Change is constant and unavoidable. We don’t know when or where or how it will impact us, so we try to stay agile – technologically, organizationally and mentally – to anticipate the emerging technologies and shifting paradigms that will likely disrupt the status quo. It’s a lot to think about and sometimes it’s enough to make us want to crawl back under the covers and not get out of bed in the morning. Nevertheless, we need to embrace change or risk being left behind.
I was ruminating on these “disruptive” technologies during a recent trip to Orlando for the Automatic Identification and Mobility Summit (that’s what long flight times are for, right?). In the tech world, “disruptive technologies” is a good thing. They’re agents of change that present opportunities for new products, new solutions and new ways of thinking. It’s change that we can harness, but it’s also change we can drive ourselves.
The Auto ID industry is going through some significant changes right now. Manufacturers, software developers and systems integrators are concerned about what lies ahead, and I can’t say I blame them. Suddenly they need to design, produce and integrate new technologies that revolve around the pervasive phenomena of mobility. Smartphones, tablets and on-demand apps are replacing traditional industrial mobile devices as the data collection apparatus du jour. It’s this shift away from the traditional and into a vast, yet largely unknown, universe of potential change that has some companies feeling somewhat intimidated.
A2B Tracking is a driver of change. From where I sit in the pole position, I can see how Auto ID technology is successfully being leveraged for positive change in corporations and government – especially the Department of Defense. For instance, the DoD has established RFID standards to support packaging-level identification from the unit pack to the case and pallet, while standardizing the 2D barcode for item-level identification. For them, Auto ID is a centralized methodology. However, each branch of the service – and each program office, for that matter – has its own set of discrete factors guiding their use of Auto ID technology, whether it’s to support product lifecycle traceability or improve inventory controls.
From my view as a solutions provider and a driver of change at the head of the pack, we’re able to leverage Auto ID best practices while digging deeper into the problems our customers face. We recognize that if we are committed to being a vehicle for technological change, we don’t have to be everything to everyone as many others in our industry try to be. We just have to set the pace, know who we’re servicing and focus on what we do better than anyone else. The rest will follow.
If you’re a commercial or government leader looking for more efficient and cost-effective ways to meet your contract requirements and accelerate your bottom line (who isn’t?), perhaps it’s time to examine the processes within your organization and learn how a disruptive technology – change as opportunity – will take you to the next level. Employing disruptive technologies such as Auto ID can often streamline processes in ways you might not have thought possible. Going back to the smartphones and tablets mentioned earlier, this mobile technology will let you speed up and perform quality audits on the fly. The ability to capture and access accurate item data from anywhere at any time using your Android or iPhone will dramatically change the way you make important decisions. You’ll be able to make keen, analytics-driven decisions that are more timely and intelligent.
For over 5 years now, A2B has been fine-tuning cloud-based technologies to more easily and accurately track critical assets, parts, and equipment in regulated environments such as the Department of Defense. Yet we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that more change is inevitable. I am committed to staying ahead of the field in producing “disruptive” change. That’s why I like to sit in the driver’s seat.