Integrated chip manufacturers such as Impinj, NXP and Alien Technologies have improved chip performance in read and write sensitivity, improving the throughput in service bureaus. Chip selection, optimized antenna design and system level testing will ensure proper tag design for different applications. In high-volume applications (such as in retail and consumer goods), item-level tagging is an automated process at source manufacturing or in distribution centers. It also makes sense to handle tag encoding in the same fashion, to enable centralized number management and consistent quality assurance. Several companies I have worked with purchase pre-encoded tags or deploy bulk commissioning stations to read, encode and verify item-level data while products are being manufactured or kitted for shipment to their final destination.
For lower volume applications, RFID commissioning tables and handhelds are used for tag encoding or RFID printers are used to print and encode labels in a single step. Hiring an outside service or purchasing pre-encoded tags are other ways of simplifying the encoding process, regardless of tagging volumes. In these cases, special care should be taken not to have duplicate EPCs in the field.