A new study by Oyster Bay, NY-based ABI Research found that retail firms trying to implement the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) supply chain initiatives launched by the likes of Wal-Mart and Target are running into a variety of problems – largely because no two RFID plans can be alike.

"There's no cookie-cutter approach to RFID, said research analyst Sara Shah. “RFID manufacturers -- many of them relatively new companies -- don't understand retail; and many retailers don't understand how RFID can benefit them. This leaves them frustrated and slows down market adoption.”

ABI’s report, The RFID Retail Market, examines how retailers are adopting RFID and the ways they will realize a return on investment if they can make it work -- as well as the possible business process changes they’ll need to make for RFID programs to be a success.

"Wal-Mart's approach is creative," said Shah. "It's very worthwhile for them, which is why they're pushing forward on schedule. Other retailers follow, thinking that Wal-Mart's business case will apply just as well to them. But it may not work, because every business and every supply chain is different."