An inventory management system which includes a transponder, an interrogation transceiver and control devices utilized therewith. The control devices operate to minimize the power consumption of the transponder while permitting selected, coded operation of the inventory management system. The interrogation transceiver provides linkage to the transponder by means of a modulated radio frequency (RF) carrier during system operation. A transmit/receive switch is also included in the invention to prevent harmful coupling between the transponder receiver and the transponder transmitter. This could occur during data exchanges between the transponder and the interrogation receiver.