The automatic identification and data capture (AIDC) market is on our minds everyday – it’s the heart and soul of our business. So why should you care?
What technology is considered AIDC?
Everything from barcode scanners, mobile computers, 1D and 2D ring scanners, mobile thermal printers, and laser scanners falls under the AIDC umbrella. AIDC tracks inventory, products, and even livestock. Carlton specializes in supplying mobility hardware to distribution, retail, manufacturing, and logistics industries. Looking at the industry as a whole, there are economic and technological advances on the horizon that we’re very excited about.
1.) Supply Chain Visibility for Consumers
Information is power. Instant information is recurring revenue. Consumers have grown very accustomed to the order online, receive in two days with free shipping, and send back at no charge if there are any issues shopping process. Amazon and Walmart are clear leaders, having helped shape this new model of instant gratification. But you don’t become a clear leader without deep pockets. As for in-store experiences, AIDC hardware helps answer shopper questions in real time. “Do you carry this particular brand of jeans in my size? I didn’t see them on the shelf.” The store associate can then pull up an image and inventory count on a mobile handheld computer or tablet and provide an answer. Expect more real-time supply chain visibility from enterprise mobility hardware to continue widespread adoption.
2.) Mainstream MDM
Mobile device management (MDM), when implemented correctly, allows real-time insights into mobile device performance. This is especially useful for massive operations, where a multi-OS, multi-vendor, and multi-use fleet of devices is being used everyday. When ten devices are suffering battery issues across four different states, all with different operating systems, an MDM solution such as SOTI provides on-demand visibility before it becomes a real problem. With effective MDM in place, AIDC technology is more reliable and IT managers can proactively take action instead of suffering from unintended downtime and device reboots/troubleshooting. As for deploying thousands of upgraded AIDC devices, MDM makes it easier than ever to bulk-install a new OS (in addition to many other applications). This will continue to see widespread adoption for supply chains across all verticals.
3.) Consumer-Level Connectivity in the Warehouse
Traditionally, a warehouse was a home for inventory to be housed and either get picked for shipment or collect dust. Today, a warehouse is more like a beehive. It’s constantly buzzing with activity due to ever-increasing consumer demands. The hive is more of a temporary stop than strictly an RDC. As such, warehouse employees either have to match this pace or get burned. AIDC technology, such as wearable ring scanners and handheld computers, have interfaces and real-time data that match the user experience they’ve grown accustomed to on their iPhones and Androids at home. This reduces the need for training and makes devices easier than ever to pick up and start scanning.
4.) Global AIDC Market Expected to Be Worth $71B by 2022
According to a report from Meticulous Research, the compound annual growth rate for global AIDC will continue to grow 11% from 2017 to 2022. This will bring the overall market value worldwide to $71 billion by 2022. As this market continues to grow, it should be noted that there are expansion opportunities as more and more of this technology is adopted on the consumer-facing side. North America has the highest adoption rate, with Europe close behind. We expect to see growth in both the environmental, governmental, and healthcare sectors in addition to existing supply chain verticals.
5.) Improved Form Factor, Continued Design Innovations to Drive Growth
Carlton enjoys strategic partnerships with Honeywell, Datalogic, Cipher Lab, and more. As we continue to ship new and pre-owned hardware from each manufacturer, we also have the benefit of seeing new technology first hand. Interfaces, as we mentioned above, have greatly improved. Networks are getting faster (did you know 3G is shutting down?). Best of all, form factor is greatly improved.
The latest ruggedized devices are designed to handle daily wear and tear without sacrificing mobility for the end user. A mounted tablet for a forklift will have a more ergonomic keyboard. A 2D mobile scanner will instantly read a barcode from 30 feet away. Even voice-activated search and scanning is rolling out in major operations. The easier and safer it is for an end user to perform their job, the better the long-term fruits for the business.
No matter what industry you work in, we’d love to discuss how AIDC is currently deployed in your organization. Chances are, work needs to be done in order to keep up with the demands of consumers and the supply chain alike. It’s easier than ever to get ahead of these trends. Get in touch with Carlton today.