Many experts in the RFID space have been expecting intense consolidation in the space for some time, but to no avail. We have seen pockets of activity over the years, but not enough to significantly impact the competitive landscape and value chain. In the past, I have referred to the RFID software space as one area where hardware manufacturers and solutions providers could augment and enhance their RFID offerings and value add to customers and partners, especially in key verticals. It appears that SML Group, an apparel branding and packaging group based in China, agrees with me.
SML announced that they have acquired the majority share of Xterprise, an RFID software solution company based in Texas. Xterprise is an experienced leader in the RFID retail supply chain space, with American Apparel serving as a fully-deployed, standout item-level tagging customer. SML has left Xterprises’ operations completely intact, but will now offer Xterprises’ full suite of RFID Clarity solutions in addition to their current packages. Both companies seem excited about the new potential markets allowed by the merger. President of Xterprise, Dean Frew, stated, “We are thrilled to join the SML team and what that will mean to delivering impactful RFID Item-level solutions to customers around the globe.” This acquirement increases SML’s presence and power in the Americas, a key to their global expansion strategy (the majority of their customers are Asian based retail companies) and enables the company to deliver end-to-end solutions throughout the apparel supply chain from the point of manufacture to the retail store floor.