Can you imagine sending a command through your cell phone to control the thermostat in your house so that the environment is just right by the time you get home from work? How about instead of driving yourself home you can tell your car to do it for you?
Such a world seems the stuff of science fiction. But this so-called “smart” technology, where physical things are connected to our digital devices, is cutting-edge real. Maybe there are some kinks to work out about driverless cars but that perhaps scary capability is coming – and soon.
We have entered the age of the “internet of things,” a phrase coined by the digital innovation expert Kevin Ashton, who said back in 1999, “If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things - using data they gathered without any help from us - we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best."
That future, as far as inventory management is concerned, is now. We do have the technology tools available to help “track and count everything.” We can better manage in-house stock to “reduce waste, lost and cost.” We cam improve efficiencies at all business operational levels to ensure profitable outcomes that better serve our customers.
According to a survey by the IT trade association ComptTIA, the number of connected things will reach 50.1 billion by 2020. And as more of the world connects to the “internet of things,” inventory management services will continue to innovate to keep pace.
How about your business? Is your inventory management system on track to keep pace?