Final day at the NRF 2018 show.
(images to come - upload speed is particularly bad at JFK airport)
Disappointed by the number of businesses that cannot explain what they do in a few sentences. Ok, some businesses are a bit more complex than say "we help retailers to become omni channel retailers"... However, for the companies who think this is a good explanation of what you do, perhaps you ought to think through your trade show strategy a bit more and losen up on the sales schpiel and get down to the nitty gritty. Sometimes the simplest explanation is also the best...
We learned a lot about RfiD today, possibly too much. About 8% of retailers are using RfiD. Of these, perhaps 50% have implemented RfiD at source. The market appears to be a greenfield opportunity for suppliers... however, in order to roll out a proper RFiD project you need to bit more than just tags and readers. For example, if you want to stick your labels on to your garments, include them at source, how you pack your products, for example tshirts are high density packed, if you have metal fixtures in your stores, etc. To get the accurancy level you want there may be a requirement to use a different RFiD label from another. At this point you have not even considered if you should have fixed or mobile readers, etc. Thanks to the guys at SML for the educational chat.
Infor is another company with a card up its sleeve. Apparently they have just acquired a new company but did not want to utter anything of interest to someone spreading news in the ether such as myself. Apparently some interesting announcement in the coming days/weeks.
Locus is making an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) with no need for warehouse operations to change dramatically (as with ASRS type systems or even a Kiva/Amazon type system). Look out for our upcoming industry analysis on Ecommerce Warehouse Fulfilment Robots... Its going to be a hot item...
Theatro is also a noteworthy company. Imagine walkie talkies but in the future. The company use voice recognition technology and some more exciting bits and pieces. We like the approach. Hopefully we will be writing a better story on these guys when we have had time to get back to our normal rythm in the UK.