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Friday, January 23, 2015

NRF 2015 - Theatre Returns to Retail

NRF15 was a learning experience. Along with over 30k attendees, we were on the floor searching for the "next big thing" in retail and we may have found it.

You see, it's not enough to have great customer service and even greater products (though those are still paramount!), but with more and more consumers hitting the Internet, retailers of all sizes are growing fearful of being next on the growing extinction list.

When you can sit in your pajamas, check out product reviews, self-educate on brand competitions and get free shipping, how can a physical store win you back from the jaws of comfort and convenience? The answer is apparently theatre.

Lights, camera, action! Theatre is back in retail.

  1. Experience is the new differentiator. From store promotions to inhouse events, retailers want to give you a lasting impression and they're not afraid to bring out the big show stoppers to do it.
  2. Community sponsorships. Let's face it, aside from forums and review sections, you don't really get a sense of the warm fuzzies from e-commerce. 
  3. Learning events. Or simply, allowing others to see how your products are made and how they can use it to the best of its abilities. These labs are designed not only to be fun, but also to educate and turn the average consumer into a connoisseur.
  4. Balance events. The focus on improving ones wellbeing went from trend to necessity. Stores and companies are now encouraging their customers to participate in marathons (with or without a cause), group meditation and they are constantly raising awareness on the benefits of a clean and healthy lifestyle. 
So what does this mean for supply chain? Well, it means they better keep up.

  • Push to being able to fulfill at multiple points of supply chain 
  • Reverse logistics (what happens if there isn’t a pickup?)
  • Push to becoming more efficient – warehouses, DC, and 3PL will all feel the pinch
Retailers control and operate a bulk of warehousing in Canada and their decisions have an immediate impact on supply chain. Bottom line is we all have to keep up with the trends and we have to move just as fast.

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 12:54:12 PM


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Webinar: Labor Collection on the Shop Floor

If 2015 is the year you want to make your warehouse into a powerhouse, then we share a common new years resolution! We're starting the year off right with a webinar on labor collection on the shop floor.

On January 21st, 2015 at 1:30 PM EST we will be hosting a web session on how to keep Visual labor tickets up to date in real time. We will be doing demos, passing on tried and true methods and answering audience questions.

Want to achieve the following?

  • No longer manually recording labor tickets on the shop floor and again in the front office
  • Eliminating the delays of duplicate data entry, which causes your staff to not trust the inventory on hand
  • Using material planning or scheduling modules for proper capacity planning and catching cost overuns earlier
  • Setting up teams to capture labor time more efficiently
Then join our experts for this educational and insightful session. Spots are limited! Sign up HERE

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 9:32:26 AM


Monday, December 15, 2014

MM&D Feature: Of IoT and Beacons

We'll be hitting the December issue of MM&D (Canada's Supply Chain Magazine) and we're both honored and excited! This time, we'll be gazing into the crystal ball to predict one of the latest and greatest in supply chain trends: Easy visibility and how to quickly achieve it.

With this issue, we'll be touching on IoT (the internet of things) and how it can bring out the best in connectivity. Imagine if you have the tools to measure the resources when it comes to every inventory move; having these precious analytics will really put your warehouse in a completely new light. 

To accomplish this feat, we will be utilizing the help of bluetooth beacons. They take literally seconds to connect and can last up to 4 years in the field. These small devices can and will make your warehouse smarter, stronger and more profitable. With this new project under our belt (currently in pilot!) we hope to bring our customers into the future--now. 

So be sure to grab your December issue of MM&D and see how together we can make the unknowable, knowable! 


Supply chain management magazine with a focus on educating and helping readers do their jobs more cost-effectively. Uses a solution-oriented approach to the movement, distribution, storage and control of materials, products and associated information.

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 10:41:12 AM


Monday, November 10, 2014

Join our November Web Session on Cycle Counts for Visual Users

While there are very few of us who are genuinely excited about doing a cycle and full inventory count, we must take the task at hand with the utmost seriousness. Why? As supply chain experts, we understand the consequences of inaccurate inventory and how it can negatively impact productivity, revenue and service levels.

On November 19th, 2014 at 1:30 PM EST we will be hosting a webinar on the topic of best practices for managing inventory, including full physical and cycle counts. We will be discussing several considerations and approaches on the subject, as well as strategies you can utilize right away.

While this session is geared towards Visual ERP Manufacturing users; there will be many insights for anyone charged with cycle count responsibilities.  Based on our 20 years plus in warehousing, you'll be leave our webinar with the know how to make  your next count far less complicated and definitely more productive.

Interested? Then please register HERE to secure your spot! This webinar is free but spots are limited.

Scanners on!

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 10:43:54 AM


Monday, October 13, 2014

Supply Chain Compression and The Retail Revolution

Last week I had the good fortune to attend the 28th Annual Conference on Transportation Innovation and Cost Savings  where not only did I learn a new term; “Supply Chain Compression”, but returned home greatly enlightened on the future of retail in North America.  

So what does transportation have to do with retail? Apparently everything.

According to Jim Danahy, speaker and CEO of CustomerLabit’s all about the "last mile". Ten years ago the Telecom industry faced an issue, which was how to deliver high speed internet access to people’s homes in order to make it possible for them to do video streaming, movies on demand, etc. They called this the "last mile" and obviously they figured it out. The retailers’ ‘"last mile" refers to the act of delivering product to the consumer anytime and anywhere.

Today’s consumers are relentless in their drive to obtain the best product at the lowest possible price and in a time frame acceptable to them. To this end, today’s consumer is using an omni-channel approach – buying from traditional bricks and mortar retailers, wholesale marketplaces, and the internet.

The end result is that traditional retailers and transportation executives are being challenged like never before. Squeezed by pure internet retailers like Amazon, these two groups have to figure out a way to deliver goods in the most cost effective way while meeting increasingly tight delivery windows. As an example, Mr. Danahy showed how a customer got a baseball cap ordered through E-Bay and delivered to him at a park bench in Manhattan in 90 minutes.

The Retail Revolution is about retailers going omni-channel and Supply Chain Compression is its natural consequence. Home Depot and Sobeys are shrinking their store sizes so that they can locate them on busy city streets accessible only by public transit or foot.  At the same time they’re also ramping up their web presence to allow for both at home and mobile shopping. And this revolution is not just about convenience, consumers are travelling to food terminals and farmers’ markets to obtain the freshest produce at the lowest price.

In this omni-channel world of retailing, the retailer who figures out how to compress their supply chain will be victorious. For the AIDC industry this represents a great opportunity; retailers and transporters will need greater visibility of their goods throughout the supply chain and in the case of food they’ll also demand more traceability information, which is a consumer’s assurance of quality and safety.   

I’m very excited about the Retail Revolution since products and data capture go hand in hand – data has to be available anytime and anywhere if the associated product is to be made available anytime and anywhere.

Scanners On!

Jeff Lem

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 4:48:07 PM


Monday, October 06, 2014

Inventory and Warehousing Survey Results 2014

We mentioned a couple blog entries back that we collaborated with a survey company to collect some relevant data on inventory best practises and today, we want to share them with you—in infographic form!

As inventory experts, we pride ourselves in our wide array of expertise, which include but are not limited to barcoding, printer mediabusiness infrastructureWMS and break-fix services. We understand the utmost importance of a healthy warehouse ecosystem and how it is the very foundation to a profitable organization. It’s how we do things here and it’s what we do for our many customers (4000 and counting!) 

When we received the results and poured over them with our team, we concluded that it is indeed a barcode nation out there. A leaping 53% of the 150 companies surveyed indicated that it will be the most beneficial tech in warehouse technology in the coming 3 years and it is constantly improving their own inventory practices (from the ability to track inventory moves to the holy grail of them all, data accuracy).

For 20 years we've been promoting inventory best practises to our customers, curious parties who stumbled onto our humble blog and especially to our very own team. And now, we want you to check out what industry leaders and professionals are doing in their warehouses.

Infographic ahoy!

And what’s an infographic without some tips and tricks? We have 3 e-books available (download free!) for you to peruse at your leisure and if you would like an appointment with one of our barcode experts for an in-depth explanation of the results, we will be happy to hook you up with a free appointment.  Remember, we've got your back!

Scanners On!

Jeff Lem

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 2:49:03 PM


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Come Join Viascanqdata at the Quebec City Industriel Trade Show

Our team is hyped for this year's Quebec city industriel trade show. We'll be there with our friends from M.A.G. Intégration and Intermec, so expect a lot of cool demos, insightful presentations and free advice on how to get your warehousing operations into the next level.

If you're attending as well, please come by and say "hi"! We'll be at booth #29!

A bit about the show itself:

The Quebec city industriel trade show is the largest industrial exhibition held in Eastern Canada!

Over 500 expert exhibitors at each edition;
An average of 7,000 visitors visit the show over the 3-day period;
A gathering of businesses comprising all sectors of industrial activities under one roof:
& more

About M.A.G. Intégration

M.A.G. Intégration offers companies solutions to overcome problems related to new data processing applications integration, and existing systems optimization.

Over the years, we have developed a considerable expertise with distribution and manufacturing companies.

About Intermec by Honeywell

Honeywell Scanning & Mobility was formed via the acquisition of Hand Held Products (HHP), Metrologic Instruments, LXE, and Intermec, which included Vocollect Voice Solutions. Honeywell Scanning & Mobility is a leading manufacturer of high-performance image-, laser-, and voice-based data collection hardware, including rugged mobile computers and barcode scanners. Please Select your Location and Preferred Language.

Scanners On!

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 11:42:25 AM


Monday, September 22, 2014

WiNG EXPRESS - The Power of Wireless for Small Businesses

Today, we are checking out the Motorola WiNG express road show in Toronto! We want to learn all we can about this WLAN operating system in order to provide more ways to help your business "soar".

We believe in the power of wireless and WiNG express is tailored for small to medium businesses at a reasonable cost. It's especially perfect for a small team, so if you don't have a designated IT department, you're still covered. When your business is always on the move, no matter the size of your staff, you want to get things done fast without sacrificing productivity and accuracy.

To learn more about WiNG Express, check out the official site!
To attend the next road show in Quebec, you can register here!

Scanners On!

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 11:57:33 AM


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Join Viascanqdata at the Toronto Wavelink Roadshow

If you follow us on social media, then you know we'll be making a "splash" at the Toronto Wavelink Roadshow this Wednesday on the 17th! Want to see how you can incorporate voice technology into your organization? Then there's still time to register, so delay no more!

This year, the event will take place at Ripley's Aquarium, which is one of the many gems Toronto has to offer and is a definite must see if you have never been before. For more information, check out the schedule below:

4:00 p.m. Welcome
4:15 p.m. Food and beverages served
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Presentation of current state of voice applications in the supply chain
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and on – Q & A


Wavelink’s Mobile Enterprise Productivity Suite provides companies with a unified solution for deploying mobility that contributes directly to the bottom line – your company’s operating margin. Businesses around the globe use Wavelink mobile application client solutions - Telnet and browser-based, to connect to all leading Supply Chain Management systems. Wavelink Speakeasy voice-enables these mobile application clients, offering enterprises the opportunity for further worker productivity gains across supply-chain operations. Companies rely on Wavelink’s Enterprise Mobility Management software to ensure these mission-critical mobile deployments are fully operational, ensuring optimal worker productivity. Across industries – from manufacturing to retail, warehousing and field force automation, companies look to Wavelink for productivity gains through mobility.

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 9:20:25 AM


Friday, July 11, 2014

Summit 2014-Recap of 5 Technologies to Watch

Our Customer Advisory Summit took place on June 23rd and June 24th and let's just say Canadian summers are made for great discussions and a good ol' fashion Jay's game. We talked shop, tech trends, product roadmap, and the top five tech to keep an eye on. All in all, we gained a lot from the conference and our customers. So for all those who attended, thank you for the insight and the inspiration! 

So what does this have to do with Minority Report? In 2002, this film displayed some sci-fi-esq gadgets on the big screen and it was a marvel. But today, the future is here--now and many technological elements we have admired on films and tv shows are either in the works or is available in its infancy to consumers. We discussed the top 5 at Summit to watch for, but before we dive in, why did we pick what we picked?

-Ubiquitous – using existing devices or infrastructure
-Low Cost
-Consumer Driven
-High and rapid ROI
-Easy Migration into Supply Chain

So without further adieu, let's see the list.

5. Zatar by Zebra Technologies. Make no mistake, everything is getting connected. By 2020, IDC estimate that there will 212 billion connected devices. The exciting part about Zatar is that it's one platform to manage your entire network of devices. It's cloud-based, multi-device friendly and can be used almost anywhere. Zatar is designed to be intuitive on use, but powerful enough for enterprise applications

4. Near field Communication is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into proximity, usually no more than a few inches. You can find this tech in your wallet (credit cards, debit cards) and the sim card inside your phone. With NFC, you can grab a colleague or partner's files with a swipe, get automated payments and manage your workforce via mobile. The convenience it offers is addictive and we can't wait to see it get refined even more.

3. Wi-Fi Positioning Systems (WPS). The WPS uses a MAC address of your WiFi device
based on signal strength received by access points to create a geospace within your physical location
and connects to it. It can be used to track location of equipment/personnel, determine available resources,
track efficiencies and capacity and give rise to a new generation of intelligent software.

2. Payment Capture. From this blog entry, you already know we're a fan. 

1. Wearable Technology. Think google glasses, smart watches, but...bigger. An integrated piece of tech that does everything your mobile phone can and hopefully even more in the near future. With wearable technology, it can/will utilize the above 4 and will hopefully bring forth a new era of productivity, efficiency and accuracy. 

Posted By: Jeff Lem @ 10:53:27 AM


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