Ask the CEO: Q&A with Jay Steinmetz

Barcoding Inc.’s very own Jay Steinmetz, CEO, recently connected with SupplyChainBrain to discuss how automated identification technology has affected logistics both in and out of the warehouse. Below, Jay answers the questions that matter most:

Jay, you’ve seen quite a few large-scale implementations in the last 14 years. What makes them succeed or fail?
A lot of the failures don’t have top-level buy-in or you have competing resources. Sometimes, these guys don’t really want to see people succeed because it’s not their department. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t stop that even with good project management.

What kind of preparatory work should precede big implementations like these?
You have to make sure that the people who are to use the technology have some sort of commitment to the system. But you must also make sure the stuff will literally change the process flow. A lot of times people implement these systems but just take their existing processes instead of really understanding the core of why these systems are being implemented to begin with.

Buy-in, prep work – what else is needed to succeed?
Project management is critical. You need a system deployment that’s staged, that’s configured, that has proper device management. We want to look into the devices, see who’s using them effectively, who’s not, who’s entering the information correctly. And you want to create an automation factor, which means you prevent the ability for the customer to make mistakes to begin with.

It’s clear that this kind of technology empowers users. So where does it go from here? What trends do you see?
It will be convergence like we’ve never seen before. A lot of RFID and barcoding, readers with built-in knowledge capability, built-in databases, built-in GPS – built-in GPRS, so I can magnetically attach a device to a truck and know the moment an asset is deployed.

With convergence we’re finding new avenues and new opportunities in businesses that never thought they would utilize automatic identification technology.

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Other participants in the discussion included Larry Mahan, general manager of Sky-Trax; Ralph Lieberthal, principal, transportation & logistics, Motorola Solutions Inc.; Mike Lee, CEO of Airclic; Chris Sweeney, senior vice president of Lucas Systems; and Chris Schenk, vice president of product marketing at Xata Corp.

Read the full Q&A will all of the participants here.

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