- Digital transformation is a popular push, even in the supply chain
- Mobile barcoding is a cornerstone technology in digital supply chain transformation
- More than a buzz word, digitizing business processes through automation offers significant benefits
- Mobile barcoding provides a platform to catalyze digital transformation strategies
Why Digital Transformation is Important in the Supply Chain
If you haven’t heard about it already, digital transformation has been a big push in IT departments worldwide for some time now. As of 2018, 87% of senior IT decision-makers surveyed by software development firm, Bizagi, indicated that “digital transformation is a significant strategic challenge for their business.”1 IT research firm, IDC, predicts global digital transformation spend to reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2019.
These stats are impressive for good reason. With economic pressures mounting on supply chains across the globe, the drive to find ways to create leaner, faster, more efficient workflows at lower cost is a constant challenge. Driving these tightening margins are supply chain disruptors, primarily those caused by the ‘Amazon Effect.’
One of the ways companies are evolving to remain competitive is through digital automation—the core essence of digital transformation. Digital automation refers to digitizing and automating repetitive, time-consuming and high-frequency processes to augment operational performance, speed and customer service delivery.
One such form of digital automation already in use by supply chains companies worldwide is mobile barcoding technology.
Where Mobile Barcoding Fits In
Mobile barcoding is a crucial cornerstone technology in digital supply chain transformation. By connecting your IT environment through an ecosystem of barcodes, mobile hardware and cutting edge mobile software, a supply chain operation can achieve real-time inventory visibility, traceability and control across the enterprise.
How does mobile barcoding fit into your digital transformation strategy?
Mobile barcoding is a pivotal technology in digital transformation because it ensures your data is captured perfectly and quickly, virtually eliminating human error because a barcode scan automatically captures data. This ensures that accurate data enters your environment in real time, maximizing the flexibility and visibility of your inventory data. Accurate data drives down costs associated with scrubbing inaccurate database records, returns from customers, and the negative consequences of noncompliance in labeling and traceability.
Meanwhile the “mobile” barcoding extends the functionality and lifespan of your ERP while simplifying inventory transactions for your workers.
Mobile barcoding isn’t just limited to tracking regular inventory. Your teams can also track and transact raw materials, WIP products, fixed assets, tools, spare parts, consumables and more from mobile devices at the point-of-scan. Items are tracked in real time as they flow into, through and out of the four walls and into the field.
Meanwhile, data can also be automatically collected from IoT, IIoT, RFID tags and other devices, as well as real-time transactions from employees in the field, such as delivery drivers and sales reps.
Benefits of Mobile Barcoding Technology
As a digital transformation initiative, a robust, flexible mobile barcoding solution can provide immense benefits to virtually any supply chain company in any industry. Unlike physical automation technologies, such as conveyors or pick-to-light systems, mobile barcoding can be applied in practically any facility with a short ROI and without requiring additional infrastructure or overhauling your internal processes (although they will likely get refined in the process).
RFgen customers typically see benefits such as:
- 99% or greater accuracy
- 25% or greater efficiency
- 30% higher productivity
- 80% faster training speeds
In practice, mobility adopters may exceed those gains. For example, CyberCore Technologies achieved 99.999% accuracy and a 450% productivity increase after adopting RFgen.
Other benefits include:
- Reduced time-to-market
- Cost savings and overhead reduction
- Simpler, faster supply chain workflows
- Higher quality customer service
Mobile barcoding software is also easy to use and highly intuitive with its similarity to consumer mobile apps, reducing training time to a fraction of that required for manual processes. For instance, Lakeside Manufacturing reduced its employee training time by 99%.
Easy-to-use mobile tech and training are critical to digital transformation efforts because automating workplace tasks can backfire if the technology is too difficult to use, preventing worker buy-in and adoption.
Mobile Barcoding Catalyzes Future Digital Transformation
Mobile barcoding can set the stage for further digital transformation strategies by providing a platform upon where more digital automation can be introduced. Not only does it provide a way to capture, track and transact high-quality inventory data in real-time with your ERP system, it can also easily integrate with other business systems in your technology environment.
The real gemstone of mobile barcoding technology is when it is paired with a strong mobile app development platform (aka MADP), such as RFgen’s Mobile Development Studio.
The RFgen Mobile Unity Platform includes the Mobile Development Studio, an easy-to-use, low-code mobile app development platform that empowers small IT teams with limited manpower to quickly build, modify and deploy mobile supply chain apps without specialized knowledge or third-party support.
As small IT teams are put under increasing pressure to develop, modify and deploy mobile apps for their supply chain processes, the use of a purpose-built mobile supply chain development app platform like the Mobile Development Studio can offer continuing returns as your enterprise undergoes future digital transformation.
With technologies like these, digital transformation becomes par for the course.
1 Bizagi.com. Top 5 Challenges of Digital Transformation and How to Tackle them. Ebook. Accessed 2019.