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Dec 19, 2021

RAIN Man’s Letter to Santa 2021

Dear Santa,

I hope all is well with you. What a year! Let’s do an instant recap:

What happened in 2021

I had not really accepted this fact early on this year, but towards the summer it started to sink in: the pandemic is business as usual. At least on Voyantic’s side business has been great.

On the RAIN Alliance side of things, I became the Chairman of the RAIN Board. It is an honor, it is exciting, and it has kept me busy. The Alliance has continued delivering good value for its membership. Specifically, I want to highlight two important developments:

  1. As a housekeeping measure, the Alliance launched the RAIN CIN numbering system. While it may sound like something brand new, it is actually an ISO based numbering system simply in a new wrapping. With this easy alternative now available, all stakeholders can start clearing up some of the deployments out there that do not follow any specific numbering system. 
  2. The RAIN RFID Tyre Expo in September was the first ever global event for the tire industry with focus on RAIN RFID. The program included presentations from the early adopters, such as EuroFit Group, FIA, Norauto and Michelin, as well as from the key RAIN technology suppliers, including Hana Technologies, Siemens, and Zebra to name a few. 

Lastly, due to the continued push by several stakeholders, the Global harmonized RAIN RFID frequency band took an important step forward as France implemented the Commission’s decision EU 2018/1538. I am sorry to say that this move puts the RFID end-users in Germany increasingly in an unfair position since they remain restricted to the lower ETSI band.

Looking forward to 2022

Dear Santa, the outlook for 2022 is better than ever. With that in mind, one needs to be cautious because of two persistent inconveniences: 

Inflation went up and stays up

“We see inflation rising further in the near term but then declining next year”, says Mrs. Lagarde of ECB.

“Nonsense”, I say.

I see three factors in play, that will keep inflation up for a long time: the green energy transition, trading of emissions, and excess supply of money. While the last will go away, the two first ones are here to stay, I would add, simply because humankind is doomed otherwise. In a relatively short time, those factors already contributed to the rising price of energy. Slowly that price increase has bloated prices of raw materials and logistics. Eventually added costs will creep into everyday products and services. All this takes time, and therefore I don’t think inflation is a temporary phenomenon.

Dear Santa, please pass the following message to Mrs. Lagarde – “Juho hopes you’re right, and he is wrong.”

Component shortage gets businesses stuck

You are stepping on the gas pedal with orders coming in, but nothing moves or goes out the door. The component shortage is like fine deep sand underneath your business tires. 

At Voyantic we have been fortunate to have been able to manage our supply chain up to these days, but we have seen our customers struggle. That struggle eases up over time, but with the stock levels down through the supply chains and the price of logistics going up, I don’t see a fast way out of this. What that means is that the speed of business will be reduced, with longer lead times and more waiting.

Beer and a good night sleep in a prison

I cannot wait for the return of the in-person meetings. An RFID enthusiastic’s highlight of the year will be the RAIN Alliance meeting in Helsinki 2022. While at the event, as you agree to have “a beer at the lobby bar”, effectively you shall have “a beer in a prison“.

The event will be hosted by Beontag, Nordic-ID, and Voyantic. Mr. Nikias Klohr of Race|Results has volunteered to time your performance as you sprint over the prison yard and the wall. 

Take the shots, wear a mask, and get yourself to Helsinki on the 14th to 16th of June, 2022!

Happy Holidays!

Dear Santa, with the meeting restrictions tightening up again, you might be in for a similar Christmas tournée as the FedEx guys are – no hanging around in the living room, just deliver and get going. Look at the bright side: you will get to sauna a bit earlier!