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Improving inventory control accuracy and asset tracking

May 27, 2021

Improving inventory control accuracy and asset tracking
 
powered by Sounder


The public sector team at Zebra Technologies has recently seen an increased emphasis on and demand for improved tracking of key inventory and assets.
 
In this episode, Travis King speaks with two members of the Zebra Technologies team, John Wiley, Senior Government Channel Account Manager, and Matt Kowalski, Manager of Business Operations, about:
 
  • The four pillars at Zebra Technologies
  • How prescriptive analytics is contributing to the public sector
  • The challenges of asset intelligence
  • What Zebra Ventures looks for in potential investments


Four pillars of Zebra Technologies

Zebra Technologies is predominantly known as a hardware company. They have four pillars that guide technology development:
 
  • Sense - products like barcode scanners, mobile computers and RFID readers sense the data around them
  • Analyze - they analyze the data that has been collected
  • Act - they act on the data that’s been analyzed
  • Outcome - there’s an outcome to that action


Prescriptive analytics in the public sector

Those four pillars come into play when it comes to the public sector. In fact, those last two pillars—act and outcome—are what make up prescriptive analytics.
 
“In the public sector, prescriptive analytics could be anything from spotting fraud to combating an opioid epidemic,” says Matt.
 
It helps determine when things happen and why they happen.
 
One major use case for prescriptive analytics is retail.


The challenges of asset intelligence

If you don’t have a handle on how much inventory you have and where it is, it’s almost guaranteed you will buy too much inventory.
 
“And that drives up what’s called carrying costs,” says John.
 
In the public sector, another challenge revolves around the fact that everything has an expiration date. If you don’t use inventory before it expires, it becomes waste.
 
Prescriptive analytics can help public sector organizations understand what inventory they have, where it is, where it was received and when it expires. Ultimately, that amount of control leads to a windfall of cost savings.


Zebra Ventures

Zebra Ventures is an arm of Zebra Technologies. The team looks at potential startups and technologies and decides whether Zebra should invest in them.
 
They use a detailed list of questions including:
 
  • Does the startup want to work with Zebra?
  • Is their technology complementary to what Zebra is doing?
  • Does it solve the problems that customers, partners and distributors come to Zebra with?
 
It’s all in service of finding potential technology solutions that will support the future growth of customers and partners.
 
As John says, “cool new technologies are great, but they’re so much better when they address the specifics of what a customer needs.”
 
For more information, contact Mike Grizanti: michael.grizanti@ingrammicro.com.