Industrial giant Honeywell and semiconductor company Intel have formed a partnership to develop new retail products to enhance logistics, improve inventory visibility and drive supply chain efficiency.
The two companies will focus on creating connected tech solutions and products that can help traditional retail businesses respond to profitability challenges.
Retailers across the world are struggling to maintain significant profit margins and growth, especially as increasing amounts of consumers opt for online shopping.
This partnership will see both companies drawing on their strengths and resources. They’ll utilize technologies such as sensors, handheld computers, processors, barcode scanners and RFID cards.
These solutions can prove lucrative for retail businesses. Using them, they can track, monitor and assess the condition of goods as they move through the supply chain, as well as identify their location in brick-and-mortar stores.
Both companies will create and tailor existing experiences to help retailers achieve greater visibility into their in-store inventory, ensuring that items ordered online are actually available.
Plethora of benefits
Honeywell has become a leader in this area. The firm develops products and services enabling retailers to improve marketing efforts, productivity of staff and customer experiences.
The companies demonstrated their existing product line-ups during the National Retail Federation Big Show, which took place between January 15-17 in New York’s Javits Center.
John Waldron, president and CEO of Honeywell’s safety and productivity solutions business, said it’s crucial that retailers adopt IoT solutions if they’re to succeed in the modern marketplace.
“To succeed in the e-commerce world, retailers need to invest in connected solutions and harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to track inventory and gain insights into customer shopping habits,” he said.
“The collaboration between Honeywell and Intel will provide a platform for future technology developments to leverage both firms’ expertise in capturing and analyzing enterprise data. We look forward to working with Intel on industry-leading solutions this year.”
Better results for retailers
Joe Jensen, vice president and general manager of the retail solutions division at Intel, is confident that this partnership will help produce better results for retailers.
“Technology can help transform retail, making stores more responsive to customer needs by connecting physical and digital retail environments,” he said on the announcement.
“By working with Honeywell, Intel plans to enable retailers to benefit from IoT solutions by having the visibility of real-time accuracy of on-shelf inventory. This will help delight shoppers with better inventory accuracy and in-store pickup of products ordered online.”
IoT a force of good
Hugh Fletcher, digital business consultant at e-commerce firm Salmon, believes that the IoT is a force of good for retail businesses. He expects interest in the area to grow over the next few years.
“The Internet of Things continues to emerge as an influential factor across all industries: Gartner estimates there will be 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020,” he told Internet of Business.
“As retailers continue to shift online to meet the demands of convenience that consumers desire, emerging technologies like IoT will also grow in dominance.
“Crucially, programmatic commerce – the idea of automated purchasing made by connected devices – can help drive smart technology in the retail sector. The recent release of Amazon Dash was a step in the right direction in the new digital age of shopping.
“With this new automated technology, retailers will be able to ‘lock in’ a customer early on, provided they have the right strategy. It’s clear that customers are ready to embrace new technologies.”