Continuing the review of the technological trends that dominated and will dominate the retail industry this year, we are almost halfway through the list. Today, we are going to explore issues such as quality and consignment. What are they, what is their role in retail, and what can they guarantee you? That, I hope you will find out from today’s article.
When it comes to product quality assurance, special attention should be paid to traceability class solutions, which allow identifying the whole path the product (and even its components) has traveled from the manufacturer to the store shelf or category in the online store. Why is this so important? Because the main goal of the entire quality assurance process is not just to detect defects, but to identify their sources and continuously improve the production and delivery process so that eventually any irregularities are completely eliminated. And here AutoId solutions (also called AIDC from Automatic Identification and Data Capture) can help you by allowing to determine where the product came from and where the problem that resulted in a defect occurred.
On the other hand, the quality of the customer service process is a very broad issue, especially when it comes to Internet sales. We have already got used to buttons placed at cash desks that allow us to vote in a survey called “The quality of customer service”, but the real battle in this area is in the Internet. And here, unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Large retailers invest in very complex e-commerce systems, which have the DNA of customer service quality sewn into almost every subpage that is displayed during the sales process. What is more, it is not enough to buy a good shop engine alone – you still have to connect the executive systems that make up the DCX (Digital Customer Experience) to it.
A consignment warehouse is a virtual supplier’s warehouse physically located in the recipient’s warehouse or the logistics agent’s warehouse. From the business point of view, its idea is that the recipient, according to the demand, takes goods from the warehouse from the supplier, and then the magic or rather automation of processes already happens. Issuing a WZ, generating an item for an invoice, updating the supplier’s stock, and generating an order. What is more, the recipient pays only for the used goods and only at the moment of shipment. On the one hand, it releases a huge amount of cash (including from the VAT tax, customs duties, and financing of logistics buffers), on the other hand, it allows the supplier to optimize logistics and production cycles. Technically, such a system consists of tags (bar codes, QR codes, RFID tags), a reading system (e.g. a scanner or RFID antenna), a simple application, or a supplier portal and integration with supplier systems.
Quality and consignment are the words that should guide all people in retail taking the business seriously – not just this year. These are not just buzzwords – these are hot technological trends whose implementation is worthwhile.
The author of the article is Bartłomiej Łatka, an expert on retail and logistics.
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