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By now, most businesses have begun to understand the importance of traceability systems as it safeguards operations from missed compliance standards and satisfied skeptical customers. Simply put, when it comes to products that will be entering the human body -i.e. food, medicine, and vaccinations- transparent traceability can either make or break consumer trust, yet almost two-thirds of businesses have yet to adopt modernized traceability technologies.

Creating and/or updating a traceability system can be time-consuming and costly. Consequently, Avalon’s Experts work diligently in setting a firm foundation for your solution with Zebra’s Certified Consumables to address today’s major traceability concerns. 

Listen to our podcast to see how to find a traceability label fit for your business.

Top Traceability Concerns Label Can Address:

Yellow Forklift Picking Up Box in a Warehouse to Improve Traceability System

Traceability system by tracking crucial indicators such as order preparation, storage environment, transit times, and delivery status

To recap, your enterprise labels anchor your traceability system by tracking crucial indicators such as order preparation, storage environment, transit times, and delivery status. With these perks in mind, it’s clear to see how labels assist in diffusing popular consumer concerns such as:

  • Proper Storage – From the production floor to the checkout lane, over 40% of food is discarded in the U.S. due to improper handling and storage. Temperature-sensitive labels can help ensure storage requirements are met without requiring additional freezer-grade hardware, and dissolvable labels like Zebra’s 8000D help identify containers while seamlessly dissolving away once containers are ready to be reused elsewhere.
  • Foodborne illnesses – In addition to preventing waste, proper storage labels can also curb the spread of foodborne illnesses. The label’s smear-proof and coating and temperature-resistant adhesive help secure the tag on the product as it moves between drastic temperature changes, preserving vital information.
  • Product origin – Allergies and intolerances have created a greater demand for easy-to-read labels that detail product origin and ingredients accurately. While Passive RFID tags help monitor production steps in real-time, long-lasting product labels connect the consumer to the product’s key facts, securing ultimate profitability.
  • Recalls – Recalls can damage brand identity and consumer trust, but careful tracking can help minimize the number of products recalled, minimizing damage. By creating custom labels to store more information, you can better track product variety to best manage recalls if and when they occur.
  • Worker hygiene – Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, cleanliness has always been a top concern for consumers regarding food and medicine. RFID locationing can also help track your team and assets to prevent crowding and unmonitored touchpoints.

While there is much more to efficient traceability than labels, exploring consumable options is a great place to start. Speak with our labeling specialists today for more information as to how you can implement greater visibility in your operations with a label made for success.

Whether in the storefront or on the warehouse floor, mobility and visibility have proven to be essential assets in securing dependable productivity. However, facing increasingly complex supply chains – brought about either from the rise of e-com and/or new BOPIS purchase patterns – companies must learn to maximize both mobility and visibility in order to meet demands without compromise.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration is able to explore multiple ways to leverage both mobility and visibility within today’s operations. From enterprise-ready rugged tablets to on-demand RFID mobile printers, modern warehouses can take a variety of pathways to building a mobility solution that enhances visibility. That’s why we’re exploring three mobility solutions that directly maximize visibility. 

Warehouse Handheld Enterprise Mobility Solutions from Zebra

Mobility Solutions for any warehouse

  • Enterprise Mobile Computing – According to surveys conducted by Zebra Technologies’ specialists, over 70% of warehouses are currently investing or seeking new ways to invest in mobility solutions. Failure to do so may damage your competitiveness. Operating with high-speed connectivity and flexible networking options, Zebra’s line of handheld computers secure viable communication channels inside and outside your warehouse, enhancing:
    • Inventory management
    • Order processing times
    • Efficient reverse logistics
  • Migration to Android – While migration may seem like an overwhelming task, it also opens doors to new opportunities such as secured data protecting and facilitated onboarding. Moreover, Android houses Zebra’s exclusive line of productivity applications, Mobility DNA, that allow you to:
    • Deploy push-to-talk features
    • Scan multiple barcodes simultaneously
    • Remotely manage battery performance and life cycles
    • Convert green-screen apps to touchscreen right out of the box
    • Track missing Zebra devices
  • Real-Time On-Demand Tracking – To meet new demands for faster delivery and fulfillment transparency, real-time locationing systems help track your inventory and/or assets. However, Zebra has taken tracking efficiency a step further with the all-new ZQ511/521 mobile printer, which can print 3 to 4 inches of RFID labels on-demand, virtually eliminating wait times and mislabeling errors since labels are readily available when and where needed, so you get:
    • Rugged mobile printing and RFID power fit for field service
    • Efficient workflows in and out of the warehouse
    • High battery performance that survives your longest shift
    • Adaptable printing speeds and darkness to accommodate temperature conditions

Have more questions about RFID? Ask Roi.

Avalon ROI Robot and Zebra

Needless to say, none of these solutions are mutually exclusive, which is why our modernization specialists work diligently to create custom solutions that adapt to your business.  Contact us to see how modernization can maximize mobility and visibility in your operations.

Back in 2019, bracketing – otherwise known as the act of buying multiple similar products with the intent of returning them – was estimated to cost businesses up to $550 billion by 2020 as more online retailers move to offer free shipping. Now, while businesses continue to accommodate the surge in online shopping, that estimate can be expected to rise as home shoppers are unable to shop directly in store. 

Moreover, research suggests that four out of ten customers return products bought online. Because returned transactions can cost businesses up to 12$ per parcel, it is highly crucial that supply chains learn to maximize profitability at the face of increasing return rates. Expenditures are further increased when the following responses are taken into account:

  • Products may be stored in the wrong place and lost
  • Products may no longer be usable, ultimately ending up in landfills 
  • Workforce must spend extra time inspecting and refurbishing returned goods 
  • Customers will most likely turn elsewhere to find the product their seeking.

To minimize financial loss and chaos, Avalon Integration recommends revising your inventory management plan to provide your reverse logistics team with maximum visibility from door to dock.

Visibility is King

Warehouse worker in red shirt scanning barcodes

Protect your workflow from sudden influxes with a transparent inventory management system.

Between social distancing limitations and holiday surges, it’s safe to say reverse logistics will not disappear anytime soon. Protecting your workflow from sudden influxes, a transparent inventory management system allows your workforce to accurately track and move products and resources to where they are needed more. A few technologies currently increasing inventory visibility are:

  • RFID Locationing – Tracking moving inventory in real-time, RFID locationing allows you to verify incoming orders, accelerating your sorting and refurbishing process. 
  • Bluetooth Locationing – Serving as a more cost-effective solution compared to RFID technologies, BLE can help define storage zones within your warehouse, ensuring returned goods aren’t lost or misplaced on the wrong shelf. As a result, this also reduces the number of products disposed in landfills. 
  • Color labels – Stringently tested to endure harsh environments, Zebra’s Certified Consumables can maximize visibility by adding color into your labeling system. This allows workers to quickly identify products at a glance and minimize unnecessary labor efforts. 
  • Versatile data capture technology – Paired with either RFID tags or enterprise-grade labels, visibility technologies such as Zebra Rugged Tablets, give you access to your inventory’s status at the palm of your hand while also streamlining other functionalities through one ergonomic and durable device.

When done with the right tools and expertise, maximizing inventory visibility can be both seamless and profitable. To see how these technologies can fit into your workflow, contact our automation experts for a free assessment of your current reverse logistics strategy.

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.

New dynamic supply chains can increase the probability of errors and inefficient labor as orders have become increasingly more complex and customers more demanding. Although online shopping is set to contribute trillions of dollars into the global economy, it has also contributed to a vast array of operational concerns such as:

  • Data security 
  • Lack of transparency in inventory and asset management
  • Undervalued and/or unskilled workforces 
  • Adaptability for future market shifts
  • Shipping speeds

Coupled with today’s high employee turnover, dynamic supply chains are redefining operational efficiency. As always, Avalon Integration is ready to help you in navigating through this new industrial landscape with enterprise-grade resources built to maximize ROI while addressing operational concerns. 

MC9300 can improve your Dynamic Supply Chains and Maximize ROI

The MC9300 from Zebra can improve your Dynamic Supply Chains and Maximize ROI

Where to Begin?

Since they occupy virtually every aspect of your warehouse operations, your handheld devices are an ideal place to begin enhancing worker productivity. Aware of today’s concerns, leading manufacturers like Zebra Technologies have developed a versatile portfolio of goal-focused technologies that enrich:

  • Supply Chain Connectivity – From manufacturers to distribution centers to delivery drivers, it takes a large team to properly handle inventory. However, the need for secured communication channels remains as vital as ever. Dependable devices such as the TC7X provide reliable connectivity even in the most remote areas thanks to several networking options (WiFi, Bluetooth locationing, GPS, Cellular LTE), so your entire team can stay updated of any changes before they hinder the workflow.
  • Inventory Management – While the two may seem far removed, proper inventory management can boost customer satisfaction since orders are processed and delivered more quickly. Happy customers become loyal customers, adding to your overall profitability. Minimizing surprise out-of-stocks, new RFID locationing technology such as Zebra’s readers, antennas, and rugged tags can verify received/shipped inventory to ensure it reaches the correct destination in time. Moreover, RFID tags further increase investment returns by eliminating the need for several barcodes.
  • Labor Productivity – With the current national unemployment rate and all-time low at 3.6%, warehouses have faced more challenges in hiring and retaining skilled laborers. By automating repetitive tasks such as data capture with user-friendly devices like the MC9300, your workforce can apply their skills into crucial tasks, maximizing productivity, and employee satisfaction.

Efficiency in Action

To see these solutions in action, catch live demonstrations, in-depth assessments, and unprecedented unveilings at the 2020 Modex Tradeshow, or skip the wait and contact us today for a free assessment of your current workflow.