Case study – Groupe Renault migrates to a digital vehicle testing process in its Technical Testing Center in Titu

Renault Technologie Roumanie is the engineering center of Groupe Renault in Romania. 2,300 engineers design here smart, affordable, reliable, and modern solutions with customers’ expectations in mind. Duster and the all-new models unveiled at the end of 2020 (third generation Logan, Sandero and Sandero Stepway) are designed, tested and manufactured in Romania.

COMPANY PROFILE – GROUPE RENAULT OPERATIONS IN ROMANIA

Complete automotive chain: customer surveys, design, engineering, manufacturing, sales, business services, after-sales and financial services

  • 6 billion (euro) turnover across all Groupe Renault operations in Romania (2019)
  • 3% share in GDP
  • 7% share in exports
  • 3 billion (euro) total investments
  • 17,000 employees across all sectors
  • 1,500 automotive suppliers in Romania
  • 108 Dacia & Renault sales outlets
  • Dacia has the highest market share in Romania
  • 85% of the production of Mioveni plant is exported

Titu Technical Testing Center

With over 32 km of testing track and 52,000 structures on 350 hectares, Titu Technical Center, part of RTR, is home to Renault Technologie Roumanie engineering center.

Over 800 employees use every day leading edge technologies and tools to test vehicles at various design stages and in various weather and road conditions.

At Titu Technical Testing Center, Renault Technologie Roumanie teams perform complex tests and thoroughly assess vehicle behavior in particular usage conditions in accordance with a validation procedure prior to manufacturing.

Some Dacia models have been altered based on the feedback from the international markets, in some cases over 100 versions being available, such as those manufactured for tropical climates and heavy monsoon rainfalls, or those designed for extremely cold climates where temperature goes much below zero.

Vehicles or certain vehicle parts are subjected to hours of tests in sun simulators, cold and rain chambers at various intensities or on roller benches where the clutch, the gearbox, and the accelerator are activated in settings similar to real-life driving conditions.

Vehicles are also tested in a “quiet room” – a soundproof acoustic enclosure – in order to assess the impact of the various outside noises on the occupants, and in a special shop, where a robot opens and closes the vehicle doors and the trunk lid.

These durability tests last no less than 10 weeks during which orange robots open and close the driver’s door 100,000 times, the front passenger door 75,000 times and the trunk lid 30,000 times; the hood is opened 3,000 times.

Extensive software tests are also performed. The durability of the vehicle parts is tested at extreme temperatures ranging from -20ºC to +80ºC.

Titu Technical Center is the only RTR center of this type in Romania; it ranks second in the world in terms of size.

Challenges faced by Renault Testing Center in the vehicle validation process

Each year, the tests carried out at the center in Titu cover eight million kilometers, a distance equal to 200 times around the world, and 450,000 hours of test bench trials, which is equivalent to 52 years of vehicle life.

On a regular day, over 80 vehicles can be tested. In accordance with the standard testing procedures, a vehicle is subjected to tests covering up to 50,000 km, for seven hours, across three shifts. Tests can last up to three months for a single vehicle. These tests simulate intensive usage and are equivalent to several years of real use by a customer.

“Imagine ten types of tracks, including a fast track, a city track, a sloping track, a cobblestone track, and a wet handling circuit, which simulate various road conditions a driver may face, from countryside roads to big city traffic or highways. The driver must record whatever they notice – for example, any abnormal noise, or if the seat or the armrest feels uncomfortable. In addition, for validation purposes, the driver must drive at a particular speed”, says Roxana Furduescu, Chef de Projet Performance WP et Roulage.

Until last year, the data collected during these tests were recorded by hand on paper forms. The process was quite difficult to manage, as several sheets of paper used to be printed every day for each vehicle. Consequently, the data volume resulting from the processing of these records was difficult to manage, process and analyze.

The Project: Setting up of a digital vehicle validation process for Dacia range

The deployment of a digital validation process for Dacia range aimed not only to eliminate paper forms, and to reduce the related costs, but also to achieve seamless coordination of all resources involved in vehicle validation, to eliminate human errors associated with manual data entry, and to centralize data in a mobile and web-based application allowing for a detailed analysis of all historical data collected in the validation process.

However, the crucial factors in favor of this decision were quality assurance and compliance with the relevant international regulations, and an easier management of the validation process for each vehicle.

The Solution for the digital transformation of the vehicle validation process: Driving Test Management

In order to make the job easier for the drivers and to achieve a better coordination of the project teams, Renault Testing Center needed a rugged, vehicle-mountable tablet that could be used in specific testing conditions. On a regular workday, a driver would pick up the tablet at the start of the shift and take it everywhere with them during the testing time.

Tablete Zebra ET51

Tablete Zebra ET51

“At the end of a very thorough selection process, RTR chose Zebra ET51 tablets for the testing operations conducted at Titu Testing Center and Smart ID provision and maintenance services. The project was implemented from October 2020 to November 2020. Zebra Technologies tablets met all the requirements of the project, particularly due to the high resolution display which delivered sharp text and clear graphics and was easy to read, including in bright sunlight or rain, and proved to be a valuable tool in relation to the testing environment and conditions.”  Roxana Furduescu, Chef de Projet Performance WP et Roulage.

Following the deployment of Zebra tablets, for each vehicle model entering testing, sequential data is uploaded into the DTM (Driving Test Management) application as part of a specific process. All paper records have been replaced by digital forms in which the driver enters the required information. All the driver has to do is take over the car, enter the mileage, and fill in the information in the assessment form. Zebra tablets offer drivers enhanced operational flexibility. Data can be entered more quickly and easily following a predefined sequence, and can be transferred to the web-based application at the end of each shift.

Besides the driver, a technician, a mechanic (in case repairs are needed) and the team lead who validates the information at the end of each workday are also involved in the process.

Designed for intensive environments, Zebra ET51 is built to handle repeated drops to concrete and plywood and to continue to operate. IP65 sealing makes ET51 your best workmate in all environments – in rain, snow, dust, vibrations, and extreme temperatures (from -20°C to 50°C).

In vehicle testing, where every second counts, and any noise or any abnormal operation has to be recorded in real time, it is important that drivers have a reliable tablet that allows them to focus on their job, not on issues relating to connectivity, operation, readability, battery drain, etc. Zebra tablets are built to handle everything and to continue to operate without causing any disruption in the workflow.

The 4,950 mAh battery powers a full eight-hour shift, but, in exceptional circumstances, a second 3,400 mAh hot-swappable battery may be added. The 2MP camera enables video calling over the Wi-Fi or cellular network, allowing workers to get instant help from a remote expert, co-worker or supervisor. The product also integrates an 8MP rear-facing camera.

“We worked very well with the Smart ID team since the start of the project. We were assisted by a skilled consulting team, ready to tackle any challenge posed by the project; they brought into this project their know-how and expertise gained across complex projects, but also their experience as a Zebra Technologies partner for more than 20 years”, says Roxana Furduescu, Chef de Projet Performance WP et Roulage.

 

Project Benefits

Lower project costs

Digital processes and elimination of paper-based recordings

Coordination of the main processes and resources required for the validation of driving tests

Less data entry errors

Time savings due to digital data collection

Implementation of DTM auditing procedures allowing to view drivers’ reports and to resume the process where nonconformities are found

Increased brand awareness – vehicle testing and validation processes help to avoid huge costs caused by vehicle recalls

DEMO – SOTIONE Platform – an end-to-end mobile device management solution

SOTIONE Platform is an end-to-end mobile device management solution that allows for the remote management of thousands of mobile devices and field teams (Police, EMS, power and gas lines maintenance, etc.), as well as coordination of mobile workforce across large facilities in manufacturing, logistics or retail sectors.

SOTIONE Platform provides you with remote upgrade functionalities for mobile devices from various international manufacturers (one of the many advantages of this solution), remote content management tools (you can remotely update any procedures, rules and compliance lists), as well as help desk support for your field staff.

SOTIONE Platform allows you to scale your operations as needed during busy periods, to automatically transfer mobile devices across locations, to manage users and roles, to identify and/or remotely lock a lost or stolen device.

Moreover, as nowadays staff are increasingly working from home and remote locations, you can securely manage BYOD (virtually any device, such as employees’ phones, laptops, and tablets) by providing or restricting access to certain corporate applications.

Why is mobile security a must for your business?

  • Loss or theft of rugged mobile equipment is very costly. This will also trigger additional costs, such as replacement, downtime, and data recovery costs.
  • A user may alter a device (such as a mobile phone or any other mobile device) in an attempt to circumvent the manufacturer’s/company’s security mechanisms – for example, in order to install unauthorized software. As a result, the device will become more vulnerable to malware, data leaks or other security issues.
  • Communications via public WiFi networks are not secured and therefore your company is prone to cyberattacks and theft of corporate data and credentials.
  • Mobile malware may open backdoors to your network and attack your mobile devices. Attackers may even demand a ransom to unlock your stolen data.
  • No matter whether data is accidentally lost or stolen, such occurrences may be extremely detrimental to your image and brand, and will most certainly show in your balance sheet.
  • Because of their scale and remoteness, unsecured IoT endpoints are extremely attractive to cybercriminals.

Register for The Hidden Side of Mobility, a Smart ID webinar to be held on March 24, 2021 at 2 PM and get a free DEMO to learn how you can save time, reduce the complexity of your IT operations, and increase the productivity of your mobile teams.

How to scale up fast the courier operation with mobility strategy implemented in time

ABOUT DPD Romania

DPD Romania is part of DPD Group, a leading parcel delivery network in Europe. It started to operate in the Romanian market in 2008, after the successful takeover of Pegasus Courier. Now it has over 1,800 employees (including franchises) and delivers over 15 mil parcels every year.

DPD is a leading-edge and innovative company which makes targeted investments in operations to stay in tune with the newest market trends and demands.

No less than 1,200 drivers work on a single shift to deliver smiles and great customer experience securely and on time, day in and day out (warehouse employees work on three shifts to ensure parcel processing and distribution nationwide and internationally).

Over 1,200 delivery vehicles are on the road in pouring rain, blizzard or nice weather, avoiding crowded areas especially on long routes so as to deliver more parcels in the shortest time to customers from all market segments.

THE 2020 CONTEXT: Unforeseeable dramatic changes in customer behavior

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the number of online orders had significantly increased, and this uptrend remained constant throughout the year with unprecedented peak periods in the history of the company.

As expected, this year on Black Friday, orders exploded: they at least doubled as compared to a regular day, and were 10% higher than the peak period during lockdown (April to May), and 30% higher than Black Friday last year.

In order to meet these challenges, DPD invested in new distribution centers located in major cities across Romania. This meant more jobs and investments in all touchpoints for increased flexibility and scalability of operations. A mobility strategy deployed as early as 2017 made it possible to accelerate business, to scale operations for seasonal peaks without limitations and without impacting deliveries and driver support throughout this challenging year.

 

BACK TO 2017 – If you can’t see the future, you can create it

 

DPD is a leading-edge, innovative and customer-oriented company. In 2017, it made a strategic change which included comprehensive end-to-end software migration from ERP (scanning) to invoicing. This made it necessary to replace the servers in the first place, but also the bar code scanners used by warehouse employees and drivers. This decision posed new challenges to the management.

Among the trends which marked a dramatic turn in the industry – e-commerce acceleration, next generation technology, card payment, parcel lockers, remote resource management, and parcel delivery – mobility was the most important.

DPD drivers are the most important point of contact with our customers. To ensure delivery in the shortest time and in the most efficient way, the company needed the latest technology, equipment and applications, and dedicated processes.

As a result, the employees were provided with leading-edge equipment – barcode scanners, mobile printers, smart mobile computers equipped with POS applications. These developments put additional pressure on the IT Department as tasks became increasingly complex and the equipment pool became harder to manage as a result of the large number of devices.

Territorial distribution of the equipment across more than 54 warehouses, a small IT team (only 10 employees), significantly more orders and onsite demands made it necessary not only to migrate to a modern solution for the management of mobile devices, but also to put in place a mobility strategy intended to ensure long-term business scalability, continuity, and consistency.

 

A few months later, in 2018, the DPD team began to assess various integrated management solutions

With over 1,200 drivers and over 400 warehouse employees, DPD needed a solid strategy. As soon as the new ERP-supported devices reached the company, they had to be configured and shipped to the 59 warehouses and delivered to the employees. However, the level of performance DPD sought could not be attained in the absence of a device management solution allowing for the automation of a number of critical tasks.

Modern solutions required modern device management applications integrating deployment, maintenance, updating, and technical support.

Therefore, DPD specialists attempted to find a management solution for the entire equipment pool, irrespective of manufacturer or brand, which should also allow for remote task automation directly from the headquarters.

Why the SOTI platform?

DPD assessed several solutions available on the market. The company sought a solution that could ensure device and application security, be used on a BYOD basis, support new applications, and provide more visibility into real-time operations, and support the mobile teams.

The SOTI solution made quite an impact from the start. Among the factors that weighed in its favor was that it had already been in use with DPD Group and it could be tested using DEMO accounts to assess the features and functionalities of the platform. Due to the integrated application suite, SOTI made it possible for DPD to reduce costs, complexity, and downtime, and offered it the flexibility required to develop new applications, and advanced security features at a faster pace and in a secure manner.

SOTI provided the IT Team with an IoT-based solution for the management of all equipment and devices and for the generation of reports concerning the mobile teams and assets for more reliable business decisions.

Unlike dedicated solutions which supported a single brand, SOTI was more versatile and supported over 1,000 IoT equipment and devices. In the past, before replacing the equipment pool, the company had used a dedicated Honeywell solution. However, it was no longer usable as it supported a single equipment brand and the changing market circumstances and the development of the company required a more versatile solution.

“We use SOTI to manage over 1,200 devices. This means state-of-the-art processes and perfect synergy between the customer service and the intensive environment support teams. Without remote access to each device, our work would be tremendously difficult. SOTI has allowed us to reduce complexity and to focus on productivity and performance as main targets that we monitor on a daily basis.”

Valentina Ionescu- IT, Business Development & Project Manager DPD.

Which processes does SOTI cover?

At process level, SOTI ensures automated device configuration directly from the application, based on device location.

The IT Department has developed and customized a script for each equipment model. As a result, to configure the interface, an IT employee only selects the script, enters the IMEI, the equipment model and the SIM series (Vodafone), sets up the APN, and pushes the software to the device. The entire process is automated, and all updates or new equipment settings automatically propagate to all remote devices.

Devices used by drivers are automatically connected to the company network via a SIM card or a wireless connection. In this way, we can easily identify the last warehouse the device connected to. Moreover, the IT team is able to generate reports concerning the use of equipment so as to allow transfer of the available equipment between sites whenever a particular site has to handle larger parcel volumes. In this way, the platform ensures equipment track and trace.

The mobile teams need daily support which is provided remotely for each device. When drivers are faced with various onsite issues, they contact the IT Helpdesk and report the issues encountered. Very often they are unable to complete a delivery either because they do not use the equipment correctly or because they encounter software or hardware issues. If the support team did not have remote access to the equipment, they could not correctly identify and solve the issues so as to allow the driver to deliver orders in a timely manner.

The platforms also allows generation of very accurate business reports including the physical location of the equipment, the last time it connected, the number of devices for each model, the Android version, update history, service reports, to name just a few of the monitored elements.

Another important advantage of the SOTI platform comes from the licensing model. Licenses are granted per number of devices and not individually per device. When a device reaches end of life, DPD replaces it and the license is allocated to the new device.

Other benefits of SOTI relate to precise identification of the date of the EMEI-based enrollment of the device SIMs, GPS tracking of lost equipment, faster and improved support to end users, automated loading and updating of instructions into devices, automated loading of new features which are instantly available to drivers.”

Valentina Ionescu- IT, Business Development & Project Manager DPD.

Why Smart ID as a deployment partner?

The greatest strength and advantage of Smart ID has always been people. I cannot say how much I appreciate the team I worked with on the project. I was not involved in the purchase, but I do believe that Smart ID has one of the most sophisticated and professional intensive environment support teams on the market. This shows best in their development over the past years.

We work with people and teams that are always ready to deliver beyond expectations, are aware of the latest trends in the automation and mobility market, and are always willing to help and find solutions for each and every issue that may arise.”

Valentina Ionescu- IT, Business Development & Project Manager

 

Răzvan Drăgoi joins Smart ID Dynamics as Deputy General Manager

November 16, 2020, Bucharest – Smart ID Dynamics, a recognized leader of the Romanian IT market, and a specialist provider of solutions for intensive environments, announces the appointment of Răzvan Drăgoi as Deputy General Manager.

In this position, Răzvan Drăgoi will be responsible for devising new strategies aimed at supporting the development of the company, especially in the logistics, manufacturing, and retail sectors, with particular focus on the expansion of the operations both locally and internationally.

 “The current global context is marked by paradox. Many industries are facing extremely difficult decisions, while others have now found long-awaited opportunities to unlock their growth potential. I am very happy to join a financially stable company, and a forward-thinking management team that is dedicated to transforming intensive environments through leading edge technologies. I am confident that I can contribute my experience to this approach, which, in my opinion, is the most suitable way to attract new partners, to introduce advanced technologies for intensive environments, and also to achieve business goals relating to the development of a larger portfolio of proprietary software solutions and value-added services.”

 Răzvan Drăgoi has over sixteen years’ experience in management and strategic management, and over eight years’ experience in B2B/B2C sales. Before December 2019, Răzvan held various key positions within FAN Courier where he successfully set up and launched the Regional Franchise Management system, the first Courier School in Romania, the first mobile application and the first pay on delivery service for FAN Courier customers.

With a strong background in Business Intelligence and a Lean Six Sigma certification (Black Belt), Răzvan Drăgoi was involved in the development, coordination and deployment of two consecutive strategic management cycles (Balance Scorecard) within FAN Courier. He was also actively involved in the design, construction and launching of the new Vanderlande sorting hub. Răzvan is the founder of The Trainers, an online platform dedicated to supporting communication between businesses and specialist trainers.

“2020 was marked by uncertainty, mixed messages from our markets, and pressure from our clients and suppliers. As a result, we had to be more alert and agile. At such times, when markets become volatile, it is essential to adapt, and to have an agile and flexible organization that can quickly adjust to the new economic context. Răzvan is a visionary and I have noticed an incredible synergy since we first met. We do believe that he will bring a fresh approach to our business and will open incredible opportunities both inside and particularly outside the company.

All our markets are facing complex disruptive challenges with short, medium and long term effects. We are experiencing a new (ab)normal, and new trends in customer behavior; “touchless” manufacturing, logistics and retail, and e-commerce acceleration trigger profound changes within the society; new concepts emerge, such as mini-warehouses and mini-fulfillment centers that are relocated so as to be closer to malls and shopping centers, or ever-faster delivery times.

We wish to keep up with these trends, and to create a more flexible organization, firmly rooted in the future.

We needed a strong character able to change perspectives in the current market circumstances, to create strategic relationships, and to support the expansion of the company into new markets. We are very happy to welcome a new valuable member to our team”, says Daniel Boangiu, Managing Partner, Smart ID.

About Smart ID

Smart ID is a recognized leader of the Romanian IT market. We have built a reputation as the most important provider and integrator of high-end technologies that reshape and transform intensive environments in unparalleled ways. The company provides connected, real time solutions that allow easy integration into hybrid physical and digital environments.

In order to cut down the costs of the processes between order placement and delivery, Smart ID offers its clients know-how and experience in complex implementations, process simplification, mobile solutions and equipment, automations and robots, and a deep understanding of digital transformation.

The company was set up in 2010 by Daniel Boangiu and Romeo Iacob, two visionary entrepreneurs and industry experts with over 20 years’ experience in mobility and automations. In 2019, the company had a turnover of 25 million euro.

 

 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Smart ID to Join Main Partners’ Social Responsibility Campaigns Against COVID-19

Why the disinfection of mobile computers, tablets, printers, scanners, and other devices is critical to infection control in workplaces and public spaces

Bucharest, March 11th, 2020. Smart ID, the recognized leader in the Romanian IT Industry and one of the most important Partner of technology manufacturers like Zebra Technology, NCR, Datalogic, SES-imagotag, Avery Berkel, Advantech, Panasonic, SOTI to name few, is to align starting today, 11th of March 2020, to main Partners social responsibility campaigns to inform the Romanian Customers about the disinfection of their mobile devices.

With a portfolio of top customers in Retail, Manufacturing, Logistics, Healthcare and Utilities industries, Smart ID involves itself in one of the most important awareness campaigns of the year, with the final goal to help customers understand the importance of disinfection in a correct manner.

While the main recommendation of the authorities involved in COVID-19 fight is to first wash our hands, in the workforce environment, it is also important to clean the Devices we touched all day long.

“There are many ways to disinfect the devices our customers use in the workplace and public spaces, but it is only one way to do it correctly. To protect the front line workers that use our products in warehouses, manufacturing, stores, and routes or in public services, we centralized starting today, on our webpage www.smartid.ro, all sources of information coming from our main partners related to COVID-19 fight” declared Daniel Boangiu, owner of Smart ID Romania & Moldavia, quoting a recent Zebra Technology position with regards to COVID-19. 

What you can find here:

  • Smart ID’s entire portfolio of mobile computers, scanners, and printers with disinfection instructions;
  • Key requirements considered by the main Partners in designing the products;
  • Guidance on how to clean and disinfect the devices once they are installed in the field.
  • How to deploy a cleaning protocol for Zebra products as well as for other Partners;
  • Cleaning agents that are safe to use, including the purity or formulation levels for each ingredient, as well as the cleaning agents that should never be used.
  • Precautions and best practices for handling the device during cleaning processes

Are you and your employees doing everything needed, on a routine, to prevent shared technology tools from becoming a potential source of virus transmission?

You can always contact our Support team if you have questions.

And here there are the updates coming from all our Partners:

Update Covid-19

11th of March, 2020. Zebra Technologies Guidelines

See the detailed guidelines on how to disinfect healthcare variants of Zebra scannersprinters, and mobile computers.

For non-healthcare models of Zebra products, look up the User Guide for your exact model on the Support section of our Partner Zebra Technology’ website and turn to the Cleaning Instructions section. For example, the TC57 user guide has detailed information starting on page 212. Simply search the document for “clean”.

User Guides with step-by-step instructions on how to thoroughly disinfect the casing, buttons, and screen (if applicable) and more.

Whitepaper “Best Practices for Infection Prevention” which was written by Darrel Hicks, a recognized expert in infection control – a solid foundation for health companies as well as for companies in all industries when taking additional precautions to protect the health of staff and customers.

11th of March, 2020. Update Advantech Press Release regarding Covit-19

Advantech’s live Data Platform, which is providing customers, partners, and employees with the latest information available, can be accessed here: www.advantech.com/resources/news/2019-ncov. Updates go live at 14:00, every Tuesday and Friday. The company employs 8,000 people around the globe, with nearly 3,400 employees based in China (including direct and indirect employment).

You can find the press release here.

Zebra SmartSight - Retail Robot

Retail trends for 2020 as seen through the lens of NRF 2020 Vision. What it will take for retailers to succeed

We’re only two weeks into the anticipated 2020 and the rush for new ideas in the retail sector has already begun. The U.S. is paving the way, yet again, with the NRF 2020 Vision, National Retail Federations’ annual conference in New York City.

As expected, artificial intelligence augmented reality and other robotics innovations dedicated to the retail sector have dominated the event and news headlines. But amid that, there’s something more interesting going on: a growing focus on retailers’ employee experience, equalizing the customer journey.

Our colleagues, Daniel Boangiu and Gabriel Georgescu, captured a few of the big ideas from this year’s NRF 2020 Vision that are most likely to change retail businesses all over the world.

We have entered a “technology intense era” for retailers

In it’s opening note for the NRF 2020 Vision show, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella underlined once again the importance of technology adoption in the retail sector.

“Every retailer will need to build their own tech intensity,” says Nadella, who’s stressing on how important it is for each retailer to find their own way when it comes to the digitization of stores and supply chains.

There’s plenty of options out there, for retailers of all sizes.

The buzz this year was Zebra’s new SmartSight, a robot that can scan shelves and report stock availability back to human associates. The robot uses Zebra’s EMA50 mobile automation technology, resulting in a combination of computer vision, machine learning, and workflow automation which is said to increase available inventory by 95%.

From the human workers’ point of view, it will free up to 65 hours of manual inventory per week. This time can be instead invested by employees in the direct connection to shoppers, an aspect which has gained more ground in the past years, especially for physical stores.

“Leveraging Zebra’s deep retail experience and market leadership over the last 50 years, SmartSight provides brick and mortar retailers a performance edge by autonomously prescribing corrective actions to associates based on what is happening at the shelf while also freeing up more of their time to focus on providing the best service to shoppers,” said Joe White, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies.

In the US only, 10,000 SmartSight robots will start operating in Office Depot stores, according to Zebra’s announcement. The cooperation between the two companies is much bigger though.

Office Depot has also adopted Zebra’s AR technology designed for warehouse management. The head-mounted display can make life a lot easier for mobile workers, as well as for companies struggling with employee onboarding and warehouse operations optimization.

Retailers are giving more power and intelligence to their employees

Staying on the same note, NRF 2020 was more than usual about people, customers and employees alike. In the U.S., Walmart is the biggest employer, with 2.2 million workers, and this is also a reality on the Romanian market, with Profi and Kaufland taking the lead in recent employment rankings.

With major employee retention and training problems, retailers are forced to reconsider their position. It’s not all about the pay, it’s also about a better job. Or, as John Furner, Walmart’s new CEO said in its NRF 2020 session, entitled “Why Retail Jobs Can Be Good Jobs”, it’s “a matter of giving the people the path and the ability to learn, train and develop”.

Simply put, for retailers to grow, they need to foster their human assets too. The payment is still a decisive factor, but it won’t solve retention. And that’s where technology can make a difference.

“The jobs are changing. I was in a Walmart store a few weeks ago that has this wonderful store pickup business in grocery click-and-collect. There are over 60 people in that department. Five years ago, that wasn’t a job that existed”, Furner added.

Innovations like Zebra’s smart glasses, self-checkout or queue busting are meant to assist the retail sector employees to do their jobs better, faster and with more satisfaction.

The software options for supermarkets have also evolved immensely, with mobility and interaction in focus. See for example NCR, who’s been named leading POS (point-of-sale) software provider in the world in the RBR Global POS Software 2019 study. Also present in the retailers Big Show in New York, was NCR’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Global Retail, David Wilkinson.

“We are in a new era for retail technology and we have to look at a new cost curve for retailers. We have to change the old paradigm and become API-first, use community-sourced software, use common tools, and leverage the cloud,” said Wilkinson.

Their newest solution, NCR R10 Enterprise, is a next-generation retail store architecture that supports a retailers’ entire enterprise connecting to customers through multiple touch-points. These include POS stations, self-checkout, self-scanning, information, and other interaction kiosks, mobile commerce and e-commerce, thus taking the shopper experience and satisfaction to a whole new level.

Omni-channel is key to surviving the e-commerce revolution

The online shopping was more than once said to kill the physical stores. We’re still waiting for it to happen and chances are – if things are done right – it never will.

The solution is omnichannel. NRF Chairman Christopher Baldwin addresses this issue at NRF 2020: “Retailers are taking the lead in personalization, new technologies that will give the consumer even more power”.

More than 60% of consumers say retail innovation has improved their shopping experience, and 80% for online shoppers think so”, Baldwin said, underlining the fact that shoppers see and appreciate the retailers’ efforts.

The store aisles are the best place to learn about consumers’ behavior. A brand new shopping experience, using high-tech and well-trained employees can revive the retail business.

A way to do that is the electronic labels, yet another NRF 2020 star after SES-imagotag, the global leader in Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) and digital solutions for physical retail, announced it will do the biggest rollout of ESLs in all stores for a top US retailer.

The Red Dot awarded VUSION aims at resolving retailers’ efficiency problems, like pricing automation and accuracy, product geolocation and automatic stockout detection. The real benefits are seen in the customer experience.

Its unique technology allows shoppers to get connected to products on shelves in a new way, as well as collect more information directly in-store. And with its ability to combine the digital experience with mobile payment systems, the circle in the customer journey is complete.

There are other indicators that omnichannel is worth the investment. According to Adobe’s holiday shopping report, “BOPIS” (Buy online, pick up in store), grew 35 percent year over year, and the business model also knows variations.

Take Kohl’s for example. The American department store retail chain partnered with Amazon in an innovative service: buy online, return in store. While the results after launch were less than anticipated, the idea behind it was quite solid, if we judge by Amazon’s results – 2019 was their best holiday season ever.

The beauty of it all in this continuously struggling sector is that it’s dynamics embrace the change. Customers want more or everything, and they are forcing retailers to adapt. On the way, great experiences can be created by those who dare to innovate and step outside the drawn lines.

Inspired by these insights? Add a comment, ask a question or simply share these thoughts in social media to help all those interested to find more about what’s new in the retail area in 2020.

Smart ID Dynamics received the recognition “Zebra Technologies Partner of the year 2018” in SEE & CEE

Bucharest 3 July 2019. Smart ID Dynamics, the Romanian market leader in enterprise mobility solutions, received the recognition ‘Partner of the Year in 2018” for Central and Eastern Europe at the Zebra Technologies Regional Partner’s Summit organized this year in Viena. This represent the recognition of the financial results the company registered in the Romanian market at the end of 2018 fiscal year – turnover, innovation, expertise, flexibility and loyalty.

Central and Easter Europe’s leadership position represent also the investment made during last years in building an innovative business model in the Romanian Market. This innovation allow Smart ID to build further on internal competitive advantage, in fast business processes and in a portfolio of solutions developed by our Technology Hub from Romania and Moldavia, hardly to copy paste by our main competitors.

At external level, we have always believe in flexibility and agility, on speed in taking action that meet the market dynamics needs, customer continuously changing needs and “me to” competition. We strongly believe that we are among few companies in the market that obtained incredible competitive advantages due to our ability to anticipate changes in market and further bringing continuously innovation in our business model” Daniel Boangiu, Managing Partner Smart ID Dynamics Romania & Moldova declared.

Smart ID is the recognized IT leader in the Romanian industry. We have built a reputation of the most important provider and integrator of high technologies that makes intensive environments great, ahead of times. The company offers connected, real time applications for customers to succeeding in the hybrid digital-physical environment. The company was set up in 2010 by two visionary entrepreneurs, Daniel Boangiu and Romeo Iacob, mobility and automations experts with over 20 years of experience, reach a turnover of over 15 mil Euro in 2018 and a net profit of over 1.3 mil Euro.

The company has over 100 employees and collaborators, a great certified team of stable certified experts following a smart program of team development and investment in teams, over the 8 years of acting in the Romanian market.

The  Smart ID teams of consultants is specialized in the development of enterprise solution for extreme environments, e.g. data collection in real time applied in industrial IOT, track and trace, stock and asset management, incident management, warehouse control systems, fiscal solution for retail applications etc.

“We enjoy the greatest recognition at the Zebra Regional Technology Summit in Viena that reinforce our lider position in the market, confirm the success of our strategy focused on innovating and customer needs in the markets we cover in this moment. We thank you our customers, multinational and local companies for trusting us during our collaboration

 

About Smart ID

Smart ID is the recognized IT leader in the Romanian industry. We have built a reputation of the most important provider and integrator of high technologies that makes intensive environments great, ahead of times. The company offers connected, real time applications for customers to succeeding in the hybrid digital-physical environment.

To reduce customer’s fulfillment cost Smart ID bring in knowledge and experience from complex implementations, process simplifications, mobility, automation and robotizations, all sustained by a in-depth understanding of digital transformation.

 

The company was set up in 2010 by two visionary entrepreneurs, Daniel Boangiu and Romeo Iacob, mobility and automations experts with over 20 years of experience, reach a turnover of over 15 mil Euro in 2018 and a net profit of over 1.3 mil Euro.

About Zebra Technologies

Zebra empowers those on the front line in retail, healthcare, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and other industries to achieve a performance edge – an edge that translates to delighted customers, good patient outcomes and superior business results.

As the pioneer at the edge of the enterprise, our products, software, services, analytics and solutions are used to intelligently connect your people, assets and data. With decades of industry experience, we design with front-line users and workplaces in mind, giving you the best-action guidance needed to optimize in-motion operations and make business-critical decisions.

With over 10,000 partners across 100 countries, we are committed to delivering industry-tailored solutions that help our customers capture their edge

SMART ID to launch a new digital presence, designed with customer trends and needs in mind

Bucharest, November 2019. We are Smartid Dynamics, the recognized IT leader in the Romanian industry and the most important provider and integrator of high technologies that makes intensive environments great, ahead of times, and we have just launched our new digital presence.  Based on our company objective to meet our customer’s goals to reduce complexity, shift the efficiency frontier, and to reduce their fulfillment costs, the new image is designed with our customer needs in mind.

With this new project we intend to bring more valuable customer experiences with improved information architecture, great content, social-driven approach, cutting edged web technologies, that improve customer interactions and simplifies conversation.

“We strongly believe that disruptions comes not from technology advancements but rather from unmet customer needs that inspire amazing innovations, are backed by new processes and a new way of thinking, all sustained by using advanced technologies to innovate, enhance speed, reduce cost and revolutionize the industries in which our customers operates. With digital transformation concept in mind we decided to start a completely new approach in our customer conversations, all based on industry trends, customer changing needs and anticipation of the future transformation” declare Daniel Boangiu, Managing Partner Smart ID Dynamics Romania.

We bring in new UX copywriting principles, where voice is playful, insightful, surprising and focused on translating future technologies into the present customer’ realities. Our design uses asymmetric shapes, broken quick layout, parallax techniques combined with awesome ideas,  video and motion effects and minimalist, clean design that allow the web to go faster and allow screen compatibility to give visitors an elegant impression. Different types of contents: texts, images, animations, video, sound are designed to map customer’s journey, influence by offering amazing micro-moments and unmatched experiences. At photography level we invite our customers to see us as real as we can be and as personally as possible. At technology level we shift the frontier from optimization to revolution, preparing for the next step to integrate with cutting web technologies” declared Romeo Iacob, General Manager

Our awarded writers invites people to access content that focus on performance, achievement, security and that is trustfulness by means of documentation, insight, vision, technology explanatory and helpful, useful and ready to apply in their activity. Build with our audience in mind our content use words to attract people and not to sell aggressively.

SmartID website reengineering is backed by close collaboration between Smart ID products experts, Amazing Soft – Software Development Company and Buzards.com – the remote marketing expert’s agency.

 

About SmartID

Smart ID is the recognized IT leader in the Romanian industry. We have built a reputation of the most important provider and integrator of high technologies that makes intensive environments great, ahead of times. We are offering you connected, real time applications for you to succeeding in the hybrid digital-physical environment.

The company is shifting customer’s company efficiency frontier. To reduce their fulfillment cost SmartID brings in knowledge and experience from complex implementations, process simplifications, mobility, automation and robotizations, all sustained by a in-depth understanding of digital transformation.

How do you respond to the challenges of the Omnichannel?

With 41% of consumers using two or more channels during purchase process, achieving flawless fulfillment has become more of a challenge than ever.

Businesses are trying to embrace increasing volume, rising velocity and variation coming from the different channels and optimize order delivery to customers.

That always-connected, tech-savvy shopper expects a seamless, faster purchasing journey, whether she’s buying online and picking up in store or wants her merchandise delivered in two hours to her door.

 

E-commerce is driving transformational change end to end in the supply chain: manufacturers, wholesalers and retails are increasingly collaborating out of necessity to meet the demands. To the manufacturer it is an opportunity for true innovation – now they can introduce new channel.

How can retailers effectively compete and be more efficient in terms of shifting inventory?

How can manufacturers be more efficient in leveraging their own brand as well as continue their partnership with the brick and mortar retailers?

How can they thrive in a market that has essentially been disrupted at it’s core?

 

With e-commerce currently accounting for 15-20% globally (or 30-40% in the developed markets), complete digital transformation of the supply chain that addresses key pain points is imminent.

Companies are turning to digital technology and analytics to bring automation, merchandise visibility and business intelligence to the supply chain to compete in the on-demand consumer economy.

Real time location solutions, tracking location of people, materials, assets will be critical technologies to help companies operate more effectively in this new environment.

Access a study made by our partner Zebra Technologies on Reinventing the Supply Chain to find out how manufacturers, retailers and logistic companies are preparing to meet new on-demand fulfillment expectations and what the future holds for omnichannel fulfillment.

 

 

 

Download an insightful and comprehensive report on REINVENTING THE SUPPLY CHAIN: THE FUTURE OF FULFILLMENT VISION STUDY from our partner Zebra Technologies

 

 

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