The demand for omnichannel shopping is larger than ever. Consumers want to use their mobile devices, traditional desktop browsers, brick-and-mortar stores and apps to shop, and retailers are experiencing trouble navigating this new landscape. Inventory tracking is among the top areas most impacted by omnichannel supply chain strategies, and consumer spending habits are forcing inventory tracking technology to evolve, making sure consumers can get the products they want, through the media and channels they want, and at the prices they want.
In fact, a recent survey of economic experts, reports Jeff Wacker of Retail TouchPoints, found up to 59 percent of retailers are making plans to invest in technology, which includes inventory tracking technology. However, inventory tracking technology is evolving, and your company needs to understand how it will promote omnichannel shopping strategies.
1. Inventory Tracking Technology Leverages Internal and External Real-Time Data
One of the dominant benefits of inventory tracking technologies evolution is its ability to leverage both internal and external data in real time.
For example, Home Depot was able to use incoming data about the predicted destruction of Hurricane Harvey to reroute shipments of supplies to affected areas earlier. As a result, the home improvement giant gained a sizeable profit while providing the materials needed to begin the road to the recovery for the Texas coast. In other words, the external data played into the company’s internal data analytics systems to identify what products and routes should be rerouted to the Texas coast before and after the storm ravaged the area, reports Fortune 500 magazine.
2. Technology Must Function Seamlessly Across Multiple Channels
Technology must also have the ability to function seamlessly across multiple channels, considering information gathered from other channels too. Losing and misplacing assets results in increased costs, and not locating assets quickly can result in additional losses. However, technology that functions seamlessly across multiple channels has redundancies built in, which allow multiple parties in different channels to track inventory across the scope of your company.
3. Diverse Inventory Technology Grows Focused on Specific Niches
Inventory tracking technology is also becoming specific as to on specific niches, allowing retailers to track assets without significant investment in per-item shipments. For example, the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) is more cost-effective today, and retailers can use RFID sensors and tags to track items that are traditionally difficult to process, such as bulky items. In addition, which inventory tracking has grown diversified as customized systems have been built from the ground up, allowing companies to take advantage of the parts of technology deemed appropriate and beneficial to their unique enterprise’s needs, reports Larry Alton of Small Business Trends.
4. Modern Inventory Tracking Technology Integrates With Existing ERP Systems
Inventory management and technology is also going through a change. Recently, new types of inventory tracking technology were released that required companies to abandon existing systems in favor of newer, more advanced systems. However, the most innovative of today’s systems can be integrated with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This allows companies to take advantage of their assets without completely replacing existing systems or risking the loss of data.
5. Machine-Learning and Artificial Intelligence Optimize Inventory Tracking and Management
The use of big data and analytics in inventory tracking technology will play a leading role in optimizing inventory management too. Machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can comb through mountains of data to identify subtle trends and changes in inventory movements, which add up to profound savings for a company. In addition, AI enables the continuous improvement of such systems, leading to even better insights.
Use These Tips to Improve Inventory Technology in Your Company Now
Inventory tracking technology is evolving, and if your company does not get on board with the latest trends using data gathered through the internet of things and advanced analytics systems, your company will fall behind. You owe it to yourself to understand how inventory tracking technology is evolving and leverage it to reduce costs and improve efficiency in your company.