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When facing the stringent conditions of today’s modern warehouses, most operators agree that consumer-grade devices will only set back productivity. Prone to breakdowns and digitally rigid, personal devices cannot keep up with the kind of high-volume data processing common in today’s distribution centers. However, consumer-grade devices have retained user favor in supply chains due to their ease-of-use. Studies conducted by leading tech innovators have shown that 69% of IT decision makers see bring-your-own-device policies as a beneficial strategy to their operations. With labor turnover rates surpassing 40% in American distribution centers, familiar technologies prove beneficial by reducing training expenses and ensuring faster productivity. However, a lack of proper durability can increase costs by instigating…

  • Recurrent replacement and repair costs
  • Complex software and app integration processes
  • Compromised security parameters that endanger data safety

Modern-day technologies strive to combine familiar usability with robust functionalities, reducing operational costs. A prime example of this is Zebra’s newest Enterprise Tablet, the ET40/45. Like its predecessors, the new tablet streamlines push-to-talk capabilities, intense scanning, and real-time visibility within an Android interface. Upon a closer inspection, it’s easier to see the effects of today’s challenges on technological advancements.

Not like other tablets

Zebra’s previous tablets have always been crafted with durability and adaptability in mind to deliver versatile usage in different environments like distribution centers, cold storage units, and busy transportation teams. However, today’s push for faster productivity within dwindling labor pools have led tech players to leverage features such as:

  • 5G Connectivity and WiFi 6 – Dropped signals and dead zones halt productivity while isolating workers from receiving timely stock updates. To prevent communication gaps across the facility, newer, stronger connectivity options are now included in the new tablet.
  • Mobile POS options – As tablets now find their ways into the storefront in addition to inventory rooms and loading docks, the ET40/45 includes a mobile POS system to enable line busting through the same device used for inventory tracking and stock counting. This breaks down high adoption rates by streamlining crucial workflows through one standard device.
  • Multi-shift batteries – With the promise of same-day delivery comes longer work hours which demand longer lifecycles from your devices. As a result, Zebra’s new tablet incorporates hot-swappable batteries in its sleek design to deliver constant power across multiple shifts. Moreover, with the help of PowerPrecision, workers can spot failing and unhealthy batteries and remove them before they affect workflows.

Take a closer look into the ET40/45’s new highlights here.

As shortages continue to challenge the supply chain, automation solutions must fine the fine line between user-friendly and enterprise-ready. Compromise on either of these factors can lead to missed sales, damaged consumer trust, rising operations costs, or stressed workers. Consequently, experts still recommend assessing your current workflows with an automation specialist to verify your employees’ level of comfortability alongside current warehouse demands. In doing so, operations can best accommodate future demands with flexible solutions for continuous enterprise success.

The last two years have drastically altered supply chain efficiency. The effects of nationwide lockdowns, global shortages, and international tensions have deepened a shared reliance on automated systems to stay ahead of mounting consumer demands and fulfillment challenges. However, amid recurrent and new obstacles, many businesses have shared positive workplace changes such as:

  • Improved worker conditions – Automated systems and enterprise robotics alleviate the stress placed on human workers while also requiring less muscle effort to meet demands.
  • Implemented easy technology – To truly be considered successful, a modernization solution should value user-friendliness to diminish training expenses.
  • Increased wages and bonuses – Around 45% of workers noted an increase in wages as warehouses and distribution centers sought to retain long-term employees.

Changes such as these can help foster more seamless workflows and satisfied employees. As new technologies are developed and integrated into the fast-moving supply chain, it is imperative to maintain realistic yet optimistic goals in the warehouse to correctly track KPIs overtime. Zebra’s newest 2027 Warehouse Vision Study showcases four of the most common goals today’s warehouse managers:

  1. Improving individual worker productivity – It has been estimated that nearly a quarter of warehouse operations were managed through paper-based systems. This means that workers had to spend a bulk of time updating reports, verifying stock counts, and imputing updates manually at the risk of entering the wrong data.
  2. Streamlining workflows in a standardized fashion – As fulfillment tasks became more complex with same-day shipping, higher return rates, and direct-to-customer transactions, businesses needed a way to ensure workflows were accurately tracked from door to dock. Consequently, 41% of companies began to optimize mobility in 2022 to ensure new and permanent workers stay organized through one trackable workflow managed through their handheld device.
  3. Maximizing asset visibility – From mobile devices to centralized printing stations, your warehouse assets play an intricate role in sustaining productivity across the warehouse. Consequently, maintaining device availability through real-time asset tracking systems has become a goal of nearly 70% of warehouses worldwide. Clear operational visibility further empowers warehouses to prepare for challenging demands since decision-makers have a better picture of the resources available to them at a moment’s notice.
  4. Collecting and leveraging data via intelligent automation – The prevalence of sudden changes has created a need for multiple data capturing systems to ensure nothing is ever missed. Therefore, systems featuring technologies like autonomous robots, fixed industrial scanners, and even RFID portals have proven beneficial to drive automated decision making based on real-time insights. This means warehouses can ensure the correct orders and reaching the correct customers, stock quantities are current, and workers receive the assistance they need when and where they need it.

How to make sure these goals are met

E-commerce transactions continues to be one of the largest forces behind modernization, impacting nine out of 10 warehouses by increasing shipping volume. To meet expectations within a dynamic omnichannel ecosystem, experts recommend…

  • Assessing warehouse space to target challenges in the RFID implementation process such as high ceilings, dense walls, etc.
  • Supporting migration plans to adaptable operating systems like Android to make sure new updates and patches are accommodated into current workflows
  • Consolidating workflows into wearable devices to alleviate weight and pressures from your workers while cutting back on management plans for multiple devices.

Navigating through several modernization challenges becomes simpler with a team at your side. To get a closer look into how supply challenges are continuing to affect modernizing warehouses, reach out to our modernization specialists and approach optimization with a confident yet adaptable strategy.

Automation currently leads most modernization efforts, coming in the form of Android handheld devices, versatile rugged tablets, tap-and-pair mobile printers. In conjunction with these efforts, automated mobile robots (AMRs) have seized public interest. Current labor shortages and spikes in demand for faster and more accurate service have further fueled the need for flexible automation and digitization. Recent studies have shown that more than half of warehouses have cited hiring and retaining long-term workers among one of the biggest obstacles faced today, with 85% currently prioritizing labor optimization. Replacing the need for extraneous labor efforts, AMRs are able to empower workers by automating pallet movement, diminish travel time by 60%, and eliminate repetitive tasks without burdening the human workforce.

 

As decision-makers move towards integrating AMRs into their operations, experts recommend considering the following questions:

     1. How will you measure ROI?

Most specialists estimate AMRs should yield measurable results within 2 years at max, with order fulfillment speed being the first change to be recorded. While there are many ways to calculate ROI, a few indicators to look for include…

  • Increasing fulfillment speed – Since travel time is diminished, there should be less replenishment delays and bottlenecks impacting throughput rates.
  • Improved worker safety – AMRs are made to carry heavier loads and may sport a sensitive motion scanner to prevent collisions. This spares workers from straining themselves or running into machinery.
  • Lowered operating costs – As delivery timeframes are met and stock is quickly moved to the appropriate space, there should be less costs associated with inaccurate orders, mis-shipments, and sudden out-of-stocks.

      2. Do you have sufficient space?

While AMRs may not require a complete warehouse redesign, some solutions may require dedicated space within your operations for…

  • Navigation – Tight spaces and sharp corners can limit the AMRs’ ability to move freely around the warehouse.
  • Battery charging – Appropriate space may be required for charging different fleets when they’re not in use.
  • Maintenance – While enterprise devices are designed to withstand harsh environments, AMRs still need to be updated and serviced.

      3. Are other methods of automation already in place?

In addition to AMRs, support systems such as automated data capture and mobile computing further eliminate errors and speed up processes by enabling workers to accomplish more in less time. Before implementing robotics, set a digitized foundation with:

  • Android’s enterprise OS – Familiar and adaptable, Android enables you to add your preferred applications within its open ecosystem for easy adaptability. Its recurrent OS updates and security patches also further protect your operations from cyberattacks.
  • Real-time stock updates – By streamlining data capture and computing through one handheld terminal like Zebra’s handheld computers, your workers can update counts and communicate with each other digitally.
  • Push-to-talk capabilities – Speaking of communication, team communication goes a long way in keeping the workforce updated of any changes and emergencies across the facility.

      4. What fleet control system will you use?

Selecting hardware is only half the battle when it comes to modernization. To maintain complete efficiency, your fleet management system should be able to connect to your WMS system to receive directions and real-time inventory updates.

      5. Is your solution scalable?

The propensity for change in the supply chain is the only constant warehouses can continue to expect in the years to come. As material shortages challenge efficiency alongside labor shortages, it’s crucial to maintain integration and update simplicity to facilitate solution growth. If AMRs are unable to connect with the rest of your mobile devices, they may not be the most suitable option for your business.

 

Once these questions are answered, businesses can create a more realistic and proactive solution plan to minimize implementation hurdles. This can also help narrow down which kinds of AMRs to integrate. To explore your options or for more assistance on how to evaluate your warehouse, talk to one of our modernization experts and explore a broad portfolio of technologies to create customized and scalable solutions.

 

 

For about nine years straight, industry researchers have cited labor retention as the top struggle in the modern warehouses. Between demands for same-day shipping and cyclical peak seasons, distribution centers have shared the struggle to transition seasonal workers into permanent positions. However, according to the 2022 MHI Annual Industry Report, this challenge has been overtaken by a new struggle: supply chain shortages and disruptions.

 

From batteries, to raw materials, to microchips, to skilled labor, shortages have impacted 57% of surveyed warehouses, increasing the prevalence of out-of-stocks, shipping delays, inaccurate forecasting, and overworked employees. As a result, businesses are attempting to enhance order fulfillment speed by reducing manual tasks and overstocking. For example, carrier giant, UPS, has recently stated it plans to deploy RFID tracking in at least 100 facilities by the end of 2022. The move is followed by many distributors seeking to stay a step ahead of shortages before they impact customer satisfaction.

 

As warehouses brace for even more shortages and inflation costs, many have taken the following pathways:

 

  1. Partner with vendors to understand software and application options – Supply chain shortages have impacted fulfillment expectations for modernizing warehouses since they can’t always get the technologies they need as fast as they need them. Consequently, businesses are also searching for vendors able to conduct software and application updates to expand the functionality of their current devices. This is where Android once again takes the centerstage as one of the most suitable operating systems for enterprise since it facilitates app integration through its open yet secured ecosystem. Moreover, productivity apps like Zebra’s Mobility DNA apps can also enhance handheld functionality through various features such as simultaneous scanning of multiple barcodes, remote battery management, device tracking, and easy troubleshooting.
  2. Increase investment plans for innovative technologies – A variety of repondants cites lack of clear justifiable reason as the number one obstacle preventing modernization. However, next-generation technologies have been crafted with current challenges in mind, providing decision-makers with a more concrete estimate of expected results that relate to their challenges. For example, mobile devices with embedded push-to-talk capabilities serve as a cost-effective replacement to bulky two-way radios, thus increasing worker ergonomics while diminishing MDM costs.
  3. Pilot new technologies that automate repetitive tasks –  While cloud computing and storage continues to lead adoption rates in the modern warehouse, newer technologies like automatic identification and sensors have also risen to popularity as a way to both reduce labor efforts while preventing the wrong products from leaving the warehouse. Integrated RFID portals combine these two efforts by capturing tags and tracking inventory movement through wall-mounted and transitional RFID portals, linking real-time data to your WMS. Providing teams with greater inventory control and automatic updates, solutions like integrated RFID portals are expected to play vital roles in tomorrow’s warehouses, with adoption rates well exceeding 80% in the next five years.

 

The 2020 health crisis has forever altered supply chains, and experts agree that there is no turning back. Customers expect fast, error-free, cost-effective service in a world full of shortages, communication breakdowns, and skyrocketing prices. Whether via a handheld reader or an intelligent inventory software, automation is sent to be the leading solution to today -and tomorrow’s- supply chain challenges. To continue exploring more responses to supply chain shortages, reach out to our modernization teams.

Undisruptive Modernization – It’s possible with these three initiatives.

 

Complex implementation has long been cited as one of the leading obstacles warehouses face when modernizing their workflows. Today’s fast-paced operations leave little room for extensive training times, app alterations, and lulls in productivity; however, failure to properly modernize can also slow down efficiency as workers must navigate through higher demands with outdated devices, bottlenecks, and inaccurate data. In other words, complex modernization is almost as detrimental as no modernization.

 

So, if modernization skills must be intelligent enough to compete in today’s high-demand environments, yet simple enough to maximize uptime, the question remains: How can warehouses bridge the gap between simplicity and adaptability? Several supply chain experts and tech players suggest the answer may be:

 

  • Digitize inventory tracking through mobile devices
    It’s estimated that distribution centers have inventory accuracy rates as low as 60% depending, generating more surprise out-of-stocks for retailers as they must wait for distributors to restock. Poor inventory counting also breaks down business relationships within the supply chain as more pressure is placed on manufacturers to restock items, further fueling shortages. On the other hand, digitized stock tracking and counting enables reports to be shared instantaneously, so teams can operate with a clear view of available inventory. Zebra’s RFD90 is a prime example of efficient mobile digitization since the sled can integrate real-time RFID visibility onto any Zebra handheld to enable faster inventory locationing, trackable work-in-progress, and seamless communication between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
  • Prioritize, OS, software, and app updates
    Devices running on Android’s open ecosystem benefit from simplistic app additions since the operating system does not require applications to be rewritten. That means workers can add their preferred apps onto their Android devices to retain some familiarity and lower training times. Moreover, applications like All-Touch Terminal Emulation facilitate app conversion, so your TE apps display flawlessly on a touchscreen interface right out of the box.
  • Secure connectivity channels for reliable communication
    The goal of a successful modernization strategy should be to unify the workforce current customer demands. Therefore, eliminating dead zones and dropped signals from your environment is crucial for optimization efforts. In addition to strengthening wireless infrastructures, consider leveraging push-to-talk features embedded within your mobile computer to erase the need for additional hardware and maintenance costs. For example, Workforce Connect enables group conferencing, secured text messaging, and emergency alerts, so your teams can stay updated of any sudden changes in demand like delayed shipments or shortages as it happens.

 

Knowing where to start

 

Intelligent modernization can take a variety of shapes. Consequently, experts recommend assessing main workflows in order to prioritize struggling operations. After starting your workflow assessment, it’s easier to procure technologies that address your specific goals while reducing the need for a mass device refresh, thus creating an simplistic yet adaptable modernization plan.

As your inventory moves down the supply chain, product identification remains crucial to avoid bottlenecks and delays. Enterprise labels have proven indispensable as they remove the probabilities of errors stemming from manual data entry. However, as consumer demands continue to rise for faster and accurate order fulfillment, printers must process many more labels within a short time frame. Reports indicate that U.S.warehouses are shipping nearly 36 million packages per day. If improper consumables are used to print labels for all +30 million parcels, even the most rugged printers may fall prey to early damage and failure, resulting in costly downtime. Fortunately, the right label will not only protect barcode legibility but also printer performance by:

  1. Mitigating printhead scratches – When labels are made from subpar materials, the label’s surface may become porous and sandpaper-like. While this surface-type may not harm a printer initially, continuous use will eventually scratch the printhead, creating faded gaps on the barcode. For high-volume operations, this could hold up entire workflows and leave room for scanning errors since the altering printhead may change the barcode’s legibility.
  2. Reducing debris build-up – In addition to scratching printheads, porous labels may also leave back small paper particles each time they pass through the printer. Moreover, tightly-wound labels may also leave residual adhesive, which combined with paper particles will create bigger build-up jams that impede the printing process.
  3. Eliminating roll slack – Lastly, when liner rolls are not at an optimized orientation, such as inward facing label rolls, they may create additional label slack within the printing mechanism, disrupting the barcode upon printing as the mechanism may tug on the roll. For a real-life demonstration of this issue, see our video.

 

Skip on your next printer jam with Zebra Certified Consumables

It’s widely established that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all labeling solution.Environmental differences and varying compliances may require different sorts of labels to maintain efficiency. Regardless of the requirement, Zebra’s wide portfolio of certified consumables offers multiple and customizable labels that…

  • Undergo rigorous testing for consistent quality
  • Meet ISO and additional compliance requirements
  • Employ pre-tested materials that minimize adhesive and debris build-up

 

Empower your operations through high demands with a labeling solution that supports more uptime and less worker stress. Contact Avalon to learn how you can take the first step towards intelligent modernized printing

Zebra’s newest wearable computer has gained much attention for being the world’s smallest wrist-mounted computer. Lightweight and fully ergonomic, the device replicates many functions currently conducted by larger handheld computers, yet it brings unique benefits to specific applications. To best harness its features, businesses seeking to implement the WS50 should consider its top use cases. Developed to simplify data capture and sharing, the WS50 has seen the most proficiency in:

  • Retail markdowns – Shifts in demands can cause rapid price changes over shorter periods of time. Team members equipped with unbreakable data accessibility through wearable devices can quickly scan and verify inventory information without extra bulky devices or paper stock counts.
  • Task management – Operating with smaller workforces under constant labor turnover, warehouse teams require real-time task management that can prioritize in-need operations in real-time based on current workforce size. The WS50’s flexible connectivity features allows teams to update task assignments on the go for less unbroken productivity.
  • Warehouse order fulfillment – Encompassing over 50% of labor efforts, order fulfillment is the foundation of successful distribution. With customers demanding consistent accuracy rates within smaller delivery timeframes, automated picking, sorting, and loading hastens the fulfillment process while increasing throughput without overburdening your workforce. Mobile computing also curbs unnecessary travel since workers no longer need to check in with a centralized desktop to update reports.
  • Accuracy verification – Lastly, whether in the warehouse, in a storefront, or even in non-traditional settings such as food service and hospitality, the WS50’s intelligent scan engine provides higher accuracy rates by verifying product data without paper-based systems.

 

How is this different from a traditional handheld computer?

While the WS50 shares many similarities with leading mobile devices, its small size and wearable capabilities increase responsiveness since workers can be expected to be wearing their devices. Wearable technologies have consistently shown to be easier to adopt since they leverage natural human movement, ultimately empowering teams to…

  1. Cut down device management costs since the device already fulfills the role of a ring scanner
  2. Further connect teams through embedded push-to-talk features on a wearable band
  3. Customize mounting and applications to create a tailored wearable solution that’s easy to grasp by new hires.

 

The road to effective modernization can take many forms. While a hardware upgrade can be essential, sustainable efficiency is developed with tested expertise and solution support. To translate the benefits of the WS50 into your workflows, consider meeting up with one of our automation experts to pinpoint bottlenecks and optimization opportunities in your workflows.

Warehouse robotics has long been pinpointed as a disruptive force to reshape the face of modernized warehousing. Now seen as an indispensable support for the changing workforce, robotics investments have surpassed $22 million worldwide, illustrating the digital transformation in today’s supply chains. While e-commerce and shortages have been responsible for most supply chain shifts, AMR adoption can be traced back to a few common factors such as:

  1. Rise in SKU numbers – As more e-commerce stores open, more products flood supply chains, increasing order throughput rates within smaller workforce pools.
  2. Steady increase in labor expenses – Studies show that labor expenses account for over 60% of total operating costs, surpassing rent, utility, and technology expenses. As labor shortages continue to affect industries, these expenses are only set to continue.
  3. Higher likelihood of worker injuries – Around five in a hundred workers are expected to get injured while on the job per year per warehouse. While that may seem like a small probability, one injury can cost companies up to $38,000 in direct costs alone.
  4. Higher likelihood of mixed pallets – With warehouse spaces also increasing in rental price, facilities are more likely to store mixed pallets and split cases to ensure greater product variety. This may create future complications as workers must travel farther throughout the facility to assemble orders.
How do AMRs fit into new warehouse challenges

As customer expectations continue to shift over time, new challenges are only expected to rise. Consequently, intelligent AMR fleets such as the ones built by Zebra’s Fetch Robotics improve modernization strategies by working alongside other future-forward technologies to…

  • Automatically differentiate similar products with RFID scanning during the pick process. Because tags store multiple codes at once, RFID data capture empowers teams by directing AMRs fleets to the correct location based on captured and shared data via the WMS.
  • Reduce employee travel time around the warehouse with roller-top AMRs that meet picking teams in designated locations. In doing so, teams no longer need to move between aisles since AMRs can just bring the order to them for picking and then move the pallet to the next step of the order fulfillment process.
  • Prevent worker injuries that stem from carrying heavy loads or traveling down the same routes as forklifts and other heavy machinery. Next-generation AMRs are equipped with sensitive motion sensors to spot workers and avoid collisions.
  • Track split cases for streamlined picking via your preferred handheld device. Since AMRs can carry up to 600 pounds per device, multiple orders can be transported at once, increasing order throughput while navigating through different pallets with less errors.

An efficient robotics solution is often accompanied by several supporting technologies to simplify deployment and streamline workflows for less bottlenecks. The first step to modernization is a careful in-depth workflow assessment to outline needed technologies and goals within your solution. To learn more about how to get started, contact Avalon’s modernization experts.

E-commerce alone has been responsible for over 4 trillion in revenue within the past years, accounting for a much larger significant part of global retail sales compared to five years ago. Combined with current labor shortages and breakdowns in international logistics systems, warehouses must navigate through a series of challenges to keep up with demands and growth. Studies conducted by leading automation experts have highlighted the following challenges affecting today’s warehouses and distribution centers:

  • Labor shortages and low retention rates
  • Low warehouse capacity compared to higher product demand
  • Rising number of dynamic e-commerce transactions (BOPIS, rentals, direct-to-customer, etc.)
  • Employee safety, particularly at the loading dock, where 25% of worker accidents happen
  • Adaptable cyberthreats targeting digital devices, including peripheral hardware like printers

It’s important to remember that these issues come alongside challenges unique to individual warehouses such as location, cold storage management, peak seasons, and other possible impacts. To minimize downtime and complications, Avalon partners with Zebra Technologies to highlight four solutions developed to secure productive uptime amidst today’s challenges. 

  1. Consolidated data capture and processing – Manual data entry is both time-consuming and complex, making it difficult for new hires to adopt. Moreover, inefficient reporting can create problems later down the road if data isn’t readily available for audits and compliance verification. As warehouse management systems are selected, supporting devices should streamline automated data capture and computing for real-time inventory and workflow visibility. Zebra’s newest WS50 wearable computer exemplifies this by integrating an intelligent scanner within a lightweight touchscreen device that mounts to the worker’s wrist and connects with the WMS. 
  2. Automatic Mobile Robots (AMRs) – To address both labor shortages and employee safety concerns, AMRs come alongside the human workforce to empower faster picking with less travel time since they can move pallets and orders between loading docks. Although many warehouse workers may fear robots will displace their jobs, studies show that at least 73% of decision makers are actually looking to support human labor with robotics in partial automation plans. This means employees would be empowered to work smarter with less physical strain while robotics do the literal heavy lifting. 
  3. Touch-free validation scanningOne in five online shoppers will return an order because the wrong item was shipped. As a result, order validation has become crucial to securing long-lasting customer loyalty. Because workers face shorter delivery timeframes and increased thoughts, touchless order validation through systems like Zebra’s SLS portals have proven beneficial to check order accuracy without pausing productivity. As orders are validated at the loading dock, warehouses can notify customers of accurate orders, thus also satisfying demands for real-time tracking. 
  4. Adaptable RFID data capture – Because of its 99.9% accuracy rate, it’s no surprise that at least 35% of warehouses are choosing to deploy RFID. However, not every RFID system accommodates varying device types. Adaptable devices like the RFD90 can adjust to iOS, Windows, and Android devices to enable RFID scanning with your preferred device, consequently lowering training times since workers don’t need to upgrade entire handheld systems.  

Small steps can take you far.

While these new technologies represent the latest edge in modernized warehousing, effective adaptability can start with smaller implementations such as automating data capture and reporting or migrating to Android. Programs such as the GO Zebra Trade-In provide a cost-effective start to upgraded modernization. By swapping out legacy devices to newer Zebra hardware, operations can integrate:

  • Automated data capture 
  • Secured data protection
  • Greater device durability
  • Faster printing speeds 
  • Mobile printing 
  • Push-to-talk connectivity
  • Adaptable WiFi support 
  • High-volume printing 

Because every business is inherently unique, Avalon recommends starting an operational assessment before selecting possible modernization strategies. By meeting with a technology expert, businesses can prioritize optimization areas to decide between large-scale implementations or smaller changes. By ensuring scalability, warehouses can best prepare to address new future obstacles that are sure to come.

Past studies have showcased the concerning lack of trust consumers have in food & beverage companies regarding product safety. A mere 22% of shoppers have stated that they fully trust companies to accurately verify product integrity. However, as consumer expectations shift throughout time, effective traceability is no longer the only driving force behind RFID adoption.

Dynamic supply chains involving a variety of similar SKU units in a wide geographical range must not only verify product quality, but also ensure ETAs are met, order accuracy, and seamless data transmission, all with a smaller carbon footprint. For example, current research shows that 77% of shoppers now use a mobile device to initiate a purchase. This means distribution centers must be able to aggregate data coming in from multiple terminals and distribute tasks proactively across the workforce. In other words, real-time RFID visibility could assist with:

  • Reducing inaccurate handling and storage risks
  • Verifying in-stock materials as orders come in
  • Tracing manufacturing workflows to prevent recalls
  • Simplifying real-time order tracking for customers
  • Connecting order picking teams with real-time demands
  • Consolidating several data points onto a digitized form for easier auditing

When “high-speed” meets “high-volume”, only the toughest solutions will do.

Distribution centers now require flexible and durable technologies to satisfy multiple demands at once. That’s where next-generation devices like Zebra’s new RFD90 Ultra-Rugged RFID Sled come in handy. Tailored to adapt to leading operating systems and mobile devices, the sled exemplifies RFID’s strides when it comes to evolving inventory management through:

  • Ergonomic design that favors worker comfort and durability
  • Enhancing scanning performance for large workspaces
  • Flexible connectivity options to pair with Android, Windows, and iOS devices
  • Tap-to-pair setup for faster solution deployment
  • Remote device management via pre-installed WiFi 6
  • A variety of charging options to ensure around-the-clock device performance

Learn more about Zebra’s new RFD90 Sled in our fact sheet.

As consumer demands continue to grow, technology can expect to mature alongside them. Reach out to an Avalon expert to learn how you can keep optimizing your warehouse with locationing and visibility technologies designed to thrive in today’s order fulfillment challenges.