Retail is one of the largest—and thought to be one of the least efficient industries in the world. Much of the inefficiency comes from error-prone and labor-intensive processes that waste time and money. According to Plunkett Research, Ltd, the U.S. retail sector (gasoline, automobiles, food service, and merchandise) totals $4.300 trillion, and employs over 15 million workers. Given this vast diversity, mobility technology offers the best solution for boosting retail efficiency, while improving inventory accuracy, and increasing revenue.
Many forward-thinking retailers have widely embraced mobile computers and printers to achieve near 100 percent inventory accuracy in supply chain management (SCM) operations. But, supply chain visibility is only one piece of the retail lifecycle. What happens after the product reaches the receiving area? How can mobility technology solve the ongoing challenges of in-store inventory management, re-pricing, and queue busting?
Streamline Inventory Management
Most important, retailers that use wireless-enabled mobile technology can take full advantage of bar code and RFID technology for in-store traceability. Store associates can use mobile computers to quickly scan received merchandise and verify quantity, then use a mobile printer to re-label the product if required. After placing products on shelves, hangers, or other store displays, employees can use mobile devices to perform fast, near 100-percent accurate inventory management—in hours as opposed to days using manual labor.
Stores constantly evaluate and change pricing to remain competitive. Retailers can integrate wireless mobile computers, scanners, and printers with their point of sale (POS) server to retrieve up-to-date price information. Store associates simply scan products on the spot, and compare the price marked on the shelf with the price displayed on the mobile computer, terminal, or other handheld like a smartphone.
If the product requires re-pricing, the associate can quickly create a new label with a mobile printer—within just a few seconds per product. In-aisle re-pricing with mobile printers enhances accuracy, ensuring customers see and pay the correct amount.
Automate Queue Busting
A long wait in the checkout line is the last thing a customer wants to endure. Mobility technology gives retailers a powerful way to automate queue-busting. Store associates can use their mobile device to pre-process part of the transaction, or complete the entire transaction on the spot so the customer can bypass the checkout counter completely. The efficiency benefits are not limited to mobile computers and rugged terminals. In fact, many retailers are now using smartphones loaded with SDK applications for queue-busting and receipt-printing tasks.
Proven time and again, mobility technology delivers far-reaching benefits, quickly, efficiently, and securely. By harnessing mobility technology, businesses can keep their retail inventories flowing while putting a smile on the customer’s face—a guaranteed way to improve the bottom line.