Now. From picking up your daily morning coffee at Starbucks to ordering and receiving your latest packages from Amazon, each one of us are naturally accustomed to instant automation. Today we live in what’s been coined as the “Now Economy”, consumers expect their products immediately.
Our daily volatile interactions with technology are putting immense pressure on businesses across all sectors to keep up. In Supply Chain, analysts predict that the most proactive companies that successfully adapt these practices and constantly improve their software and technology to provide the right tools to their work force, in order to increase productivity and efficiency, will come out ahead of their competitors.
Big Data and Real-Time Automation
As day to day operations within your warehouse and distribution centers get equipped with the latest practices and technologies, businesses then require the appropriate insights and understanding from the captured data, which in turn allows for effective decision-making. Real-time visibility and data analytics are here to stay and give them exactly that.
As a software company, we often receive requests for customized reports and dashboards, enabling business owners and management teams to make the correct Supply Chain decisions for their operations. Along with smart phones and mobile applications replacing expensive hardware, we took it a step further by developing iOS and Android applications for smart tv boxes, such as: Apple TV and Android enabled TV boxes. Connected with our core Supply Chain Cloud based solution (iM3 SCM), our customers now have the ability to view live work orders and transactions within their facility and also out on the road with their mobile fleet vehicles. They can track their mobile fleet vehicles (using GPS technology enabled in smartphone devices – aka location services), manage and view the incoming assets/equipment within their facility yard and parking lot, view and act on any parts requested within the bays or out on the road by service technicians, scan parts as items are being picked up from bin locations directly on to the transaction that they are working on – which in turn updates and provides real-time inventory accuracy, and much more.
Constant communication with customers and their management teams is absolutely integral in the “now economy”, due to daily changes in technological needs and advancements. Along with customizable reports, many software companies are now giving the ability for the user to generate their own reports by controlling what data they would like to populate with their main ERP or SCM cloud solutions. Once users are able to make effective decisions by analyzing their data, the next step of course is to provide predictive analytic capabilities. IBM has taken this step by creatively innovating their artificial intelligent bot, Watson.
Take an example of Korean Air or any company with fleets, equipment, or high valued assets that record and perform daily maintenance activities – “Korean Air has years worth of historical maintenance records for hundreds of aircrafts in its fleet. But until recently, this vast amount of critical data was virtually unsearchable. That meant that maintenance technicians had to diagnose and fix issues without being able to tap into or interpret implications from valuable past learnings and courses of action.” Watson helps provide meaning to structured and unstructured data by quickly looking at manuals, technical guidelines, work order history, inventory used on past jobs/workorders, technician notes, etc., and as a result – “over 200,000 maintenance cases per year are addressed 90% faster.” (Read more about IBM Watson’s automation with Korean Air by visiting: https://www.ibm.com/watson/stories/airlines-with-watson/)
The Rise of Ecommerce
By 2021, global retail ecommerce sales is projected to grow to an outstanding 4.8 trillion US dollars, cumulative data from Statista suggests a nearly threefold lift in online revenue. Online sales are at an all-time high, and it’s not simply prevalent for retail companies or for B2C sales but also applies equally for B2B sales. Business ecommerce platforms now also expand into mobile ecommerce and POS systems/applications, which Javelin Strategy predicts is set to jump to $319 billion by 2020, accounting for nearly $161 billion already.
How can Ecommerce and POS work with your existing SCM or ERP solution? PeoplePlus Software, Inc., provides real-time inventory updates, pick-ticket generation for your warehouse operations, automatic sales order and invoice generation as items are ready to be shipped and ordered. Everything is connected through the cloud, working with Ecommerce API’s enables you to easily manage, view, and track your inventory across all facilities and stores in one place within our iM3 SCM inventory management screen, which automatically updates your ecommerce platform when changes are made at the item level. Our POS mobile application allows you to quickly scan barcoded items, integrates with cash register or popular PCI compliant devices such as SQUAREUP, and generates quick online receipts which can be directly emailed or printed for your customer. As transactions are processed, your inventory and product requirements are managed in real-time. Take it a step further by providing your customers with their own shopping mobile application, as they interact with products within your store or online ecommerce platform, they can build their own shopping cart and process orders at their finger-tips.
Read more about our iM3 SCM Suite and innovative software applications such as POS and Customer SmartCart applications to enable effective engagement with your customers and offer a touchpoint technology and solutions.