In the advanced warehouse, it isn’t enough to settle for old technology and hardware investments. Whatever industry you’re in, all markets are full of competitors constantly looking for ways to update technology investments. You must ensure you are saving time, resources and–most important–money.
To achieve an optimized supply chain, many factors have to come together to reach the inventory “perfect storm” and achieve organizational efficiency. One of the most important factors is inventory accuracy, or the ability to know exactly where inventory is at all times, whether it’s in the warehouse, in the field or at remote locations.
With the holiday season and festivities upon us, the last thing on everyone’s minds are natural disasters and supply chain preparedness. But as the biggest shopping days of the year swirl around us, it is important to consider the supply chains that we as consumers rely on and what inclement weather can do to disrupt them.
This year at SuiteConnect West in San Francisco, DSI’s VP of Cloud Inventory Solutions, Bob Carver was invited to join Commerce Marketing Analyst and podcaster, Gregory Zakowicz on the Commerce Marketer Podcast sponsored by Oracle Bronto Software. Their conversation flowed from consumer, retail and supply chain trends to last-mile logistics and digital transformation.
The past few years have been filled with the fear of an impending “retail apocalypse” that will leave all physical stores empty and abandoned in its wake. In 2017 alone, 21 major retailers filed for bankruptcy. But in their State of Retail 2017 report, TimeTrade found that more than 70% of consumers would still prefer to shop a brick and mortar store over its online counterpart. If consumers still want to shop in store, what is actually contributing to the retail apocalypse?
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are taking the world by storm, and many retail stores are dabbling in the growing technology trend. Big-name furniture stores are starting to offer apps that allow users to virtually “place” an item in their home to see how it will look and if it fits in their space. Retail clothing stores are creating virtual dressing room apps that allow consumers to virtually “try on” clothing from the comfort of their own homes. All they need to gain access to this technology is an app and a smartphone camera.
A Google search of “artificial intelligence” can quickly lead you down a rabbit hole of wild sci-fi-esque developments making their way into our world. It’s easy to imagine a terrifying landscape where an army of robots, a la 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL or Westworld, begin to think for themselves and take over the planet. But, rest assured, we have a while before we’re close to a place like that. For now, AI is mainly being used to automate processes and, ultimately, increase efficiency. And, of course, play Nora Jones by request while changing your thermostat.
Customers often ask for help when they are creating barcodes with more than just a simple payload. When you’re creating a label with multiple data elements (ex. SSCC-18 label, FedEx Shipping Label, etc) the specification may require non-printable characters, data identifiers, application identifiers, group separators or some other craziness you’re not used to printing. Don’t panic!
The ever-changing supply chain industry has created an endless flow of new and developing technology. As technology transforms, your inventory and supply chain management needs to as well. Companies need to determine which processes are worth implementing into their supply chain. The newest process in the market that could potentially revolutionize the supply chain is blockchain.