Technology Trends In 2021 Driving Workflow Optimization

As we start off a new year in 2021, what does the investment roadmap look like for your company’s tech infrastructure? When it comes to warehouse management and material handling, are you ahead of, or behind, the technology curve in workflow optimization?

While the year is young, it makes sense to benchmark your workflow tech adoption against other companies. According to a new report from Vistage (Technology trends facing business in 2021 and beyond), a few broad trends can be expected:

IT will drive workflow optimization

IT spending clearly varies widely by industry, with the software industry unsurprisingly in the lead. However, it’s worth noting that traditional IT laggard industries such as transportation & logistics, manufacturing, and industrial products are already being impacted by the ‘Amazon effect’, in which consumer expectations have been raised owing to Amazon’s extreme investments in technology enabling it to dramatically improve service levels and throughput. Where does your company stand on IT spend as a percent of total revenue?

IT Spend as a percent of revenue

CSSI can help: Are you effectively utilizing automatic data capture, mobile computing, barcode scanning, and warehouse management software in your operations?

Digital transformation will be pervasive

In today’s fast paced business day, pen-and-paper processes are slow-moving and error-prone. By migrating from paper to digital, it’s possible to accelerate workflows and reduce errors as well as new employee training time. CSSI offers a range of tools to help you rapidly move to digital. Speak to your CSSI rep about custom programming options which can rapidly move you forward. For example, consider this case study in which CSSI supported a company’s adoption of a completely digital quality sample management process.

The adoption of robotics, automation, and AI is accelerating

If there is one long-lasting impact of 2020’s COVID crisis, it will be the further acceleration of robotics and automation. As technologies have evolved, companies are increasingly seeking ways to replace labor. Robots can work faster, cheaper, and with greater accuracy — and don’t get affected by illnesses.

One of the sweet spots of robotics has been the use of cobots, or collaborative robots — these machines augment, rather than entirely replace staff workers. As capabilities expand and training time diminishes, expect to see more use of these multi-purpose machines.

automation and articial intelligence adoption

Artificial intelligence is another exciting area of advancement. Practical AI applications are available now which can save time and improve your capabilities. For example, AI-powered hybrid cloud security cameras enable your team to rapidly scan hours of footage to identify events and event specific individuals. Hybrid cloud video surveillance can save time and improve security workflows.

verkada access control user interface for security workflow optimization

CSSI can help: Are you ready to explore technologies such as AI, robotics, or RFID? Contact us today to start a conversation.

Many industries anticipate significant increases in IT infrastructure investment

Based on Flexera’s 2020 Tech Spend Report, status quo IT investment levels are not expected to hold, but will instead increase. Note that respondents in retail/eCommerce indicate the highest overall percentage increase, with Industrial coming in second.

IT investment for workflow optimization

Concerned about how you will budget for and afford IT investments? Speak to CSSI about exciting technology financing options which are available — take advantage of current historically low interest rates with an equipment lease which enables you to match the equipment benefit with the cash outlay over a period of years.

Augmented reality & virtual reality tools are making inroads for workflow optimization

Extended reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality technologies are gradually making inroads in businesses. While some of these technologies may be a little ‘early’, other well-vetted technologies are ready for prime time in your business. for example, have you tested hands-free wearable computers and voice-directed devices? In fast-paced warehouse environments, the ROI can be compelling. Contact us for a demo today.

honeywell vm1a fork truck computer

In summary, it’s a new year and a whole new technology world. As your enterprise mobile and automated data capture partner, CSSI can introduce you to technologies which can transport your business. Contact us today to discuss your opportunities.

Read the complete Vistage report on 2021 Technology trends here.

Interested in more reporting on IT investment outlooks for workflow optimization? Read Zebra’s most recent field operations vision study or warehousing vision study.

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