January 7, 2015

All this week we’ll be bringing you a selection of the vast (and we do mean V–A–S–T) array of electronics on display at CES 2015.

New York JFK airport winter 2015
Leaving winter behind in NYC

Capacity LLC’s Chief Strategy Office and co-founder Thom Campbell left the wintry weather on the East coast and successfully made his way to Las Vegas yesterday, ready to talk logistics tech with anyone facing supply chain challenges in the coming year.

We’ll be bringing you his best photo-journalism here, but for the deeper discussion around supply chain technology you’ll need to track down Thom at the event itself.

Email us at sales@capacityllc.com if you’d like to arrange a time and place!

And now, on with the show…


 

 

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A relatively short line for the monorail (en route to join the masses)

 

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The most efficient transportation around the exhibition hall?

 

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Home security and the cloud. Internet of Things will be big at CES 2015.

 

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Color Block brighten up our day.

 

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Indoor drones! Coming soon, to a warehouse near you?

These Under Armour Gear cases defied both gravity and anti-gravity…

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Back seat drivers?

 

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Of course we took a peek behind the scenes to look at the logistics of International CES.
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Elvis was bound to turn up sooner rather than later…
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So much to see it could drive you up the wall!

Again, if you’d like to get in touch with Thom this week at CES, contact our sales team on sales@capacityllc.com or fill in this quick contact form.

January 2, 2015

“Planning is bringing the future into the present, so that you can do something about it now.”

~Alan Lakein

More than ever, technology requires us to consider what will happen tomorrow, today. Though supply chain operations are rooted in proven, reliable systems, technology is inextricably linked to logistics and drives rapid change here just as much as it does in other industries.

Next week we’ll be at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) in Las Vegas, all set to take in the next big trends in tech. We’re also eager to talk to technology-oriented companies about how our advanced EDI and order systems enhance supply chains just like yours, driving quicker delivery lead times and cutting waste from the fulfillment process.

Quotes about planning Alan Lakein

 

Just as tech companies need to keep on the cutting edge of their market, logistics providers like us must stay up to speed on the latest, greatest ways to move your products seamlessly through the supply chain and out to your customers as efficiently as possible. It’s the base that great technology brands are built on.

What happens, for example, if your customer wants your product so much that they’re pay a premium to have it delivered to their door within the hour?

That’s not the future, it’s on offer today in New York City from Master & Dynamic, a top of the range audio technology brand with whom we work to satisfy customer demand almost instantaneously. It’s the cutting edge of order fulfillment technology that everyone from local business to global e-commerce companies like Amazon are eagerly pursuing as a standard service.

supply chain technologySame-day and even within-the-hour delivery?

That’s instant gratification for a grateful customer, but that’s the kind of spontaneity that requires extensive planning and precision execution on your part!

If you’ll be at CES 2015 as well – or if you could simply use some help bringing your supply chain up to speed for 2015 – we’d love to talk to you about the latest supply chain technology. Let’s have a conversation that makes you rethink the old adage “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” These are solutions that you’ll want to take home and talk about.

You can call our sales team (732-745-7770 and select option 3) or e-mail sales@capacityllc.com to set up a meeting.

Here’s to a prosperous and increasingly efficient year ahead for your business!

August 6, 2014
English: Augmented GeoTravel for iPhone 3GS us...
GeoTravel for iPhone 3GS uses augmented reality to display information (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rapidly advancing technology and supply chain management go hand in hand. Most of the articles we write here seem to touch on new tech in one way or another, whether directly with warehouse drones, or indirectly in terms of consumer behavior as more and more of us live and buy online.

Even so, the idea of futuristic electronic overlays integrating with normal human vision still seems more at home with the Terminator movies than it does with terminating inefficiencies in the supply chain.

But early versions of such displays, more commonly referred to as “Augmented Reality (AR)” by those in the field, already live in our smartphones, and it won’t be long before they find their place in the supply chain.

 

Supply Chain AR at Work and Play

The leisure applications of augmented reality have been first to roll out, as products like Google Glass and even existing smartphone apps work to add contextual information to what we see and hear. When you snap a picture and it prompts contextual information from Wikitude, or you use Shazam to identify the music you’re listening to while out shopping, that’s early stage AR technology at work.

And even at our own work, around the warehouse and out on the road as products move from A to B, supply chain augmented reality is not far from becoming, well, a reality!

Fleet Owner last month offered an interesting breakdown of the potential for the technology in the trucking industry, demonstrating just how close some of the applications are. As they explain, with “consumer-ready AR products to be launched over the next 12 months,” devices designed specifically for the workplace are likely to be with us in the next two or three years.

How might supply chain professionals make use of augmented reality? Consider these scenarios:

  • Product and cargo information is currently held, at best, on a handheld device, or even stuck on a less portable laptop or desktop computer. Handsfree wearable devices could free workers to gain critical information on each package, such as contents, weight, storage location and stock levels, to improve loading, manage inventory, or reduce handling damages.
  • New employees spend a lot of time poring over manuals and training guides. Having those available as a task is undertaken would aid learning “on the job” and possibly result in less of a learning curve.
  • Similarly, when the kind of custom packaging that we undertake requires a certain look and feel, images of the finished package could easily be overlayed alongside the actual to guide assembly.
  • Reduce workplace dangers by identifying dangerous materials or areas and warning the user ahead of time.
  • Warehouses can be tough places to navigate. Having seamless access to product location information and directions to that point could add up to significant time savings.

Even more encouraging is the fact that the privacy concerns plaguing consumer AR products will be vastly reduced when it comes to the private workplace, allowing the technology to roll out based purely on use benefits rather than social norms.

So, don’t be surprised if you see warehouse workers with all kind of gadgets and gear on your next visit!

 

August 1, 2014

Continuing our #Unpacking series, today we take the tech out of supply chain terminology.

A great deal of technological wizardry goes into getting your goods from A to B (and C and D and etc.), but it need not be as baffling as some of the acronyms and industry lingo make out.

Here to help you bust that jargon is a clarification on some of the terminology you’re sure to hear as you liaise with logistics partners. Continue reading Unpacking: Supply Chain Tech Talk

July 23, 2014
Drone sunset
Image Credit: Gregory Younger

It’s been a while since we dealt with the potential for delivery drones here, and even when we did it was with tongue firmly in cheek.

The phenomenon is rarely far from the headlines, however, and more logistics professionals are beginning to analyze the effect that drone technology could have, from internal warehouse management to external distribution.

While the latter has been widely derided as a pipe dream, at least in the near term, due to FAA restrictions and very real concerns over safety, the former may be closer than you think.

The use of drones to improve internal storage operations isn’t such a leap when we consider the existing automation within warehouses and along assembly lines. In fact Amazon, the pioneer of publicity-seeking drones late last year, already has drones at work within its own warehouse infrastructure.

Although we tend to look to the skies when we consider drone technology, that’s more media hype than reality. In some cases flying drones will have uses within the warehouse environment, but the most immediate applications will be for ground drones that can connect up routine tasks.

Some of the suggested areas for drone use in internal supply chain operations include:

  • Simple A to B product relocation for automated assembly processes,
  • Automatic replenishment of stocked items when an inventory system flags low levels,
  • Integrated hybrid human-drone packaging lines, in which drones fill the repetitive but tedious tasks that have high rates of human rework,
  • Light item lifting to high shelving units typically accessed by human-operated lift tools,
  • Performing functional tasks during off-peak hours, when skeleton crews are running and employee costs would run into higher rates of pay,
  • Automated palletizing systems where product dimensions are standard and packing routines do not vary.

 

Delivery drones that serve external customers will continue to hog the headlines, but the real advantage for supply chain professionals is likely to come from applying the technology internally.

Keep this in mind as you consider adjustments to your warehouse operations in the weeks and months to come!