Posted 20 June 2016
As technologies develop we all want to keep up-to-date and take advantage of innovations as they come along. The analyst firm VDC Research recently noted that when it comes to warehouse operations there are several growing trends in the area of automatic data capture (ADC).
One such trend gaining momentum is the adaptation of consumer devices for ADC tasks. This trend, called ‘mobile scanning’, involves smartphones and tablets being used either in conjunction with ‘small form factor scanners, sleds and dongles, or native camera’ to give them scanning capabilities.
Mobile scanning represents a cost effective alternative to the standard purpose-built devices used for ADC. Many vendors are now using devices that run on Android - designed to be as easy to use as consumer devices. The jury is still out as to whether there will be large scale adoption of this technology within warehousing or if it will remain a niche in certain ‘light’ operations only.
Other trends noted by the VDC include the rise of mobile printers, which increase productivity by allowing workers to print labels and receipts wherever they are. The potential for wearable tech in ADC - freeing up workers to complete tasks without having to be sat at a terminal – has also been highlighted. VDC estimates there will be a 6-7% compound annual growth in this area of wearable technology.
It is crucial, however, that when companies introduce new solutions they can so without the need for a large scale, and costly, system overhaul. This means having a warehouse management system (WMS) such as Access Delta provided by a forward thinking software partner that is continually innovating; pushing functionality on to allow operations to integrate new technology. If this is not the case, a business could quickly lose out as they may be unable to take advantage of these innovations.