"A well-connected warehouse will enable the operators with the visibility into all its assets, people and processes"
Deep Agarwal, regional sales director India and sub-continent, Zebra Technologies, on how its solutions help the manufacturing industry
Zebra recently unveiled its field operations vision study. How you think that Zebra’s products can help manufacturers?
Zebra’s future of field operations vision study reports on how organizations are increasing their mobility investment to transform their field operations to a more proactive, customer-centric, and business-driven system. By equipping the field operations teams with smart devices, it will enable them with greater visibility over the fulfilment journey and help them make more informed decisions thereby achieving greater business efficiency and effectiveness.
Catering to the needs of our target users such as manufacturers in this case, Zebra has launched a new range of enterprise-class mobile touch computing solutions, industrial tablets and high-quality mobile printer for efficient and effective field operations. The TC57 Touch Computers provide a new platform and capabilities to deliver the ultimate in enterprise-class touch computing. The TC77 series touch computer provides maximum simplicity, construction designed to withstand years of the toughest everyday use and abuse. The new Zebra L10 and XSLATE R12 rugged tablets offer a reliable way to capture, extract, and analyze data, especially when on the move. The new ZQ120 mobile printer, meanwhile, offers a value-for-money proposition that has the winning formula comprising; affordability, quality, versatility, durability, ‘wearability’ and ease-of-use.
Which technology do you think can make warehousing processes more efficient?
As we are living in the age of a fast-paced e-commerce industry where consumers look forward to knowing the real time status of their shipments, this gives rise to the need for more integrated warehouses. With technological advancements, warehouse operators don’t have to track their inventories with pen, paper or spreadsheets anymore.
A well-connected warehouse will enable the operators with the visibility into all its assets, people and processes. Yet, many warehouses still experience technical fragmentation whereby only certain advanced technology are deployed at selected operations. This serves only to hinder its operations rather than to enhance it. Here, the recommended approach is to have a fully- integrated system featuring mobile solutions, data capture and tracking technologies, which can then contribute to a future-ready warehouse.
For instance, Zebra’s FX9600 RFID reader can automate nearly every aspect of the warehouse’s inventory management – from receiving and putaway to picking and shipping – without errors or bottlenecks. It offers maximum visibility and efficiency in the most rugged environments, which is especially crucial to keep up with the high volume and wide variety of pallets, cases and tagged items that go in, out and through the warehouse. Further, Zebra’s TC8000 touch mobile computer comes with a lighter, breakthrough ergonomic design, and an extensive list of productivity-enhancing innovations that increase the productivity of warehouse workers by up to 14 percent.
Can you throw some light on the emerging trends on industrial manufacturing?
From 2019 onwards, there will be a few trends that will play major roles across the industries which will certainly have an impact on the industrial anufacturing sector as well. Some of these trends are:
Internet of Things (IoT) for enterprises: We believe that businesses have derived great value from emerging Internet of Things (IoT) strategies lately. By 2020, there will be more than 20 billion devices connected to the IoT, according to research consultancy Gartner. Additionally, within that projection, Gartner estimates that more than 8 billion of those connected devices will be within the enterprise space – up from about 3 billion in 2017. According Zebra’s second annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index”, the number of companies defined as an “intelligent enterprise” doubled to 10 percent in 2018. Key Index findings indicate clearly that more companies acknowledge the value of leveraging IoT strategies, and that they will continue to propel adoption and investment in the future.
Advanced automation driven by AI: Artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating into virtually everything in a data-rich environment, to deliver more adaptable, flexible, and autonomous systems. Enterprises are seeking to enhance their AI-powered capabilities to deliver a performance edge in a data-rich environment. This will bring more actionable intelligence to workers within their respective workflows and drive higher engagement and better experiences with customers.
Small Actionable Data: For years, enterprises have sought to obtain insights from “Big Data” - large amounts and volumes of data that businesses collect and store on a daily, sometimes instantaneous basis. In 2019, priority is expected to shift towards “small actionable data” that is naturally accessible within a workflow, where it is specific to a use case to solve a problem and achieve desired outcomes.