Mobile data collection is proving its worth to companies as a useful tool inside the warehouse, and is quickly starting to branch outside the walls of the distribution center. Fernando Alvarez, vice president of Capgemini's Mobile Solutions, told DC Velocity that mobile data collection technologies have repercussions for the complete supply chain. They can now help manage services in addition to materials and products.
Mobile Data Collection's Impact Beyond The Warehouse Walls
Electronic data capture is utilized inside warehouses to track packages and orders as they make their way through a manufacturing or distribution facility. However, with the advent of mobile data collection devices, there is no reason to stop collecting data on an item once it's left the dock.
Utilizing mobile applications for enterprise, businesses can set up systems that integrate with current ERP systems and collect data throughout the entire supply chain. Enterprise mobile solutions could arm supply managers with constant access to data.
- A CIO for J.B. Hunt told DC Velocity he sees a day when mobile data collection could tag every shipment and supply real-time tracking and delivery details.
- BNSF Railway even looked as far forward as to imagine a day when unmanned drones armed with enterprise mobile applications could inspect rail beds and bridges.
The Future of Mobile Data Collection is Now
While the above examples may seem extreme, new technology is already putting distribution centers and manufactures on the cutting edge. Electronic data collection is improving inventory control and select-to-ship times, as well as employee efficiency. Mobile collection can provide more points of data capture, creating a much clearer picture of material as it moves through distribution centers. Creating this same level of clarity with product outside of the distribution centers walls is not far off.