Meet the Panasonic Toughbook Series

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The term “Amazonification” means transformation all the marketplaces alike, requiring all the parties in the supply chain to digitize. There is an immense pressure on every business to create an Omni-channel, Seamless, and High-Quality Customer Experience. To deliver the increased expectations of the consumers, E-commerce companies and retailers are demanding capabilities like drop shipping from their suppliers.

Distributors, manufacturers and third-party logistics providers are joining retailers in the quest for real-time inventory and fulfillment of data. In order to maintain a competitive edge, they are leaving behind stand-alone systems and embracing technologies that offer transparency. Paired with rugged mobile devices, various supply chain management systems serve as a critical enabler of this digital transformation, helping fulfill expectations of the buyers.

Here are three ways to leverage Mobile Solutions that will enable you to transform the supply chain:

1) WMS on the warehouse floor

Be it distribution center or the warehouse, managers spend most of their time – managing staff, expectations, and exceptions. Most supervisors are supposed to return to their offices to come up with operational reports since most of their staff, an estimated 80 percent of warehouse workers worldwide depend on pen and paper to pull stock, manage inventory and complete other tasks. Yet, in an increasingly competitive environment, legacy technology solutions may not be enough to maintain a competitive edge.

Labor management system providers offer affordable mobile apps and cloud-based solutions, available on vendor-agnostic mobile devices. Rugged mobility solutions, such as handheld devices and hybrid laptops that convert into tablets, allow managers to more actively manage staff and allow packers and yard jockeys to do their jobs more efficiently. Efficiencies include a reduction in errors due to manual data entry, increased fill rates, improved workflow, and planning of work in the warehouse.

2) Fulfillment at the store or satellite location level

Most retailers are expanding their variants, while some retailers struggle to reduce stock outs. Thus, the option to order online and pick up in the store is demanded by the consumer. Online purchases can be fulfilled directly from a local store or another that has the item in stock, for faster deliveries. Amazon is experimenting with shipping lockers, in addition to locating distribution centers in major cities for faster deliveries.

In order to keep up, retailers are opening pop-up stores to handle seasonal peaks and serve as temporary fulfillment centers for order pickup and overflow distribution. All these hybrid fulfillment models demand an accurate view of real-time inventory across stores, storerooms, warehouses, and distribution centers. Integration of the back-office technology, upgrade of inventory management and order of generation systems, among others are tactics to improve the accuracy by retailers.

As an example, Panasonic provides Toughpad FZ-N1 rugged handheld devices with barcode scanners to regional supermarket and hardware store chains who run direct-store-delivery applications and other in-store receiving and fulfillment solutions.

3) Last-mile solutions

For accurate services and invoice customer’s last-mile solutions are essential with real-time updates, tracking and prompt invoicing. Electronic confirmations that provide e-signatures in real-time to show proof of delivery is among the capabilities available today on mobile delivery solutions. There are many benefits of bypassing paper forms that are faster order-to-cash cycles when invoicing is immediately triggered to accounting and ERP systems.

For example, in the food and beverage sector, distributors face challenges in managing product and delivery data-capture at the point of delivery. Professionals armed with rugged handheld devices such as Toughpad FZ-N1 can easily scan barcodes, track lots and send real-time data to the back-office before they even leave the customer location.

Last-mile solutions for mobiles show real opportunity to not only improve the customer experience but the supplier’s operations by increasing efficiencies and standardizing delivery processes. Field delivery solutions, such as those offered by Descartes that can be highly customized to the vertical sector or vendor.

Such solutions by Panasonic Toughbook are driving digital transformation in the warehouse and beyond.

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