As an inventory services company, we are acutely aware of how technology has changed inventory management in the 46 years we’ve been in business. And we know how hard it is for retailers to keep up in order to stay competitive.
The latest buzz in inventory management is about how automation and robotic tools such as drones can improve inventory management efficiencies.
At the 2017 APICS conference (APICS is a professional association for supply chain management and education) Matt Yearling, the CEO of PINC Solutions, a software company that specializes in automated technologies, said, “If you don’t have an initiative to evaluate the applicability of drone technology in your supply chain, you’re already behind your competitors.” But, he emphasizes, that drones are “not going to replace humans today” and “inventory management is still a very people-intensive activity.”
And that is an important distinction but, what about the future?
In an opinion piece in the Boston Globe, L. Rafael Reif, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said that 72 percent of Americans fear “a future where robots and computers can do many human jobs” and that “the change may be so fast and so vast, and its impact so uneven and disruptive, that it may threaten not only individual livelihoods, but the stability of society itself … Getting it right is among the most important and inspiring challenges of our time — and it should be a priority for everyone who hopes to enjoy the benefits of a society that’s healthy and stable…”
Retailers must keep up with technology to thrive today and tomorrow. At Blue Chip, we’re helping by “getting it right” for our clients, but with a human touch – a priority that can’t be replaced.