"Target and Albertsons just recently joined the fray, with their mandated compliance dates for the first phase of RFID adoption set for spring 2005," the report said. Furthermore, Wal-Marts Tier 2 and Tier 3 vendors must comply with the retailers RFID mandate by January 1, 2006, and all other Wal-Mart suppliers must do so by the start of 2007, according to Reinke. "Phase 2 at Bruce Foods will be RFID," he added. Even outside of these RFID requirements, though, Brown said Bruce Foods had been contemplating a move to supply chain software for quite some time. Thoughts about WMS and TMS got a major impetus when the company acquired Cajun Injector last year."Cajun Injector added a large number of SKUs, as well as LTL [less than truckload] shipping," Brown said. "Now, we need a system that can handle LPN [license plate number] and ASN [advanced ship notice], in addition to future RFID."After an evaluation process, Reinke said Bruce Foods chose RedPrairie over three other supply chain vendors: Manhattan Associates, 3Ms High Jump and Logility. Click here to read about the details of Wal-Marts RFID pilot. In its report, AMR ranked the category of "foods, beverages and consumer packaged goods" as No. 2 in license revenue and share in the manufacturing sector for the 2003 supply chain market. The categorys total of $191 million was topped only by the category of "computers and electronics (peripherals, communications, semiconductors)," which raked in $265 million. "RedPrairie is one of the leaders in the food and beverage space," ARCs Banker said during an interview. "Like many other vendors, RedPrairie offers core functionality for lot tracing, a capability for managing date-sensitive products in compliance with FDA regulations." But from a functionality standpoint, Banker said, RedPrairie really excels at "engineered labor standards." Such standardswidely used in this particular verticalsay, for example, "It should take you 12.2 seconds to do this specific task." Brown pointed to several other reasons why Bruce Foods gave RedPrairie the nod over its competitors: recognized domain expertise, ability to comply with emerging RFID requirements and effective systems integration tools. Next Page: Choosing between Windows and Linux in the supply chain.