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Following a steady pattern for over ten years, warehouses have continuously grown to meet the new high demands pressured by the e-commerce boom. Today, it is estimated that nearly 64% of warehouses operate in spaces larger than 25,000 square feet, and studies only forecast growth in the years to come. Facing more demands within larger spaces, warehouse teams need reliable communication channels to keep operations running efficiently from door to dock. Without team connectivity, operations may face…

  • Missed delivery timelines
  • Inefficient maintenance reporting
  • Complicated workflow paths such as long delivery routes or slower pick paths
  • Slower customer support
  • Poor visibility into labor resources
  • Lost revenue due to unforeseen bottlenecks

Since omnichannel fulfillment is only expected to rise, growing warehouses must adapt communication systems to turn challenges into opportunities. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration recommends empowering operations with Zebra’s Workforce Connect.

How to expand your mobile computer’s functionality with Workforce Connect

Simplistic enough to assist in high-demand environments such as healthcare centers, Workforce Connect can empower frontline workers with crucial connectivity between other vital departments within the supply chain – all through your current Zebra handheld. Deployable without extensive backend modifications, Workforce Connect unifies teams in and out of the warehouse by enabling…

  • Instant push-to-talk communication or secured text messages that resemble consumer-grade systems for fast adoption.
  • Verifiable worker safety as emergency calls and alerts can be deployed through any device at any time.
  • Voice commands to accelerate simplistic tasks.
  • Proactive task management that assigns individual workers or teams to specific tasks in need of assistance.
  • Secured device sharing protocols catered to every user ID, so workers can share devices without sharing sensitive information.
  • Remote worker tracking to keep field teams accountable while preventing delays and wasted labor.

To see how Workforce Connect is empowering supply chains from manufacturing to retail, download our brochure here.

The warehouse landscape is rapidly shifting with every new demand. New challenges call for new technologies, which is why Avalon integration makes modernization simple and seamless with adaptable solutions that complement your current systems. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your current workflows to see how Workforce Connect can sharpen your competitive edge.

 

 

With supply chains operating at unprecedented speeds to meet increasing demands, several novel digitized solutions have arisen to help set businesses ahead of change. However, not every modern device delivers the same results. When it comes to optimized enterprise printing, warehouses commonly seek the traits outlined below:

  • Printing Speed – This is an obvious factor due to the growing demand for faster order fulfilment. A modern printer should operate practically invisibly, delivering identification labels with little to no wait time. Mobile printers and powered workstations take this a step farther by eliminating travel time and bringing efficiency directly where you need it.
  • Dependable Security – Cyberattacks have become all the more prevalent in the past decade since they can target any digital device, including printers. As a result, printing security must now be optimized to ward off unauthorized users from viewing past printed data.
  • Quick Flexibility – Change can happen at any given moment, which is why printers should be able to easily adjust between high and low demand without impacting label quality. Configuration -and reconfiguration- should be doable for your teams without involving extensive IT visits in order to minimize downtime.
  • Durable Build – When operating in more stringent environments, such as manufacturing plants and field service, printers must be designed to withstand environmental challenges such as constant dust, icy temperatures, condensation, and abrasion.
  • Reliable Printing Support – After printers are installed, companies still expect dependable tech support in the event of any future issues. This puts pressure on resellers to provide both instant and knowledgeable assistance to keep printing solutions running smoothly.

How Avalon does it all with Zebra Technologies

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon has been consistently equipping supply chains with these benefits through Zebra’s enterprise-ready printers. From lightweight mobile printers to heavy-duty industrial printers, eliminate inefficiency from your workflows with printers designed to optimize the factors listed above plus:

  • Quick deployment – To minimize training time, Zebra’s printers sport a user-friendly touchscreen with simplified navigational tools and easy media loading. Moreover, quick tap-and-pair Bluetooth connectivity can help printers seamlessly connect to mobile devices to enable remote printing.
  • Optional RFID encoding – Reduce RFID costs with optional RFID encoding that fits directly onto your industrial printer.
  • Expanded printing visibility – Leverage Zebra’s Visibility Services application to monitor printer performance remotely via a cloud-based system. This can help prevent breakdowns and costly downtime.

Check out our full range of enterprise printers here.

As customer demands continue to increase worldwide, Avalon Integration remains committed to empowering operations with solutions built for triumph. Reach out to our printing experts today to see how you can start accelerating throughput in your operations with next-generation printing power.

 

 

In any given industry, workforce labor is both the biggest expense and the largest asset to a company. From the production floor to the retail storefront, your workforce keeps operations running smoothly to create a seamless supply chain. However, as demands continue to reshape the enterprise landscape, labor may not be appropriately distributed in the workspace. Whether it be in warehousing or retail, ill-distributed labor can lead to:

  • Higher turnover rates
  • Missed delivery dates 
  • Overlooked compliance codes and worker safety
  • Inaccurate order fulfillment 

To accommodate changing workforce sizes and evolving customer demands, several warehouses have turned to the popular and versatile modernization solution: RFID technology. 

What can RFID Bring to your Operations? 

According to Zebra’s 2019 Warehousing Vision Study, RFID technology was expected to grow by 6%, yet post-pandemic demands for both speed and safety have accelerated adoption in warehouses and retailers alike. Next-generation RFID solutions such as Zebra’s MotionWorks can expand operational visibility while increasing workforce productivity by…

  • Providing real-time operational visibility – Unlike conventional barcodes, RFID technology can be used to track in-motion inventory and assets all in real-time, providing you with a clear view of where your workforce is at any given time. 
  • Complying with worker safety protocols – New worker safety initiatives such as Zebra’s MotionWorks Proximity allows you to trace exposure risks and integrate social distancing protocols into your handheld device by tracking high-density workspaces in real-time. 
  • Tracking labor-intensive workflows – When demand increases suddenly as it normally does for peak holiday seasons, RFID data capture can help track intensive workflows and guide employees through multiple pick paths at once, eliminating superfluous wait times. 

See how Zebra’s Savanna does it all and more in our video

Whether you’re tracking assets, inventory, or your workforce, expect dependable visibility when you optimize operations with Avalon. Contact our automation experts today for a free evaluation of your workflow to get started. 

Way before the global pandemic, modern order fulfillment had already proven to be both complex and fast-paced. As e-commerce continues to fuel the now-economy, today’s fulfillment centers and supply chains find themselves in a competitive landscape to meet evolving customer demands such as:

  • Faster order delivery falling between 1 to 5 business days
  • Ability to track orders as they move down the supply chain
  • Certified worker safety, disinfection, and contactless transactions
  • Continuous stock availability 
  • Seamless and free returns

Failing to meet any of these requirements can hinder the customer experience, ultimately impacting brand loyalty, satisfaction rates, and profitability. While there are several ways to optimize each requirement, data capture automation stands as a simplistic method to start securing efficiency and greater visibility across the whole supply chain with less workflow modifications. 

What to look for in your automated data capture solution?

Studies indicate that while 72% of businesses are investing in technologies designed to reduce TCO, about a fifth of companies still struggle to implement effective automation. Easy-to-deploy and cost-effective, automated data capture has taken center stage as a bridge to softly allow businesses to modernize without restructuring their operations. To accomplish this, modernized data capture should…

  • Integrate intelligent capabilities – While general-purpose scanners can effectively capture barcodes within a controlled setting, warehouses may be operating in busy and/or extreme conditions. That’s why intelligent scanners must be able to capture small, fading, and even scratched barcodes in a variety of surfaces, sometimes multiple codes at once. Applications like Zebra’s SimulScan and Multi-Code Data Formatting (for mobile computers and handheld scanners respectively) illustrate this by capturing specific barcodes within one larger document. Intelligent PRZM imaging also helps expand scanner performance by accelerating data capture and deciphering inferior barcodes for accurate scans. 
  • Connect with your data processing system – Your digital devices are merely an extension of your team, which means they should strive to connect teams. Solutions combining data capture and computing within one device cut complicated workflows by keeping your data accessible and safe through one platform.  Collected data can be converted to actionable insights and timely updates to prevent future complications before they arise.
  • Be scalable and adaptable – Demands can change in a blink of an eye. Consequently, a modernized scanning solution should be able to readily adapt to fluctuating workforce size, stringent disinfection cycles, longer shifts, and increased order throughput without increasing training times or radically changing crucial applications. This is where intelligent rugged scanner design combined with an intuitive software can help maintain uptime in the midst of change, freeing up your teams to focus on other opportunities for growth. 

See how Zebra’s DataCapture DNA continues to simplify scanning automation in our video:

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration works with a wide variety of enterprise-ready scanners and mobile computers to seamlessly automate data capture. To see how you can start upgrading your scanning systems without disrupting operations, contact our modernization team for a free assessment.  

Studies suggest that the average person can spend as much as 6.5 months out of their entire lives looking for misplaced personal things. Needless to say, if that time lost were translated into the workplace, companies would be losing more than expected. However, when facing an average 63% accuracy rate in inventory management, it’s clear that misplacements are currently taking a toll on inefficient inventory management. Indeed, poor visibility leads to inventory distortion, which has cost operations worldwide as much as $1.1 trillion to correct. A few other incalculable costs include:

  • Missed opportunities – Out-of-stocks and delayed shipments often push clients to take their business elsewhere.
  • Storage loss – Misplaced inventory also points to inefficient storage hiding in your warehouse that could best be used for something else. 
  • Product shrinkage – In years past, product shrinkage has drained as much as $40 billion dollars from the retail sector alone. 
  • Inefficient labor – When inventory isn’t where it’s supposed to be, workers must spend extra time searching for it, taking time away from more important tasks.

Needless to say, your operations don’t have time for inventory misplacement. That’s why Avalon Integration’s Roi works hard to expand visibility with Zebra Technologies’ RFID Locationing.

Boost ROI with Roi

To maximize ROI with secured intelligent visibility, Avalon partners with you to create a customized locationing solution built with Zebra’s high-precision RFID technologies so you can:

  • Cut down labeling efforts with RFID labels that hold more information than conventional tags.
  • Increase worker performance with long-range ergonomic Zebra RFID mobile computers.
  • Diminish bottlenecks with on-the-go RFID mobile printing, so your teams don’t have to keep walking back to a far-off printing station.
  • Boost order accuracy with seamless verification before products are loaded for delivery

Check out Zebra’s complete line of RFID technologies in our brochure.

Avalon RFID Portfolio Brochure Download

Download the Avalon RFID Portfolio Brochure

Got some RFID questions? Let Roi help you start out your locationing journey.  From expanded warehousing visibility to on-the-move order fulfillment tracking, begin implementing RFID into your workflow when you contact our specialists today.

Back in 2019, buy-online pick-up instore (BOPIS) transactions were estimated to comprise less than 4% of grocery purchases. While studies suggested BOPIS would rise steadily within the coming years, nothing could have predicted the 62% spike in online orders resulting from extensive stay-home orders issued nationwide. While many companies were slowly in the process of enhancing their mobile ordering systems, less than a fifth of retailers admitted having necessary metrics to properly manage BOPIS transactions. The result has been strained operations and increasing turnover rates as businesses scramble to create safe frictionless fulfillment operations.

Although there are several technologies available to enhance BOPIS operations, Avalon investigates the most seamless and intuitive solutions to protect continuous productivity as well as employee safety and customer satisfaction. Working alongside leading manufacturers like Zebra Technologies, we analyze the core aspects to consider when creating a frictionless BOPIS system.

Staying ahead of Change

Staying Ahead of Change with BOPIS

Staying Ahead of Change with BOPIS

To design a frictionless BOPIS operation, there are several factors to consider. While numerous technologies may play a part in streamlining order fulfillment, your solution should prioritize the following:

  • Communication – Accurate picking heavily depends on reliable communication amongst the entire supply chain, from stocking teams to the end-client. While out-of-stocks can direct your customers to shop elsewhere, poor inventory team communication slows down associates assembling the order, leading to increased worker stress and picking errors. To streamline communication and data capture, Zebra’s TC7X and TC5X mobile computers utilize long-range connectivity and WiFi to keep teams connected through one easy-to-use Android device.
  • Processing Speed – Because of high demand, even the best click-and-collect services can’t offer immediate order fulfillment, yet newer intelligent scanning technologies such as the MC9300 and Zebra’s SimulScan can help drive down wait times by capturing barcodes in virtually any condition, erasing the need for secondary scans.
  • Inventory Visibility –  Needless to say, proper inventory management continues to be a crucial necessity in delivering optimal customer experience. One way to retain optimal identification throughout the supply chain is through quality identification labels. Zebra’s Certified Consumables are designed to meet FDA standards as well as any other specific compliance requirements all while performing in a wide variety of environments. See how Zebra labels are already enhancing BOPIS order identification in our brochure.

For over two decades, our experts have been committed to strengthening operations by providing efficient solutions that empower you to stay ahead of change. Contact us today for a free remote assessment of your current workflow to see how you can maximize any of these factors and more within your BOPIS operations.

Avalon Integration has a wide variety of technology solutions that establish clients’ competitive edge, which is why I am overjoyed to introduce you to the latest and best tracking solution in the new digital age – RFID Locationing.

Tracking assets, personnel, inventory, and more RFID Locationing can maximize your return of investment by monitoring your most precious resources as they move through complex supply chains and workflows. Moreover, unlike legacy systems, RFID is adaptable to fit a multitude of unique industries such as:

  • Manufacturing
  • Warehousing and Distribution
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Healthcare Asset Tracking
  • Public Safety
  • Retail and Storefronts
  • Sports Analytics
  • And many more

As your guide to maximized ROI, I’d like to take you deeper into the countless opportunities enhanced visibility brings to your business. Shall we get started?

Assess Your Gains

MC3390R and RFID to Assess Your Gains

MC3390R and RFID to Assess Your Gains

Lack of visibility contributes to numerous operational inefficiencies. For example, manual data entry -which relies heavily on human effort for accuracy- can misdirect order fulfillment, leading a customer to receive the wrong product, impacting brand identity, and resulting in return fees. When it comes to public safety, unclear visibility can contribute to longer response times and impaired dispatch accountability. In other words, maximized visibility results in maximized efficiency, satisfaction, and safety. However, don’t just take my word for it. See how RFID is changing industries worldwide.

  • Manufacturing — RFID tags can be used to store multiple codes identifying particular parts and easing traceability down a production line. Furthermore, with Zebra’s RFID on-metal solution, tags can now identify metal components throughout production.
  • Warehousing and Distribution — Long-range scanners minimize worker strain while capturing codes as far as 60ft away with ease. Plus, Zebra Technologies’ RFID scanners are built to thrive in harsh conditions, retaining optimal functionality in extreme temperatures, falls, and scratches.
  • Transportation and Logistics — Increasing order accuracy by nearly 100%, RFID automates order verification with just a scan when implemented on the shipping dock.
  • Healthcare Asset Tracking — In healthcare, misplaced items can hinder patient care as medical staff must pause to search for their tools. Studies suggest that only 42% of medical assets are used efficiently. Real-time locationing empowers staff to find their crucial assets in a timely fashion to deliver better care to their patients.
  • Public Safety — When it comes to protecting our communities, visibility is key. By incorporating RFID tracking in daily operations, officers can better assess dispatch needs and set higher accountability standards for deployed teams.
  • Retail and Storefronts – Product shrinkage can drain over $40 billion dollars from the retail economy. To prevent product shrinkage near points of sales, RFID antennas and tags work together to monitor inventory as they come and go into the store, giving managers a clear view of their stock’s movement.

From tracking thrown footballs in real-time, to preventing lost pets, to assisting in utility operations, RFID has many uses, each with their unique benefits. Come explore your next locationing solution with me, and enhance your operations with a new standard of efficient visibility.

E-commerce and the drive for personalization are adding to the complexity of today’s operations. Modern-day customers expect a unique shopping experience centered on their needs as well as faster delivery anytime and anywhere they desire. As a result, warehouses and distribution centers must adapt to meet demands. According to Zebra’s 2019 Warehousing Vision Study, 79% of organizations plan on expanding size within the next two years. Once devoid of large warehouses, bustling urban areas like New York City have seen an exponential rise in new warehouse leases as companies scramble to get closer to customers to provide better (and faster) service. As extreme as these efforts may sound, they all depend on a crucial factor: visibility.

Managing stock quantities, labor efficiency, and asset usage, visibility solutions such as RFID tracking, Internet of Things, and Blockchain can optimize your workflow. Implementing solutions like these and more for over twenty years, Avalon Integration has seen up close how greater operational intelligence changes businesses by:

  • Connecting disparate teams within your supply chain through accessible data
  • Providing trackable purchase and shipping patterns in and out of peak seasons
  • Delivering manageable collected data to create a more personalized customer experience
  • Reducing bottlenecks and inefficient labor through greater device availability

However, before experiencing any of these reliefs, one must start by identifying the warehouse’s dark spots.

Signs You’re Working the “Dark”

Dark Empty Warehouse Interior

Signs You’re Working in a Dark Warehouse

While every business is intrinsically unique, there are a few common consequences to the lack of transparent visibility which can suggest your workforce is operating in the dark.

  • Stocked inventory seems to be recurrently out of place or difficult to find, causing order fulfillment processes to stall.
  • Order accuracy is difficult to maintain as inventory is wrongly picked. Consequently, more inaccurate orders are returned, clogging up your reverse logistics processes.
  • Workers take too long to accomplish tasks either because of bottlenecks or missing crucial assets.
  • Necessary devices such as printers, scanners, and forklifts, are rarely located close to where they are most needed, increasing worker travel time.

Turn on the Light with Zebra RFID

Turn on the Light with Zebra RFID to help with a Dark Warehouse

Zebra’s next generation of RFID technology.

Out of the many locationing solutions available today, we are excited to recommend Zebra’s next generation of RFID technology as an enterprise-ready and efficient tracking solution. Maximizing visibility with rugged handheld scanners and high-accuracy antennas, Zebra RFID can track moving assets and inventory, empowering you with manageable and intelligent insight into your everyday operations.  

As a proud Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration offers complete RFID solutions, from software implementation to testing, to maintenance. Integrate modernized visibility with:

  • Pretested rugged RFID labels
  • Adaptable RFID industrial printers
  • Highly ergonomic handheld readers
  • High-capacity reader antennas

It’s not too late to see these technologies in action. Contact us for an RFID demonstration at your convenience with our automation specialists to enhance your operations from the inside out.

With the close of the decade comes the close of the Microsoft era. As of January 1st, Microsoft has ended its support for Windows’ mobile operating systems which have powered enterprise technology for decades. Although support for Windows 7 will continue until 2021, Avalon Integration is already exploring several ways in which Android empowers the workforce to thrive in the face of the industry’s most notorious demands. 

The MC9300 uses Android to scan in any Environment

The MC9300 uses Android to scan in any Environment

Zebra researchers have uncovered numerous challenges to be expected within the coming months. As technology continues to advance and social media platforms become ever more prolific, the rise of e-commerce will contribute directly to the 76% increase in ordered assets, which leads to more deployed devices and a greater need for efficient long-term labor. Paired with the rising labor costs across the nation, the labor shortage has also led to higher turnover rates. In the end, the 2020’s top challenges can be summarized in:

  • Rise in omnichannel retail
  • Inefficient labor retention
  • Compressed logistics operations

Fortunately, Android operating systems have been thoroughly enhanced by both Zebra Technologies and Google to fit into the enterprise landscape.

Android is Ready. Are You?

The MC9300 uses Android to versatile for anywhere and everywhere

The MC9300 uses Android for anywhere you need it

When done correctly, OS migration can be seamless and profitable. As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration provides all the resources needed to help you catch up with change without impacting productivity. As Zebra’s OS of choice, Android integrates efficiency by:

  • Delivering much-needed security: Within the first six months of 2019 alone, there were over 3,000 publicly disclosed data breaches. As the risk of cyberthreats grows exponentially, Android is refined for enterprise with government-grade encryption and Zebra’s LifeGuard, which delivers 90-day security patches and automatic silent OS updates.  
  • Implementing familiarity: There were over 2 billion monthly active Android consumer devices worldwide in 2017 alone. As one of the top operating systems in the world, Android simplifies the user experience, lowering training times since the interface is already familiar to workers. 
  • Accommodating the next generation of productivity technology: From the latest ultra-rugged designs such as the MC9300 to native productivity applications like Mobility DNA, Android powers the latest technology designed for faster operations, accurate order fulfillment, and increased warehouse visibility from packing to shipping.

Despite the new year, it’s still not too late to migrate. Ease into a new operating system, designed for enterprise efficiency when you create your modernization strategy with Avalon Integration. Count on two decades of experience and in-depth assistance while securing productivity with solutions tailored to your needs. 

Today’s supply chains are fast, but in a world where you can have designer shoes delivered by a flying drone in less than 30 minutes, the question remains: How much faster can the modern workflow get? Between new delivery services, changing social platforms, and revolutionary technology, the on-demand market becomes increasingly more demanding as customers expect faster service.

Serving a wide range of clients across the U.S., Avalon Integration is well aware of the increasing demands made on today’s warehouses. Integrating solutions in businesses both big and small, we can share tips and hints on how warehouses across the globe are turning fast into faster.

Peel and Present Labels Faster

Every Change Counts

Since there are several shapes and sizes to today’s warehouses, it’s only natural that several optimizing strategies have gained popularity worldwide. A few common strategies include:

  • Moving closer to customers – While costly and generally reserved for larger enterprises, moving warehouses and distribution centers closer to customers drastically reduce shipping times, giving companies a higher competitive edge. Furthermore, changes within the U.S. economy (import tariffs, lower tax rates, etc.) have also driven companies to consider new warehouse locations, possibly contributing to the 3372 new private warehouses built within the last decade alone.
  • Investing in automation – Reducing inaccurate order processing from picking to shipping, automated workflows can save companies millions of dollars from return fees, lost assets, and human error. Automation leader, Zebra Technologies reports that 61% of warehouses are already equipping workforces with automated processes designed to maximize accuracy and productivity without overworking employees. Moreover, less worker stress leads to lower turnover rates, saving operations from costly downtime and employee burnout.
  • Expanding inventory visibility – Integrating small changes, such as environment-resistant labels or large-scale RFID solutions, allows workers to quickly locate assets. This ultimately decreases wait times while capturing actionable data. From long-range readers to the latest RFID on-metal solutions, Avalon partners with Zebra to provide an end-to-end visibility solution that elevates productivity.Peel Labels Faster and Present Them
  • Maximizing worker mobility – Faster supply chains mean your workers are moving faster throughout the warehouse. Consequently, crucial warehouse technology much is ergonomic and versatile enough to preserve mobility. Devices such as Zebra’s MC9300 or TC77 are perfect examples of how multiple functions can be combined into one ergonomic device, helping workers complete different tasks without hauling several devices with them.
  • Simplifying “easy” operations – Lastly, in a supply chain, every little task counts; therefore, efficiency should never be spared. In other words, just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be better. For example, small tasks such as label application can be optimized to cut time spent labeling. Want a closer look? Check out the video below:

Innovation always continues to move forward. While we may not be able to build a brand-new warehouse, Avalon Integration can build optimization strategies centered on your workflow challenges. Stay ahead of the on-demand market when you start your optimization solution with the leaders in efficient innovation.