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Efficient innovation has always been part of Avalon’s commitment to our clients. After navigating through triumphs and tribulations alongside a multitude of resilient teams, that goal hasn’t changed. That’s why we’re starting the year with a dedication to continue empowering businesses with sustainable solutions that drive down costs, maximize productivity, and most importantly, protect our environment. Now more than ever, business decisions have the capability of impacting entire communities; therefore, partnering with leading manufacturers like Zebra Technologies, Avalon’s experts are diving into a series of sustainable efforts that fit the modern warehouse with:

  • Cost-effective automation that reduces labor waste
  • Energy-efficient mobile devices that last throughout your longest shifts
  • Adaptable mobile computing to eliminate unnecessary deployment of supporting devices
  • Long-lasting consumables to reduce reprints 
  • Greater warehouse visibility and traceability backed by real-time locationing solutions

Building the Sustainable Supply Chain

Building the Sustainable Supply Chain

Over 80% of a business’s environmental impact comes from its supply chain

The push for sustainability may have stemmed from increased consumer demand for better traceability. However, studies suggest that today’s businesses are gravitating towards sustainable practices to lower operational costs and improve revenue performance. Since over 80% of a business’s environmental impact comes from its supply chain, digitized transparency has become the cornerstone in achieving a sustainable supply chain. Below are a few ways we’ve seen transparency result in sustainable operations throughout the whole supply chain:

  • In production and manufacturing – In 2018, the EPA estimated that manufacturing and production companies disposed of 292.4million tons of wasted material, including scraps, yard trimming, foods, etc. To make sure operations only use the appropriate amount of materials, visibility services, such as MotionWorks, have been implemented for just-in-time delivery of goods, preventing an excess of materials (and money) from being disposed of in landfills. 
  • In warehousing and distribution – In 2020, the average warehouse’ square foot space cost $7.18, almost a dollar increase from 2017. Wasteful storage costs money to run and can result in spoiled and misplaced inventory, which must later be thrown out as it becomes unsellable. Proper inventory management built with error-free automated data capture and long-lasting consumables can establish reliable identification parameters from receiving to shipping, preventing loss and shrinkage.
  • In transportation and logistics – Across the country, fuel prices continue to fluctuate. By integrating visibility solutions like RFID locationing and flexible network connectivity, businesses can track field teams to optimize travel routes for better fuel usage. Devices like Zebra’s TC7X touch computers empower field teams with dependable real-time connectivity for route changes and schedule updates to adjust workflows with minimal costly interruptions.
  • In retail and grocery – In addition to preserving the environment, sustainable retail operations result in higher profitability as consumers are willing to pay up to 20% for ethically-sound products. Traceability is key here since several regulation agencies work together to verify eco-friendly claims. Paperless data processing via automated data entry and computing can help eliminate errors and facilitate data sharing for seamless audits and updates.

Whether your operations are at the beginning of the end of the supply chain, every team can benefit from sustainable optimization. To see how you can add sustainability into your enterprise goals for the year, reach out to our modernization experts for an in-depth assessment of your workflows and find out where you can substitute inefficiency with dependable and transparent enterprise intelligence.

As we approach the end of the year and 2020’s peak season, Avalon Integration has begun to dive into the key traits that make up efficient inventory management and streamlined workflows. After dealing with an unimaginable yearly increase in online purchases over the year, retailers, e-tailers, and warehouses have cited several common pain points, including:

  • Crashing order sites
  • Fast-draining inventory
  • Surprise out-of-stocks
  • Unavailable delivery for non-essential items
  • Delayed shipment due to overworked 3PL services
  • Spoiled inventory lost in different steps of the supply chain

Despite the effects, COVID-19 brought upon supply chains worldwide, Salesforce researchers estimate in-store services such as curbside pickup and click-and-collect will see a 90% increase as over a third of holiday shopping will be conducted online. Since omnichannel shopping already makes up almost 20% of purchases in the U.S., organizations must stay ahead of inventory management by increasing identification efficiency, communication, and predictive analytics.

Increasing Identification Efficiency

Increasing Identification Efficiency

Zebra Certified Consumables that deliver

Today’s product variety has placed a greater demand for efficient on-the-go identification to avoid order inaccuracy. That means your labels must be strong enough to retain information from the door to dock to the shelf to the customer. Underperforming labels can slow down productivity by falling off, fading away, or scratching printheads. Constant label reprints can add up financially in the long run while also causing bottlenecks. 

To avoid these pitfalls, Avalon continues to recommend Zebra Certified Consumables to bolster label efficiency. Built with pretested materials, Zebra’s labels eliminate the effects of subpar labels by delivering barcodes that:

  • Survive in extreme temperatures and humidity
  • Remain sticky in and out of the warehouse for continuous identification
  • Consolidate identification information with RFID technology for lower TCO
  • Eliminates residual adhesive and debris that can damage printheads

Increasing Communication

Increasing Communication with the MC9300

The MC9300 goes the extra step for streamlining data entry

Researchers suggest that out-of-stocks may be more damaging than lost sales since it impacts brand identity in the long run. To keep inventory levels from dwindling too quickly, several organizations have invested in real-time connectivity within the supply chain. This also helps minimize the shipment costs spent on quick replenishment and storage.

Modernized warehousing has given room to next-generation mobile computing, which can assist in diffusing crucial information throughout your workforce via WiFi in near real-time. Zebra’s mobile computers such as the MC9300 and TC7X go a step farther by streamlining data entry with real-time visibility, so your teams have access to current stock numbers while monitoring:

  • Incoming orders
  • Picking pace
  • Estimated time of delivery
  • Returned shipments

Increasing Predictive Analytics

Increasing Predictive Analytics

RFID Tracking for any warehouse

While the future is always full of change, Avalon Integration works hard in equipping clients with predictive analytics that provide actionable insight into operations, so you can best prepare for change based on current and past trends within your own unique operations. 

Real-time locationing systems such as RFID tracking and Zebra’s Visibility IQ (built with SavannahTM) consolidate several metrics into meaningful digested analytics for easy KPI tracking. A few KPI’s to keep an eye for include:

  • Accuracy of available inventory 
  • Inventory turnover
  • Carrying costs
  • Rate of returns

As a Zebra Premier Solutions Partner, Avalon Integration increases predictive analytics with next-generation locationing technologies. Download our RFID brochure to explore Zebra’s full portfolio.

Avalon RFID Portfolio Brochure Download

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that it is never too early to be prepared. Contact us today to begin assessing your inventory management system for a smoother and more profitable peak season.

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.

At the crux of enterprise, success is an efficient labeling system. Controlling inventory movement from door to dock, labels hold the potential to maximize accuracy and productivity, two indispensable factors for today’s operations. Studies estimate return costs may reach well over $550 billion in 2020 alone, with wrongly-picked orders comprising almost a fifth of returned orders.  In other words, the time to establish labeling efficiency is now. 

Zebra Labels Improve Overall Productivity

Zebra Labels Improve Overall Productivity

While they only account for 5% of your operations’ expense, labels can be enhanced to improve overall productivity. Testing innovative technology for over two decades, Avalon Integration partners with Zebra Technologies to safeguard operations from inefficiency with quality labels and printing supplies. Engineered to maximize productivity and visibility, Zebra’s RFID labels give you the leading edge on today’s market changes by facing the top four labeling dangers with unprecedented ease.

  1. Made survive any environment – Designed with pretested materials, all Zebra Certified Consumables endure rigorous testing and inspection to make sure they remain functional beyond the moment of application.  
  2. Customizable to fit the desired size – Because no two businesses are the same, Zebra’s RFID labels can be customized with your choice of material, size, antenna, and inlay. Plus, with ZipShip, labels are ready to ship within 24 hours, reducing sudden label shortages.
  3. Customizable to function on metal applications – Create a metal-friendly RFID application with Zebra’s ZT411 industrial printer to bring the benefits of RFID locationing into previously uncharted applications.  
  4. Compatible with secured enterprise-devices – In addition to rugged labels, an efficient labeling solution requires enterprise-grade technology that protects data. Fortified by Mobility Extensions (Mx), Zebra handhelds such as the MC9300, TC7X, and TC5X preserve data security with government-grade encryption and reliable security patches provided through LifeGuard.

Not Like the Rest

Zebra Labels Not Like the Rest

Zebra Labels are Not Like the Rest

  • Regulatory fines
  • Lost customer loyalty
  • Missed compliance standards
  • Product shrinkage
  • Wasted warehouse space
  • Increased product returns

Eliminate the dangers of faulty labels with Zebra Certified Consumables. Plus, get free printhead replacements when you make Zebra your exclusive consumables supplier through the Printhead Protection Program.

Discover how Zebra’s RFID technology can help protect your operations when you contact us for a free labeling assessment with our industry experts and implement efficiency down to the smallest details.

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.