metrics. There is no standardised test to measure RFIQ at the moment. For Kay’s purposes, quality measurements such as “High”, “Medium”, and “Low” suffice. For all that, RFIQ is being touted as a potential game-changer in the retail industry.

The importance of metrics

It is challenging to measure the applications of RFID technology in quantifiable numbers. As stated by logistics expert Oliver Hedgepeth, “To measure a bar code, you need to count; to measure an RFID code, you need to think”.

Metrics are essential because they serve as the linkage between business operations and business strategy. They are a useful management tool to test benchmarks, track growth, evaluate performance, provide feedback, and improve practices. Without metrics, there is a process gap in the standards needed to use RFID technology efficiently and effectively.

Metrics can be difficult to apply with RFID because, by and large, it is still a complex technology in which little experience has been gained. But at the same time, it is recognised by industry experts as being on its way to becoming the greatest technology in retail. RFID retail technology has matured to the point where it can fully optimise business processes — in fact, some of the most successful retailers today are the ones that have embraced and fully integrated RFID technology.

In due course, RFID is expected to be a way of life for all retail businesses as they keep up with technology. Thus, there’s a need for standard metrics like RFIQ.

How RFIQ is measured

Measuring RFIQ starts with asking questions like,

  1. What is RFID?
  2. What companies are using it? Why do they value it?
  3. What are the benefits to consumers? Why do retail employees love it?
  4. What is the range of ways RFID is being used?
  5. What is its impact on retail property value?

These questions and variables can perhaps also be extended depending on the relevance to a company. For example, “Does it really matter if I have RFID?” or “How useful is RFID compared to bar codes and manual tracking processes?” When the answers to these questions are positive or on the upside, it can be deduced that an organisation has “high” RFIQ instead of “low”.

RFIQ and its impact on the retail environment

Striving to answer the above questions will offer organisations insights into their specific goals and target measures. In the process, they will be able to review functional metrics such as cash flow, property value, returns on investment, and performance metrics such as operations and manufacturing.

When companies assign metrics to their efficiency level, it will be easy to identify critical problems and direct courses of action. It will contribute to increased labour efficiency, cost reduction, and efficient management of assets in the long run. It will also improve the quality of their product or service, responsiveness to customer needs and innovation to meet changing customer demands. The bottom line is that they will be able to make performance comparisons and time-efficiency comparisons using RFID technology.


RFID is here to stay— the companies and organisations that decide to research and invest in RFID will have a technological advantage. They will likely become the early winners as RFID tools in Singapore are applied in the future. A standard metric like RFIQ will pave the way for corporate learning, business improvement, and meeting organisational goals and objectives.