July 16, 2016
By Tom McCole, Mobile Commerce Strategy, Infinite Peripherals, Inc.
Transactions at the POS counter may grab the headlines in trade magazines, but transactions actually begin at the inventory receiving dock. Enterprise merchants, franchisors and their suppliers are rapidly discovering how iOS peripherals can enhance their warehouse, logistics and delivery operations. iOS peripherals offer many additional features at a far lower cost than their proprietary predecessors.
iOS peripherals from Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) are devices that include a 1D or 2D barcode reader, internal battery and a mag stripe card reader that encase an iPod Touch®, iPhone® or iPad®. Managing inventory has never been easier. Simply scan a barcode or QR code, and it is recorded on the device for inventory receiving, order picking, labeling and shipping and serial number control.
The iOS functionality advantage over proprietary OS scanners is significant both in application options and cost efficiencies. There are many other iOS apps and features that can expedite workflows in all operations. Use the camera for recording damaged inventory. Record a video for training new employees. Capture signatures for deliveries or use the card swipe to record clock in/out data for project accounting, just to name a few.
iOS peripherals offer key benefits to virtually any organization:
· Familiarity – Millions use iOS devices every day. The app user interface is simple and familiar to most employees, thereby reducing the training time.
· Cost – Each iOS peripheral is priced significantly less than a proprietary, single function unit.
· Options – iOS offers unlimited app options, removing the financial handcuffs of proprietary, single-vendor solutions.
· Integration – iOS devices can run software that integrates warehousing and logistics with other departments, such as accounting, for immediate visibility and seamless collaboration.
Bell Nursery, the primary plant supplier to 178 Home Depot stores in seven states and the District of Columbia, replaced a slow, paper-based system with iOS peripheral units. Its staff previously counted the 500+ SKUs from 200 stores manually and faxed the data to the office for input into a spreadsheet. Using the IPC unit, Bell Nursery has decreased waste by 50 percent, saving $7 million annually.
Michigan CAT, a Caterpillar heavy equipment dealer, replaced its oversized, overweight handheld devices with IPC’s solution because of frequent freeze-ups mandating hard resets. The iOS units immediately increased productivity and created a real-time interface between the warehouse, service and delivery departments.
A large county organization that distributes medical supplies to 72 fire stations in more than 20 U.S. cities also benefited from IPC’s iOS peripherals. Recognizing that accurate inventory could mean the difference between life and death, the municipal group replaced its manual system. Within 90 days, the staff was more effectively managing its emergency supplies, many with regulated expiration dates. Based on this success, the organization also used the devices to manage asset tracking, vehicle maintenance scheduling and shipping/receiving.
Get more details about how IPC partners with various enterprises using a combination of hardware and software to revolutionize warehousing and logistics at ipcmobile.com
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