Can Mobile Computer Vision Help You Make Better Business Decisions?

By Justin Corbell, Vice President of Sales, Scandit Inc.

According to the BI-Survey, 58% of enterprises base at least half of their regular business decisions on gut feel or experience rather than being driven by data and information. Whether you’re surprised by that or not, most people would probably agree that decision-making can be improved with information.

Mobile computer vision enables easy capture of data by employees across many operational workflows or from customer behavior in self-scanning applications. This is data which can and should provide valuable information and insight to business decision-making. Many Scandit customers are realizing that replacing dedicated scanners with barcode scanning mobile apps for smart devices, is paying off more than they expected. Sure, they will have known that mobile solutions would improve efficiency and help cut operational costs but they may have overlooked the opportunity to enhance business information.  Put simply, software-based barcode scanning is mobile data capture – and that data needs to be shared and analysed to provide input for performance performance evaluation.

Every time a worker or customer uses a barcode scanning-enabled mobile app, details are being gathered about supply chain performance, inventory, sales figures, asset location and a host of other metrics useful in determining trends and performance, This data can provide unprecedented insight into your operations when it’s used correctly. Not only can it fill in gaps that you may have had in existing knowledge, but it can also help predict what’s going to happen in the near future and even years down the road. This kind of business intelligence leads to smarter decision-making and improved efficiency and ultimately contributes to the bottom line. Here are a few examples of how organisations in various industries use the data they collect with barcode scanning-enabled smart devices as they improve critical operations.

Barcode scanning data-driven analysis of manufacturing performance

Manufacturing enterprises can use mobile apps to improve critical workflows and leverage the data they collect to bolster business intelligence, gain a more complete and transparent view of operations, predict upcoming orders and inventory needs, get more insight into customers’ requirements, and more effectively evaluate overall business performance.

When servicing manufacturing equipment in the field, a barcode scanning-powered mobile app enables employees to use smartphones to quickly retrieve up-to-date service records and order replacement parts right from a customer site. A barcode scanning-enabled mobile app delivers data that managers can use to gain visibility into the status and location of field assets (e.g. diagnostic and repair equipment) and technicians, identify underperforming workers and earmark equipment in need of overhaul or replacement.

In shipping and receiving workflows in the manufacturing environment, mobile computer vision-powered smart devices featuring MatrixScan enable workers to document the receipt of components many times faster than with dedicated scanners as well as make authentication and reporting damaged or missing items simpler. Mobile barcode scanning apps also automatically alert employees when shipments are missing specific items or products. In addition to helping saving time and resources in the plant, the data collected can identify problem suppliers and ensure peak employee efficiency.

A data-driven transportation and logistics organisation

Equipping drivers with barcode scanning mobile devices means the efficiency of your delivery fleet won’t be a mystery anymore. Smartphones and mobile barcode scanning apps work together to track assets and facilitate proof of delivery, and since that information is sent to the cloud, you can get real-time data at any given moment. You’ll have visibility into every delivery vehicle, which will help you understand shipping trends and optimize routes and load capacity, helping  save money on fuel and making drivers more productive.

At the same time, when you understand where an asset is at any given moment, you can provide up-to-the-minute status updates for your customers so they know exactly where their packages are. This level of visibility improves customer service and drives loyalty.

Augmented reality (AR) feedback takes mobile data capture a stage further

Using augmented reality (AR) functionality, users can take data collection and analysis to the next level. When delivery drivers scan parcels, AR-overlays on the smart device screen display real-time information such as package expiration date/time, extraordinary handling instructions, temperature requirements, special delivery times, and other critical data. Transportation and logistics enterprises can use this data to identify inefficiencies in the transport and delivery of special products and improve performance in the critical Last Mile.

See how mobile computer vision works in the Last Mile in this short video:

Data driving business decisions for retailers

Mobile computer vision-powered smart devices enable retailers to build strong clienteling programs that afford the opportunity to build better customer relationships and drive revenue through personalizing the shopping experience for customers. A mobile data capture solution supports clienteling by giving sales associates real-time access to product and customer data, enabling them to sell more and increase customer loyalty. In addition to these benefits, analyzing data collected through the clienteling process enables retailers to gain valuable insights into the direct sales process and accurately evaluate the performance of sales associates.  For example, this data can help retailers establish the optimum amount of time to spend with each customer to facilitate a sale, determine which factors affect the amount of time it takes to close a sale, and other benchmarks. Retailers can use this data to help train in-store sales staff.

Retailers that offer mobile self-scanning and self-checkout apps enable customers to have a frictionless shopping experience, avoid checkout lines, and save time. In many cases, shoppers using self-scanning and self-checkout apps shop more frequently and spend more money on every trip. Self-scanning and self-checkout apps also help retailers maximize floor space and make their labor force more efficient. In the process of achieving these benefits, retailers are collecting large amounts of data that can enable them to offer shoppers highly effective personalized deals, place products in key locations in the store for maximum sales potential and leverage foot traffic patterns on the shop floor.

Add value with robust data analysis

Clearly, by integrating mobile computer vision into your operations, you’re not just digitally transforming your workflows and creating value there, you’re also creating  new opportunities for more business intelligence. When you apply robust analytics tools to the data you collect, while improving process efficiency, you make it easier to stay ahead of competitors. Make sure that your data is working as hard as it can for your business and ensure you are using it to make decisions that add value to your enterprise.

We’re here to help

Our industry-leading technology turns any camera-enabled smart device into a powerful scanner and adds information for the user with augmented reality (AR) overlays. All for a fraction of the price of dedicated scanning devices.

The scanning performance is unrivalled – from damaged labels to awkward scanning angles and unusual barcodes. This is absolutely crucial because whether your app is used by customers or employees, you want to be absolutely confident it’s going to work first time, every time. To maximize adoption, the user experience needs to be fantastic, with ‘first-time friction’ minimized. We regularly have customers that test Scandit software against other commercial or open source solutions and come to us.

Contact us to learn now to digitally transform your enterprise with mobile computer vision.