Supply Chain Investment Priorities – #SupplyChainGeekDay Video of the Week

This Thursday, we have a special Video of the Week—we’re starting a new series where we recap sessions from our first annual #SupplyChainGeekDay Summit. Today’s video, “Supply Chain Investment Priorities In Response To COVID-19,” features our partner, Zebra Technologies. Their VP of Corporate Strategy, Chip Yager, is joined by our very own Matt Cunningham, VP of Sales, as they discuss investment priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing New Challenges
The repercussions of the pandemic have impacted every aspect of every business, big and small, at every step along the way.

“Online shipments went from 16% of retail to 27% of retail in a matter of weeks,” said Yager. This rapid shifting of consumer expectations and market dynamics means organizations are now tasked with restructuring and reorganizing in order to maximize efficiency and meet demand.

Investment Priorities
With these new challenges in mind, Yager and Cunningham talked about how to move forward with technology investments. By making smart, careful decisions now, organizations can both address current challenges and be better positioned to handle future roadblocks.

“One of the big issues that we are facing across the supply chain nowadays is how you manage a warehouse in general and people tracking,” said Yager. Under normal circumstances, an initial reaction to increased demand would be to hire more employees. During the pandemic, it is important to, instead, limit the number of employees in each setting as much as possible.

As an alternative, making investments in technology allows employees to work smarter, not harder. There are many devices that can help to minimize contact, collect data and make a safer work environment. For example, Zebra MotionWorks proximity and contact tracing utilizes the power of handheld mobile computers to measure the distance between employees and send that information to the cloud. This way, in the event of any exposure to COVID-19, a path of contact can be traced.

Android
Making the switch to Android is also an effective strategy. It might seem counterintuitive to switch operating systems during this stressful time, but there are actually quite a few benefits that could ultimately help. Because Android interfaces tend to be easier to learn for first-time users, it can reduce training time for new employees and thus, reduce contact. It also can help with employee retention.

“Retaining employees is a big deal,” says Yager. “If people feel like they are working for a company that is technically adaptive and [has the] latest-greatest technology, they are more likely to stay there and feel good about the future of the company.”

Analytics
Another key area that can help is prescriptive analytics. Zebra Prescriptive Analytics looks at retail data streams and looks for patterns within those figures in order to find potential areas for improvement. Then, once a retailer is equipped with this information, they can better handle shipping, inventory management and more.

Learn more about how to keep employees and customers safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch and Learn
View the full session below:

Contact us to find out how we can work together to make your team more efficient, accurate and connected, while prioritizing safety.

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