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WHAT DID YOU
CLICK ON LAST
Do you remember going to the supermarket before bar codes were introduced? Teams of high
school students would be running around with their label guns tacking price stickers on every
single packet, jar, bottle and bag. The loudspeakers would blast "Price check register 4 Uncle
Bob's Marmalade", one after the other.
Meanwhile at the checkouts, the operators would punch in the numbers and bash 'Subtotal' with
their hands to move from item to item (could have been called something else, actually). The queues
would grow and the RSI in the hands stay for hours after each day, but it sort of worked.
(As an aside in those days, on the upside, high school kids at the cash register were able to
calculate the change due in their head and count it out no problem. But I digress.)
Then barcodes came and with them, thankfully, the noise in the supermarket subsided. So did
many of the jobs disappear, but that's another topic.
Today, price labels are no longer required on individual items, and barcodes decorate each
package, carton, and pallet that moves through the supply chain. Without them life stops, or at least
comes to a standstill for such a long time that customers usually just ditch the item -- a lost sale.
We are reaching a new stage of supply chain technology, one that indeed goes beyond data
capture. While the barcode is still the ruling identifier, it is no longer people capturing, interpreting
and using that data, but machines, often with no human interaction, in that scary new world of the
'Internet of Things'.
It is indeed possible for a product to be manufactured, packaged, loaded, unloaded, received and
put away, then selected and purchased by the customer with just two points of human interaction
involved: that of the truck driver delivering from supply to retail, and that of the consumer scanning
the item at the self-service checkout.
If Jeff Bezos of Amazon and others have their way, those points of interaction will soon no longer
be required, either. His Robo-Stow and the fast-developing UAV industry will easily pick the product
for the customer and have it flown to them within an hour of ordering.
Then we can all go back to watching (streaming) TV -- if only that %@#$ NBN worked.
BEYOND DATA CAPTURE
The top five stories on TandLnews.com.au
in December were...
TOLL TO CHALLENGE AUSTRALIA POST
Toll has launched a new consumer-to-
consumer parcel delivery service with the
opening of new pop-up delivery hubs.
100 KILLED SINCE TRUCK SAFETY
The TWU says death toll in truck crashes
has reached 100 since the government
scrapped a road safety watchdog that
was investigating the pressures on truck
drivers that lead to safety risks.
AUSTRALIA'S FIRST HYPERLOOP
Another reason not to build Badgery's Creek
Airport. High-Speed Rail is the future.
DRONES TO TAKE OVER THE WAREHOUSE
Geodis and Delta Drone have confirmed
the operational development of a unique
way for warehouse inventory counting
The 2016 Australian Supply Chain &
Logistics Awards have been announced.
GET YOUR TANDLNEWS FREE EVERY WEEK --
SUBSCRIBE NOW AT WWW.TANDLNEWS.COM.AU!
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