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Automate Your Inventory Tracking with Inventory Scan
Posted in Staff & Personnel,  Productivity,  Innovation & Tech,  Robotic Cleaning Machines,  Industry News,
Inventory tracking can be a time-consuming endeavor. But accurate inventory data is crucial to ensuring that the right products are in the right locations to meet customer needs. According to the Food Industry Association, the average supermarket in the U.S. is 48,466 square feet and carries 31,119 items. That’s a lot of shelves and space to cover if employees are tracking inventory manually. Add to that the shifting buying habits and ongoing supply chain chaos precipitated by the pandemic, and staying on top of store inventory becomes more important — and more challenging — than ever. To top it all off, tight labor markets make this time-consuming, labor-intensive task more costly, too.
Automate Inventory Scanning to Maximize Retail Labor Efficiency
But what if your employees didn’t have to walk the store aisles, manually counting or using a handheld store inventory scanner? Tennant Company teamed up with Brain Corp to create an innovative solution: Inventory Scan from Tennant, powered by BrainOS®, turns your Tennant AMR robotic floor scrubber into an automated inventory management solution.
Employees and customers alike are already well-adapted to automation at the point of sale, courtesy of self-checkout lanes. And they’re ready for it in other parts of the store, too. Inventory Scanning works by using artificial intelligence (AI) to comb through video footage to track how many of what products are on which shelves. By employing sophisticated computer vision and analytics technologies, Inventory Scan can automate the process of counting what’s on the shelf, allowing you to reallocate employees’ time to high-value tasks that only a human can do.
5 Key Benefits of Inventory Scanning
The value of automated inventory tracking goes far beyond labor cost savings. Key benefits include:
- Optimized Inventory Availability: Inventory Scan can integrate with your current inventory system to give you increased inventory accuracy. You can now get vital data on what products are available in what stores – no matter if your company has several stores regionally or hundreds of stores around the world – so customers can find the products they want in the correct location.
- Price Accuracy Information: There are few moments more uncomfortable for your employees than a customer arguing about a pricing inaccuracy. Inventory Scan can ensure that store signage, shelf pricing information and your point-of-sale system are all in sync.
- Real-Time Product and Store Mapping: Are some of your stores’ shelves consistently well-stocked, while others look like the toilet-paper aisle in March 2020? With Inventory Scan’s real-time product and store mapping capabilities, you can optimize and adjust your store’s layout and product placement strategy to cope with current shortages and appeal to customers’ constantly changing buying habits.
- Improved Planogram Compliance: Ensure that sales floor shelves look how they should in every single store with real-time high-resolution imagery and analytics to back that up. These kinds of high-quality metrics can enhance vendor relationships at a time when every retailer is clamoring for products.
- Smart Labor Re-Deployment: Automated inventory scanning doesn’t replace retail workers. Instead, this technology enables the “co-bot” approach, working alongside your staff, reducing human error and allowing your employees to take on roles and responsibilities that only a human can perform. Re-deploying your labor force to take on high-value tasks and management roles can increase job satisfaction – and retention.
Dual-Purpose Equipment: Autonomous Cleaning Equipped With Inventory Scan
Inventory Scan not only provides multiple benefits, but it represents a multi-purpose investment for your business. A Tennant T7AMR robotic cleaning floor scrubber, fitted with Inventory Scan technology, gives you an intelligent two-in-one machine.
For now, robotic floor scrubbers can’t clean floors and scan shelves on the same pass down the aisle, but these dual-purpose machines deliver several efficiencies.
- Robotic floor scrubbers reduce the amount of equipment that must be on-hand at every store.
- A single piece of equipment for two tasks means that employees don’t have to take on extra training to cover inventory and floor cleaning responsibilities.
- Similar mapping and AI training tasks apply to both floor scrubbing and inventory scanning capabilities, so a dual-function machine doesn’t require twice the administration work.
Elevating Employee Responsibilities to Increase Retention
Labor shortages are crunching nearly every industry – and the front-line retail workforce has taken a disproportionate hit. One report found that 80% of food retailers are facing labor shortages that are negatively impacting their businesses. Even if your business can fill open positions, quarantines and childcare closures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mean that even your most reliable employees are likely to call out at rates much greater than their pre-COVID norms.
There’s no silver bullet to ending the retail labor shortage or increasing employee retention – but making the smartest use of the staff you do have can help. Employees who take pride in the work they’re doing are more likely to stick with an employer. Even simple switches like exchanging a pencil and clipboard for a spreadsheet and planogram can make employees feel valued – while also reducing labor and turnover costs. Learn more about how Tennant Company can help you automate inventory tracking.
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