Today’s retail companies are reaping incredible benefits from going digital across their value chain. In the first blog of this series, we touched on the powerful advantages of unified communications. Now, let’s see how digitally connecting your retail organization at the production level can benefit your bottom line and give your company a competitive edge.
From cloud-based capabilities to sensors gathering real-time analytics, digital solutions that work together can integrate data and generate efficiencies at every stage of production.
Blockchain enables transparency. This digital-ledger technology offers retailers greater visibility into their value chains. It can help verify products’ origins and authenticity in a world where consumers care very much about how and where products are produced (e.g., ethically made clothing, or production processes that use local natural resources).
IoT and AI provide actionable insights. IoT devices and sensors can also help companies find cost savings. For example, sensors in a vineyard might detect a leak in the irrigation system and automatically notify the appropriate farmer (leveraging 5G over a LoRaWAN network for that data communication, for instance) . This can mean huge bottom line benefits and in this example, saving an entire crop.
RFID is critical. This tagging and tracking technology eliminates manual data entry and digitizes production from the get-go, starting with raw materials, products from suppliers, or wherever your value chain begins.
Unified communications support surveillance and safety. Line workers are always safe, for instance, when they can access UC tools like VoIP at the production site for real time alerts and communications that don’t interrupt production. And minimizing production downtime has the benefits of cost savings and efficiency, but also helps plants or manufacturing sites remain compliant.
A foundational network ties it all together. If using the above tools sounds difficult, it doesn’t have to be. A network like Cisco DNA for Retail can offer secure storage of your production data, unified communications, and more, all on an intelligent platform with security baked in.
Yet, digital solutions that optimize production are only the beginning. Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, which will consider the benefits of digitally connecting the rest of your retail value chain.
And be sure to follow along about Cisco’s booth at NRF2020 this year where we are connecting the value chain with IT, from Grape to Glass.
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