Spanning across multiple layers and cross-disciplinary industry verticals, software products have pervaded and expanded their empire at an unbelievable pace in the last two decades. The intensity with which the dependency has multiplied can be gauged by changes that has taken place in age old industries like mining, manufacturing, power generation, pharmaceuticals, automobile, etc. Interestingly, all such conventional industries are capital intensive and requires medium to large scale immobile physical infrastructure. With the world economy becoming more complex and business environments turning volatile with each passing day, managers and decision makers are at their wit’s end to tackle and cope with the inherent inertia of these sectors. |
In particular, the market is flooded with management theories suggesting ways to control and optimize the inventory of plants and workshops. This is largely because amidst fierce competition and thin profit margins, financial resources and physical assets need to be channelized with utmost degree of precision, and companies can’t really afford to invest in tangible assets that are going to be stacked up in warehouses for an unknown number of days. Quite clearly, cutting edge software is an extremely potent tool to streamline, organize and effectively manage the optimum levels of inventory. In fact, every sane company has adopted such measures to automate its operations and finance linked with their inventory control techniques, just to remain in the competition.
A careful analysis reveals that although primarily targeted at cutting costs, reducing uncertainty and minimizing errors, the so called core industries have long embraced robotics in their warehouses, shop floors and assembly lines. This, in turn, has made it possible to employ a high quality workforce in critical areas where a human element must have a voice in order to arrive at the right decision. At the same time, robots with embedded artificial intelligence of varying degrees have been entrusted with the grind of chores. The scenario, when linked with the rapid progress and forthcoming advancement in the Internet of Things, indicates a sea change in the way inventory management is performed with the aid of inventory software.
In the near future, robots engaged in warehouse related activities like sorting, placing, dispatching, tagging and identifying items with appropriate barcode will be intelligent enough to perform duties in an unsupervised manner. They will also communicate & circulate required information with their peers – thus providing a glitch free, seamless integration of key activities like monitoring of the inventory levels and keeping track of purchases, inclusions, reorganizations, orders, sales and deliveries. Not only that, they will automatically update databases linked with inventory software in real time, which will reflect and convey the changes to the concerned authority at scheduled intervals. The magnitude of this transformative impact will propel accuracy, speed, efficiency and profitability parameters of inventory management to the next orbit. On a concluding note, the course is about to pose formidable challenges before software vendors. For one, programmers have to rewrite and modify millions of lines of codes to maintain relevance and survive in the new ecosystem. In addition to that, possibilities of inventory software becoming redundant, or losing its primary function and importance, can never be waived off. Also, there are certain amount of risk associated with such extreme levels of automation, which should not be ignored on the ethical and humanitarian grounds.
Steve JO is a consultant working with Swadesh Softwares Pvt. Ltd., and has immense contribution towards rolling out the flagship inventory software of the company. His vision and intellect is reflected in the way he composes a software, which is nothing short of an elegant poetry according to the author.
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