Experts predict global RFID sales will approach $20 billion in 2018, more than doubling over the previous four-year period. And retailers alone consumed about 3 billion RFID tags in 2014. That's just one example of the data capture solutions businesses are adopting in hopes of increased revenue through improved efficiencies.
But adopting just any data capture solution may not give a company its desired results. And that's where the value added reseller comes in.
Developing picture perfect data capture solutions doesn't take magic, but when you recommend the right mix of hardware and software components for a customer's business challenge, they may start to think you have special powers.
Data Capture: Not Just Barcode Scanners
Data capture devices, once thought of as just barcode scanners, now include everything from RFID tags used on high-end merchandise, biometric devices controlling access to cash drawers and secure files, and handheld and wearable scanners tracking packages and warehouse inventory.
It's big data in action. Businesses looking for ways to pull as much information as possible from every transaction, learning about customer preferences, getting real-time updates of the contents of warehouses and retail stores, and securing doors and drawers from unauthorized entry.
That's why optimal data capture solutions for each business will vary with size and global reach, individual need for compliance and reporting, and integration with enterprise and back-end systems.
You'll need to ask a lot of questions and consider multiple scenarios when working with a customer to select or upgrade data capture hardware and software.
Here are four strategies you can use in creating data capture solutions for your customers.
1. Balance the future with the present
Business data capture systems, especially hardware, can quickly become limited. That means you'll need to balance the present needs of your customer with future expansion goals. Find out where the company plans to go in one year, five years, or even ten. Use that information to select the best equipment for its current needs while leaving room to grow.
2. Get input from a variety of sources
While higher-level management holds the purse strings, make sure your customer looks to front-line employees for input. Trusted cashiers, store and office managers, and warehouse workers will give you vital insights in understanding how data capture devices will be used, helping select the most usable hardware and software solutions.
3. Consider the system as a whole
It's easy to get caught up in the details of each piece of hardware and software, without considering how the parts will fit together and align with existing back-end systems. Gather plenty of information on existing equipment to ensure compatibility. And by suggesting system-wide upgrades, you can turn a so-so setup into one that really shines.
4. Integrate data capture with business intelligence
Data capture serves as the means in reaching the ultimate goal for businesses of all types - more satisfied customers and more sales. But the data collected from DC devices must connect with back-end databases, CRM software, and archives to meet that goal. Help your customers easily project sales, manage inventory and stock levels, track shipments, and deploy optimum staffing levels by fitting the two parts together.
Spend as much time as possible understanding your customer's business, as it is today and where it's headed tomorrow. That's where the true magic comes in.
What do picture perfect data capture solutions look like for your customers?