Standardized labeling processes across the supply chain can help achieve accuracy and efficiency. BarTender® barcode, label and RFID software is an integral component of the modern warehousing labeling strategies of the world’s supply chains.

BarTender® can help to accelerate customer’s value chain transformation, providing integrated business planning and interoperability, while offering ease of deployment and legendary technical support, all backed by industry expertise, while deeply understanding the competitive, rapidly changing and complex operating environments of today’s supply chains.

BarTender® is very easy to integrate with virtually any business system or WMS, including but not limited to Oracle, SAP, IBM Websphere, Sage, Infor, HighJump, Epicor and Microsoft Dynamics — even “homegrown” WMSs.

Please contact your ScanSource sales representative for more details and check BarTender´s website.


Wearable Technology

Like IoT, wearables are not a new phenomenon and like IoT, they too have the potential to improve communication and productivity and drive cost efficiencies in the warehouse. Improvements in Wi-Fi technology and the introduction of features like indoor GPS will make the next generation of wearable devices much more functional.

When it comes to the future of wearables, we’re not just talking about wrist mounted mobile computers and ring scanners. While these technologies boast double-digit productivity gains, in the next few years we are sure to see industrial devices take inspiration from the wearable consumer tech we use in our day- to-day lives.

Take smart watches and fitness bands for example. Both devices present interesting opportunities for the supply chain. What if the pedometer technology in fitness bands could be used to track the steps required to make each pick and the data used to optimise storage location? What if the GPS functionality could notify you when a forklift truck was nearby or better still what if it could shut down machines if an employee was in imminent danger?

Perhaps biometric information such as heart rate, could be used to monitor which operations or situations cause excessive exertion on an employee that could result in future injury. What if this data could be used to ensure safer working environments and improve employee experience?

This is just the wearable tech for your wrist, never mind the wearable tech for your head. Voice control headsets have been used in industrial settings for over a decade. These devices have been utilised very effectively for picking and the technology is only getting more advanced. You only have to think of your own smart speaker to know that two-way communication between the operator and device is much more sophisticated.

In addition to this, some believe that pairing voice headsets with smart glasses may propel pick, pack and put-away processes. Smart glasses could provide visual confirmation that the right item has been picked and could also help operators to navigate around the warehouse more efficiently by providing turn by turn navigation to the next location. Of course, many of these wearable technologies are not available in the rugged form factors that we would want to recommend to customers at present, but there’s some great potential for future innovation in this space.

Warehouse Robotics & Drones

We couldn’t write about the latest trends and technologies impacting the supply chain without touching on warehouse robotics and drones. It was all the way back in 2013 that Jeff Bezos announced Amazon’s promise for half-hour shipping with Amazon Prime Air. Since then the e-commerce giant has been accused on many occasions of using the promise of drone delivery as a headline-grabber to publicize its Prime membership service. However, at a conference in Las Vegas in June this year, the organisation announced that it will use drones to deliver packages to customers in the USA “within months”.


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