Key Trends Top of Mind Ahead of ProMatDX 2021

As organizations worldwide search for new ways to improve, enhance, and secure their global supply chains, mobile technology is proving itself as a great enabler for companies that want to more efficiently and effectively meet their customers’ ever-changing expectations.

And while mobile technology has always played an important role in supply chain management, these innovations have moved beyond the four walls of the warehouse and now support activities out in the yard, across transportation networks, at the retail level, in last-mile logistics, and at the point of delivery.

With more focus being paid to supply chain management, logistics, and transportation, this year’s virtual PromatDX show is sure highlight new solutions, tools, and innovations for business. Organized under the theme of “Power Up,” the online-only conference will include a lineup of educational seminars, keynotes, company demonstrations, a networking event, and even a contest for the attendees who engage the most with the PromatDX platform. 

ProMat Goes Virtual for 2021

Set for April 12 through April 16, 2021, the virtual ProMatDX industry conference will welcome attendees, sponsors (aka, “exhibitors”), students, keynote speakers, and industry experts to experience the latest and greatest supply chain hardware, software, tools, applications, information, and education.

During the virtual event, Panasonic will showcase a number of its intelligent warehouse and smart manufacturing solutions through product demos and a virtual 3D booth experience. The Panasonic TOUGHBOOK Solutions Team will feature these mobile innovations at ProMatDX 2021:

Enterprise mobility will be a popular topic at this year’s ProMatDX show. More advanced and user-friendly than their predecessors, today’s mobile solutions incorporate other technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Working together, these technologies help companies tackle critical supply chain challenges.

Among the 106 different ProMatDX educational sessions, for example, attendees can learn about game-changing mobile automation applications, empower their mobile workers with Android technology, and how mobile robots drive smarter, more resilient supply chain operations. Another session focuses on the new safety standards for mobile robotics and what companies need to do to support, as well as provide, employee safety measures out on the warehouse or DC floor.

Meet ever-changing consumer demands

Consumers are using their mobile devices to buy everything from groceries to apparel to home improvement products. They’re browsing, discovering, researching, reading reviews, and hitting “buy” from their couches and then expecting the goods to arrive in a day or two.

Rather than having to drive to a store or use a computer, they’re simply pulling out their phones and completing the buying process within a few minutes and then moving onto the next task. As e-commerce continues to expand (Insider Intelligence says m-commerce reached $284 billion, or 45% of the total U.S. e-commerce market, last year), the companies that offer the most frictionless mobile consumer buying experience, and that meet the needs of buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and curbside customers, will come out the winners. 

Improve order-picking efficiency in the warehouse or DC

Order picking is a significant warehouse operating cost with a direct impact on customer satisfaction. With voice picking, workers use headsets and microphones with a speech recognition system, a warehouse management system (WMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, which directs workers to the pick items required via the headset.

Once picks are made, workers send voice confirmation back to the system. Using this and other mobile tools, companies can increase the order fulfillment processes’ speed and accuracy and get the right orders to the right place at the right time.

Gain better control over the final delivery process

Once consumers hit the “buy” button, they expect their orders within one or two days. Failed delivery attempts, unanswered doorbells, and other issues can get in the way at this point, leaving customers to wonder whether they made the right purchase decision. To avoid problems at this stage (aka, the “last mile”), companies use mobile devices, barcode scanners, barcode readers to provide real-time traceability, generate proof of delivery, and otherwise expedite the delivery process.

Manage hours of service (HOS) rules and electronic logging device (ELD) requirements

Using mobile applications, truck drivers can record their current duty status and calculate available drive time to adhere to HOS rules, which dictate how many hours someone can drive before he or she has to take a break.

Once they’re logged into the app, drivers can start the clock on their activity in an ELD-compliant manner, thus simplifying driver hours tracking and reporting. This not only helps support timely deliveries, but it also keeps our nation’s highways and byways safer, knowing that drivers are adhering to HOS rules.

With these and other mobile technologies in place, supply chain, transportation and logistics  operators can manage their complete networks without wires in the cloud. Even remote managers can do their jobs without being in the warehouse or on the loading dock at all times.

By enabling a shift from “reactive” to “predictive” supply and demand management, mobility ultimately helps companies save money, optimize labor, improve order accuracy, fully leverage their transportation networks, and optimize their delivery routes.

The Panasonic TOUGHBOOK team hopes to “see” and meet with you at ProMatDX 2021.