Many companies have invested in RFID systems to get the advantages they offer. These investments are usually made in closed-loop systems ' that is, when a company is tracking goods that never leave its own control. That's because all existing RFID systems use proprietary technology, which means that if company A puts an RFID tag on a product, it can't be read by Company B unless they both use the same RFID system from the same vendor. But most companies don't have closed-loop systems, and many of the benefits of tracking items come from tracking them as they move from one company to another and even one country to another.
Another problem is cost. RFID readers typically cost $1,000 or more. Companies would need thousands of readers to cover all their factories, warehouses and stores. RFID tags are also fairly expensive ' 50 cents or more ' which makes them impractical for identifying millions of items that cost only a few dollars.