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Thought Leadership

The Robots Have Arrived: You’re Fired!

That’s the fear, isn’t it?  I think that this prediction is half right. The robots are coming, so brace yourself.  Whether we like it or not, the robots are coming. However, I don’t think those robots are going to be taking over our jobs any time soon. We’re not looking at artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that have reached sophistication where robots can take over our world. I just don’t see that happening….

Tracking America’s Cannabis Supply chain Challenges

  Canada has declared Cannabis or Marijuana a legal medicine. United States is following suit, however here in the US, it is being done state by state, Colorado has done that for quite some time, many states are following, for the latest states please google as it is changing every time you read this article. So naturally there are a lot of Cannabis vendors that are going to set up shop and start selling them….

Top 10 Best Practices that You Can Implement in Your

Implementing best practices in your warehouse is the key in increasing the throughput and productivity. They are listed below. 1. Assign Ownership of Aisles to Operators So They Keep their Aisles Clean with Pride Managing the operator’s aisle pristine and in an orderly way is necessary to increase the picking efficiency in the warehouse. When operators are happy and proud of the work they do – they do even better. To make them proud of…

Supply Chain Hungry for Legal Tool Innovation

Technology changes quickly. Other fields, such as legal and finance, are comparatively slow to evolve. (A friend’s daughter recently told me she chose the finance discipline for that reason: to avoid having to constantly learn new technologies.) Changes do come though, especially as organizations move to keep up with financial reporting requirements. At the same time, technologist know that if you miss one technology way, it’s possible to catch the next one successfully.  In 1999,…

Expect Accountability from Supply Chain Operators & Partners

This past summer was fabulous. My brother-in-law got married and so my family got to go to India and participate in a typical South Indian wedding ceremony end to end, including all the pre- and post-wedding rituals, pre- and post-wedding parties, gift giving and receiving, the astrology and horoscope-based ceremonies, the auspicious poojas, and other traditions that the elders insist must be done.  My daughter was very excited. A lot of these traditions stem from…

Ownership Is Everything: The Data Integrous System of Record

Our actions and decisions are only as good as the data we use to rule them. That being true, when designing complicated systems, ensure the integrity of the data set involved becomes enormously important. Obviously, the data that resides in a system should be accurate. However, it also needs to have integrity, which means consistent and not unnecessarily redundant. A good data set is invaluable. Done well, it puts all of the data elements in…

100 Great Supply Chain Partners of 2018

A truly great supply chain partner is one who knows precisely which ingredients we need to make our operations successful — and those we can skip. Some partners can tell us, for instance, what technologies we need to deploy, when to implement and how to upgrade. Others can advise who to contract for manufacturing and transportation, where to source parts and raw materials — or how to dispose of tainted or defective goods. They can…

Case in Point: Real Insights from an IoT Pilot in

It’s one thing to rave about the benefits that IoT will deliver to a distribution center, but it’s another to get a look at how it really adds value and provides actionable insights. Let’s take a look at one experience I had recently. Recently, I was at a prospect site for a pilot demonstrating our technology. Typically, we show up at the client site Monday morning and get things up and running in an hour….

IoT-Based Labor Management Systems Offer Big Benefits

You cannot manage what you cannot measure—so if you want to manage something you need to be able to measure it.  The average distributor, then, can improve productivity by 7% just by implementing a system that measures labor and publishes a daily report on operator’s performance. It’s all about the psychology of it. When people know they are being measured, their attitude completely changes. They become more proactive. When they don’t have work, they ask…

The Power of Music in Supply Chain

Conventional wisdom dictates that a picture is worth a thousand words and stories are worth a thousand pictures. I believe that…and I use stories in my presentation regularly. Of course, picking the right story is critical to making the biggest impact. Sometimes, though, I have an audience that speaks a completely different language. How do you communicate to inspire then? I think the answer is music. My daughter has been singing since she was five,…

Image Enable Your Supply Chain, Block Chain Enable Your Images

Block chain has great potential to solve problems and address supply chain problems. Personally, the area that excites me most is track and trace—especially when you consider the possibility of taking these capabilities to the next level. Let us take a step back and look at the current supply chain processes and their evolution. Packing slip, paper ASN Advance Shipment Notices (ASNs) are sent in advance to let the receiver know what products or deliveries…

China Reminds Us What Makes America Great

Recently, I travelled to china to meet with one of our vendors. As soon as I set foot in the country, I was impressed with a variety of things that I saw.  The Shenzhen airport was big and modern. The familiar Starbucks logo and store were there—so familiar despite the strange surroundings. Thirty years ago, Shenzhen was a fishing village. Now, it is the third largest city in China, smaller only than Shanghai and Beijing….

Graduates Look to Tech Disruptors for Opportunity

In the summer months, the employment market is flooded with newly minted graduates. In an environment where there are more supply chain, logistics, and related jobs than there are qualified candidates, this can be an opportune season to attract talent.  Today, pursing a job at a startup, particularly a high-tech, electronics startup is all the rage. First, let’s make sure we agree on what a startup is. A startup is a pre-company that was formed…

The Smile of the End User

During my technology consulting career over a period of 20 years, I can say, I have been part of a few crazy projects. One of the project was this WMS deployment we did for this hardware distributor. If you look at what was happening globally at that time, it was early 2001, in the US we were coming out of the dot com bust, the interest rates had been lowered so much to get the…

Consumerization May Put Wearables in the Warehouse

(Image Courtesy: Honeywell) For some supply chain and logistics functions, rugged wearable computers can be a real boon. At the same time, the cost of managing these devices can be daunting. Too often, rugged wearable computers cost 5x to 10x the cost of consumer electronic devices with one-third features. Are you looking to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) on these rugged devices? If yes, you are not alone. What is a rugged wearable…

Is Your Distribution Center an Inviting Place for Millennials?

I was talking to a distribution center manager recently and he shared a recent story of a strange and unique event in his 25-year career. He got a call from the mother of one of his temp hires questioning why the temp hire’s performance feedback was “not outstanding, instead it was just very good.” He had hired this kid recently for a team lead position As a worker, he was good, picked up the systems…

Drones in Distribution Centers: Has the Time Arrived?

While there are many companies working on drone deliveries, it might be relatively easier to deploy drones in the distribution centers and get some real return on investment (ROI). Although drone delivery seems very interesting, we are pretty far from that becoming a reality. Before delivery drones fill the skies, safety concerns need to be addressed. First, everyone needs to feel comfortable with the concept of an autonomous flying machine flying in the near vicinity….

Drones in Distribution: Counting Inventory

We can all imagine drones moving boxes in the distribution center. However, there are a couple of reasons that make it difficult to move boxes today. That being said, another scenario offers even a more compelling advantage: inventory control. Of course, a few technological hurdles need to be overcome for this idea to be really feasible. Today, the payload for a drone is limited. To increase the payload, the drones need more motors and propellers,…

Taking Distribution Operations Communication Beyond Email

When email works, it’s effective, but when it fails it can be a big problem. At times, emerging social media capabilities may provide a more effective way of sharing information and collaborating in real time. Let’s take a small example: Have you ever held a meeting and everybody showed up except that one team member that was off sick without a back up? Maybe you had to postpone and send everyone away because key information…

Google Glass Could Change the World, But Especially Distribution Centers

When I first saw Google glass, it took me back to 1995 and the release of the action film Terminator 2 – Judgment Day. A bunch of us sophomores got all excited about the movie and went to see it as a big group with much anticipation. The scene that got deeply engrained in my mind was the Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger entering the bar scene, starts scanning the objects around him to find an outfit that…

Apple Watch: Build It & They Will Come… Or Will

The Apple Watch, one of the most anticipated and supposedly game-changing wearables in the tech industry, has arrived and, obviously, it has not met Apple’s sales expectations.  In fact, that may be why Apple has not released the initial sales figures. The market is still trying to decide: Is this product a winner or a loser? My verdict: It is not a winner yet—and it may never be unless it proves it’s value. However, it is…

Top 5 Supply Chain Headaches Created by Retail

I still remember the very first time I saw this thing called the Internet. It was July 1997 and I got an after-hours glimpse at the German multinational company where I worked. To the music of a vacuum cleaner wielded by cleaning staff, I clicked on the new-fangled Netscape Browser, typed a request into something called and saw my first website: Mercedes Benz. My dream was to buy a Mercedes Benz E220D someday—and I wanted to…

Omnichannel Retail Stresses Demand New Tools

Delivering an omnichannel experience to customers has become newest Holy Grail for retailers. At the same time, trying to use old tools and processes to meet these new service level demands creates nothing but headaches. Omnichannel refers to the standard of offering a seamless brand experience to the consumer across all channels: retail store, Internet, and mobile device. The new standard takes “the customer is always right” to the next level, saying that consumers should…

How Anne Hathaway Drives Distribution Center Operators Crazy

If Anne Hathaway (or fill in the blank with your favorite star) were hosting a party, I can imagine that she’s want to create a magical evening for the guests, perhaps even sending them home with a special memento of the evening: something elegant, luxurious, personal, and lasting. This doesn’t sound like an unreasonable expectation from a VIP shopper’s perspective but are the retailers and the distributors fully equipped to handle such an order? You…

Tech Industry Needs to Call for Multicultural Leaders

It is time to call out the elephant in the room: in the technology space in the U.S., there is a serious lack of multicultural leadership. When I say leadership, I’m referring to the ability of techies (read programmers or developers) to inspire a multicultural organization, and to be the torchbearer who shines a light on the un-trodden path. Really, there are only a handful. To get to the heart of the problem, it’s important…

Defining Leadership for the Tech Industry

When we talk about leadership in the technology sector, it’s critical to start with a shared understanding of what leadership really is. There are plenty of misconceptions about what leadership is. Let’s start with looking at what leadership isn’t. True leaders are not: Dominating. Leaders don’t talk in loud voices with intent to suppress others. Controlling. Leaders don’t feel the need to control everything and influence others through that control. Colluding and manipulating. Leaders don’t…

IBM Offers Apple MacBooks to its Employees

When I came to the U.S. back in 1999, I got some ribbing about the “green screen” technology I was working on from others who, like me, had envisioned coming to America to work on cool, modern technologies (such as Java, HTML, JavaScript, etc.). I had taken the opening I got, working on the IBM AS400, the iSeries technology. While it is a green screen technology, it was and still is amazingly stable, steadfastly reliable….

Virtual Reality: Exploring the Potential of the Oculus Rift

Source: Oculus Back in 1995, when I went to see a movie called Disclosure, the story line about sexual harassment in corporate America was OK, but what really fascinated us was this thing called virtual reality. In the movie, the virtual world was used to store confidential information in a system of files and folders within the computers. Who wouldn’t be riveted by a seemingly real virtual world created by computers. Today, the Oculus rift is creating a…

Getting the Right 3PL/4PL Strategy to Deliver Like Amazon

For many electronics companies, outsourcing certain aspects of the logistics process can lead to better business and improved customer support. By working with the right third party logistics (3PL or 4PL) companies, these manufacturers can stand out from the competition by offering new and better services. 3PL or 4PL companies provide a variety of services:  warehousing, distribution, transportation, and sometimes even value added services, assembly services, packing services and more.  Their core customer is one…

Mobile Tech Extends the Life of Legacy Systems

Fifteen years ago, after I had joined a supply chain vendor as a developer, I encountered a product called Jwalk (a unit-testing tool for the Java programming language). After a week of training with the software, I was given a funny little dongle that had to be plugged in the back of the PC to activate the software.  The ultimate goal was to create a good-looking user interface (UI) that would enhance the user experience…

Finding the Value of Mobility in the Supply Chain

As a participant in the recent Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Supply Chain & Mobility Panel, we talked about the benefits of deploying mobile capabilities in the supply chain. The audience was comprised of Atlanta-based supply chain practitioners. I was invited to share my perspective from a data collection, collaboration, order fulfilment perspective in the distribution center, as well as from the back of the store omnichannel perspective. The audience had questions: What are the benefits?…

Leverage Gamification in Your Warehouse to Improve Worker Engagement

One of my customers, a bulk picking department manager, asked an intriguing question the other day: How can I keep my employees motivated and working hard? His organization had deployed our wearable devices a year or so ago, and I had called on him to check in and see how they were being used and how much savings they had achieved. He’d had much success, and we had helped this customer come a long way…

Foster a Culture of Innovation in the Supply Chain

(Source: Pixabay) “Culture will eat strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, anytime.” This was the first sentence that the professor of marketing and strategy uttered during our first MBA class at Georgia Tech. He underlined his point with the story of how Kellogg’s tried to conquer the Indian market with its breakfast cereal. The company was trying to sell corn flakes with cold milk as breakfast in the Indian market, a culture that eats a warm…

Operations or IT: Don’t Pick a Side

Recently, I was telling a colleague about how we helped a retailer with a weeklong pilot project with our distribution center technology. The results were exciting. Day one, productivity shot up 8%, which translated into labor savings that any operations executive would love. It shone a light, though, on a very real tussle that occurs in many organizations: the distribution center executive loved the productivity gain and the new technology, but the IT team didn’t…

Tracking the Evolution of Distribution Center Tech

In the distribution center (DC), technology has taken over many manually intensive, paper-based processes. That progression is fascinating.  Technology is being leveraged to create superior processes and connect workers seamlessly throughout the distribution center. Early in 2000, I visited a Detroit-area DC that based its efficiency on highly disciplined paper-based processes, ruled by the iron fist of the DC manager. This tough woman had more than 30 years of experience in the organization, which had…

Tell Apple to Stop Drinking Its Own Kool Aid: The

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” Apple CEO Tim Cook recent queried a Telegraph reporter. It’s a great sound point, but there’s at least one big reason that the iPad Pro won’t be replacing enterprise PCs anytime soon. In the startup world, it’s called drinking your own Kool-Aid when entrepreneurs, particularly product creators, get too excited about their own products. When that happens,…

iPad Pro Not Ready for Supply Chain Prime Time

Source: Apple When Apple introduced the iPad Pro, I was intrigued by the technology, and I could clearly see opportunity for the device in the supply chain. Unfortunately, a handful of limitations remain that will hold adoption back and keep organizations with tried and true PCs instead. Lack of browser compatibility Enterprises cannot get rid of the PC easily even if they want to. The reality is that many enterprise applications, especially browser-based apps, are coded…

Cultural Intelligence Proves Critical to Global Strategy

To be effective globally, organizations need to foster cultural intelligence, especially in senior management. A couple of weeks ago, I met with the chief operating officer of a leading contract manufacturer with $18 billion annual revenue. He was interested in our technology, and I know he has a reputation for being influential within his organization. I was curious to understand him and how he had gotten to where he is. I found that he attributed…

8 Ways the Chennai Floods Demonstrated the (Good & Bad)

Source: Wikapedia Last month, Chennai, the coastal capital of Southern State Tamil Nadu often called the Detroit of South India, was battered by record-breaking rains that exceeded normal levels by three times and broke a record that had held for more than a century. The torrential downpour submerged the city, brought transportation of all types to a screeching halt, and left many homeless. The deluge was particularly bad news for many multinational automakers since the city is…

Leverage Video to Engage & Teach New Technology

Every organization has a variety of systems aimed at streamlining processes and getting things done. Unfortunately, the plethora of technologies and software can confuse the average employee, especially if it’s a system skillset that only gets used sporadically. Video, however, can present key reminders and steps quickly to get workers the information they need to be productive. My daughter and I often try cooking new recipes in our kitchen. We find that YouTube is the best…

Simulation Tools Optimize Processes & Take Surprises Out of WMS

I learned a few things when I spent one winter in a distribution center in Canada.  I learned what it was like to arrive for work in the dark and leave in the dark. I learned about the extra connector in Canadian cars that would allow the car to be plugged in to heat the engine block so the car would still start in sub-zero weather. I learned about how these winter warriors would get…

The Ebb & Flow of Retail Supply Chain: Is AI

This month puts us well past the holiday season, with its tradition of frenzied holiday shopping. For those, the shopping tradition and the weeks after provide an opportunity for bragging rights about the savings I achieved in my holiday bargain hunting starting at Thanksgiving.  At the same time, it marks a good time for electronics retailers to start getting ready for the next big shopping surge. I think nostalgically of my first experience with holiday…

Living in the Shadow of Amazon: Learn the Lessons

Photo courtesy: Amazon Amazon is the elephant in the room where any supply chain conversation is happening. Everyone is chasing that Amazon effect. Everyone is trying to figure out how to deliver on the expectations of customers that Amazon and its business models have created. Retrofitting Amazon’s strategies or tactics for another business is tough. In terms of order volume and order profile, Amazon is its own kind of beast. At the same time, it makes…

Industry Pundits Look at Digital Disruption

We live in a digital world…and it’s only going to get more digital. With that reality in mind, I’ve wanted to dig deeper into the topic, particularly as it relates to the high-tech industry. That’s why I was excited to see an invite from my alma mater, Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, to attend a Digital Disruption panel moderated by Maryam Alavi, dean of the school. The participants were: David Godsman, chief digital officer,…

Weighing Build Versus Buy with Supply Chain Apps

Today, IT technology may be one of the biggest enablers of supply chain efficiency. Organizations, then, are aware that finding or creating the right capabilities is central to business success. When enterprises buy complicated IT infrastructure, whether it is hardware, software, systems or anything else associated with such infrastructure, they are faced with a major decision: whether to buy this thing from a vendor or build it themselves. It is important to make the correct…

Automation Smooths Out Seasonal Peaks & Valleys

It’s suprising but huge warehouses with several sophisticated systems are not immune from sending their warehouse operators home in the middle of the day due of lack of work. Planning is especially hard in peak holiday seasons. Often, it seems warehouse managers have no effective tools to accurately forecast labor demands based on outstanding orders waiting fulfillment. If you take a step back to see the historical evolution of the labor management systems, it all…

Threat of Robot Warehouse Invasion Overblown

In 2012, Amazon acquired Kiva Robots to use in the warehouse. During a couple of recent trade shows and conferences, I heard some intriguing presentations on how robots taking over warehouse worker jobs. By many accounts, venture capitalists are flocking to fund these companies. Naturally, I wanted to get a reality check from real end users and decision makers. I wanted to know, if they had decided to move to robotics, about the return on…

The Power of Amazon Prime: Changing People’s Habits Changes the

I recently visited a major speaker manufacturer with cutting edge technology. The layout of the facility demonstrated clearly how much the company cares about its products. The main reception area had a demo area and my host demonstrated just how loud he could make the music without jeopardizing the quality of the sound. This company was passionate about sound technology. It got me thinking about what the layout of a distribution center might say about…

Voice Evolves the Efficiency of the Warehouse

The first time I was confronted with the idea of voice picking, I was intrigued. This was quite a long time ago, but when I saw the design spec I sat down with the consultant who was designing the system to learn more. I asked him, “Why the heck would a user want to talk to the computer.” His response: “Because functions executed using voice are much more efficient.” Clearly, technology evolves, and that’s a good…

Data Collection Technology Evolves for Distribution Centers

In the warehouse, excellent data collection processes are critical to accurate inventory counts in real time. By knowing what’s in the warehouse, organizations can fulfil orders quickly, avoid shortages, reduce mispicks, and deliver the highest levels of customer service. In the beginning, pen and paper was the only method for data collection. Distribution center (DC) managers created processes, trained personnel, and handed them pads of paper to collect warehouse data. Most of the picking was…

6 Best Practices for Order Picking in Distribution

Getting products into hands of the customer quickly and efficiently is quickly moving from a differentiator to table stakes. As expectation of buyers increase, distribution centers must look for new ways to get things done correctly and efficiently. Consider these realities: Often, the picking process is the most time-consuming process off all, making it a potential bottleneck. More orders picked translate to more orders shipped. That leads to quicker invoicing and increased revenues. Picking also directly impacts…

Racing to Work: Hyper-Competition Demands Passion & Attitude

Sometimes, a regular day sticks in your memory. I still remember one typical Monday. I woke up at 3:00 AM, packed a week’s worth of clothes, kissed my wife and child, and got on the road to go to the airport. On the freeway, I saw a guy on a motorcycle, who took off with a sudden burst from the streetlight. He was faster than me, but the burst of energy was contagious. When you…

No Quick Picks: The Right Retail Technology Makes a Difference

If brick and mortar retail is to survive, retailers can’t just sell technology, but they must use technology in new and smart ways. Plus, it can’t be gadgets for the sake of gadgets, but must help customers in measurable ways. What that looks like is continued to evolve. It might be installing iPad stations where shoppers can browse (and hopefully buy) products that they can’t find on the retail floor. It may be putting up…

Retail Needs to Get Its Groove Back

Apple welcomes customers to its first store in Taiwan in July. Photo courtesy: Apple Is retail dead? This became the crux of the matter when I found myself invited to pitch in front of a leading retailer at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech. It was an exciting opportunity that was dulled when the name of the retailer was revealed.  They are losing market share to Amazon, the big elephant in every conference room…

Superhero Tools Inspire Consumer – Centric Design

Think about all our familiar, modern superheroes: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Ironman, and Wonder Woman. What differentiates them from others is, at least in part, a heroic attitude, let’s call it swagger.  All the movies that trace their exploits did an excellent job of taking us vicariously through their adventures, making us believe that just about anything was possible. They beat up the bad guys, catch the corrupt official red handed, and move seamlessly through the…

The Internet as the Great Equalizer

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In fact, at least when it comes to figuring out strategy, one excellent way to find the path to success is to find someone who is doing what you would want to do and study that successful execution. You can create a successful model and understand market dynamics. You’ve seen it happen in business often before. For example, back in 1980s, Motorola wanted to know whether cell phones…

Smart Machine Age Shifts the Future Workforce

Photo courtesy: Port of Atlanta Recently, I was invited to take a place on a Tech for Distribution Center (DC) panel during the annual Georgia Logistics Summit. We tackled some intriguing questions: During this time of technological change, what does the future work force look like? What is the most important quality to look for when hiring? Who will be best suited to carry the organization into the new smart machine age? The Center for Logistics…

Micromanaging for Success: What’s Your Style?

Managers matter. Management style matters. For many workers, autonomy means trust. When I look back on my career, my best managers avoided micromanaging their employees. However, I’ve also seen it work for some leaders. Early in my career, while I still lived in India, I remember one interview, for a job with a newly-minted public company, very clearly. It was a Sunday afternoon in Bangalore. I had been scheduled to meet with Raj, but a…

The Smart Machine Age: Humans Need Not Apply

At a recent Next-Gen Executives: Transformative Leadership in the Smart Machine Age Summit, I learned that the leadership component was as much or more important than the smart machine part. The professor leading the summit was Dr. Ed Hess from University of Virginia, Darden School of Business. After an exhaustive amount of research, he and his team have written this book titled Humility—a title that points to a key attribute of great leaders. Transformative leadership is…

Transformational Leadership in the Smart Machine Age

I was excited to see an email from my alma mater, Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology, inviting me for a thought leadership summit. I knew I wanted to go, but I also knew I needed preparation. This complimentary, invitation-only VIP partner event that is hosted by Dr. Saby Mitra, who was our faculty director when I finished my MBA in 2012. He is being joined Dr. Ed Hess, professor of Business…

Find the Fire: Great Teams Need Passion

You might call it ambition. You might call it determination. You might even call it passion. I call it fire in the belly. Whatever name it goes by, though, this characteristic is far and away what I look for in every one of our employees as we build our organization.  Of course, every organization needs good people. High-tech supply chain and logistics organizations, though, need them even more to keep up with the fast pace…

Connectivity & IoT Create Greater Supply Chain Data Collection Options

Image courtesy: Amazon The Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room….

7 Things About Amazon the Retail Supply Chain Needs to

Crystal Hanlon Photo courtesy: The Home Depot It was nice a Sunday evening at Orlando Florida. Our company, Smart Gladiator, was one of the Start-Up Technology companies that was selected to represent the Georgia team in the Retail Industry Association (RILA) Retail Supply Chain Conference 2017. The conference was full of educational sessions. Not just a source of subject matter experts discussing the major trends, the event was a great way to network and learn from…

Newest Supply Chain Paradigm Shift Hits Retail

In 1997, I had a half-day training with the leader of the multinational company I had just joined in Bangalore. He started with a story from Steven Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People about paradigm shift: One morning on a subway in New York, people were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his…

Resuscitating Retail: Big Lessons from Big Winners

It is very easy to look at the adversity, see only doom and gloom and give up quickly. However, real winners see the opportunities behind the challenge. It may be tempting to assume that e-commerce is the new reality, but I believe retail sales still have promise. Let me share a story. Once, a gentleman had a beautiful bone china cup in which he would enjoy his tea, while reading his books. He relished the…

Employee Math: When Two Plus Two is More than Four

A technical person would argue that 2+2 is always 4, never less or never more. This person would point to mathematics or physics. Perhaps, it would be an argument of common sense and logic. In human psychology, though, there’s a different kind of math, where two plus two might equal 10, 30 or more. When you build a team with the right kind of people, you capture extraordinary gains. Let me explain. In this mathematical…

Smart Phones Deliver Best Quality Video

Photo courtesy: Padcasters Today, businesses large and small are blogging to get their ideas out there. My company is no different. We know it makes a difference since potential customers mention them. At the same time, we are always looking for new way to explore and expand the conversation about technology and the supply chain. For some, video is more engaging and convenient. At the same time, viewers are becoming increasingly demanding about quality. They…

Emotional Investment Leads to Success

It’s been said that hindsight is 20/20… and it’s certainly true that taking a moment to ponder the outcomes of the projects and activities of the year is useful. I’ve had wild successes, as well as some equally fantastic failures. As a project manager, I’ve always believe that if my team did not accomplish its goals, it pointed to a failure on my part.  Learning from both the ups and the downs is the first…

Bots May Be the Next Big Supply Chain Invasion

I ran into a bot for the very first time back in the year 2000. These computer programs ideally automate tasks normally handled by humans. For me, the bot streamlined a shopping task. At the time, it blew my mind. I was heading out on a business trip to the Netherlands, and I wanted to capture the trip in pictures with a new camera. My job was to support the rollout of a warehouse management…

The Trump Manifesto & the Electronics Supply Chain

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 Much of the United States is still reeling from the results of the presidential election. No matter which candidate you supported, the final count bore little resemblance to what pundits predicted in the days and weeks leading up to the election. People on both sides of the political aisle are asking the same question: What happens now? What does this mean for us? For electronics distribution, logistics, and manufacturing, the…

Fast Charging Comes to Maturity to Support Supply Chain Tasks

Photo courtesy: Samsung Google announced its Pixel phone bragging that it could last up to seven hours after a 15-minute charge. How cool is that? You don’t need to go through a miserable day if (or maybe more truthfully when) you forget to charge your phone the night before. I know from experience. When I had an iPhone 5, it would be a hard day if I missed charging before I went to sleep. Then, I got…

The Real Problem with Digital Assistants

Business people all had real assistants, people who helped them. Now, on our mobile devices, we all have digital assistants (i.e. Siri, Alexa, S-Voice etc.) on our mobile devices. They’ve become the virtual assistants of those once vital Girl Friday. In some ways, it’s an idea whose time has come. Back in the days, we weren’t sending emails. We weren’t writing Word documents. We weren’t copying and pasting documents. Computers changed everything… Now, we work…

Storytelling: The Secret Weapon of Great Organizations

If as the saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words, then I believe that a story is worth 1,000 pictures. Why is Akbar called Akbar the Great? Why is Alexander called Alexander the Great? Who else has earned this moniker? This was how one conversation started in my ninth grade history class. None of us knew why our history teacher, one just newly arrived in our classroom was asking this. In the past, history…

The Startup Phenomenon: How 3PLs Can Use it to Increase

It’s true that necessity is the mother of invention. Creativity, though, is the father, and knowledge is the midwife. As people, we are wired for survival. When we are in tough times, our creativity and persistent shine through. By staying focused and thinking creatively, we can come up with solutions and take advantage of each opportunity as it arises. I know that from experience. When I graduated from college as a mechanical engineer, I was…

Software-Centric World Takes Over Supply Chain

In the summer between high school and college, I got to tour with my Dad in the mountains of Western Ghats in South India. His job was to ensure the communication infrastructure that was supporting a network of hydroelectric power projects in that area ran without a hitch. One plant, called the Kadamparai Hydroelectric Pumped Storage Power Plant, was a unique project. The plant could be run in two modes: as a generator or in pump…

Curiosity: Building Success in the Organization

I still remember a conversation I had with a science teacher at a science exhibition when I was in the 11th grade. This man talked with excitement and passion about electricity. He explained, in detail, how a three phase power supply system works and outlined the benefits of it for me. Although I didn’t understand everything he said, he aroused my curiosity. I came home and started trying to build a vehicle I had seen at…

Supply Chain Graduate Degrees: Make the Most of Education

In recent years, many prominent universities have developed graduate level programs in supply chain, procurement, and logistics. Many go after an Masters of Business Administration (MBA) or other masters level designation in hopes of being promoted to managing people. And yet, that doesn’t always happen. A master’s degree is a great tool, but you have to make sure it’s the right tool for the problem you are hoping to solve. To get the most out…

Love or Money: Looking at the Ingredients of Business

My grandmother made my favorite Indian sweets, especially fresh and hot mysorepaks, filled with ghee, and sugar, and love. Nothing was better. If you ask most people about love, they’ll talk about family. Almost as often, you’ll hear about home-cooked food served with devotion by a doting parent perhaps. Meanwhile, in the United States at least, you may also end up talking about business and, almost always, money. There’s an inherent belief that, with the…

Windows CE – End of Life – Why is now

If you are running a warehouse or a Distribution Center (DC), I am sure you ran into the ubiquitous scan gun. Not only you see this all the time, but also sometimes you see this in the least expected places, for example all the way on the 7th level of your racks in one of your pallet positions, sometimes even in the box that is destined to the customer, sometimes under some user’s desk, this…

Does your wrist mounted scanner stink?

Yes, I am surprised this was one major problem why every single operator hated with this wrist mounted device. This was when we started doing the research. This was when I joined the MBA program at Georgia Tech, and there was a business plan competition, so we picked up this project, a venture project, where we come up with an idea, then we work through the plan to determine the product market fit, marketing strategy,…

Five Key Issues Emerge During Arnall Golden Gregory’s Interviews at

Approximately 1,200 people attended the 9th Georgia Logistics Summit, which was held May 16-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Arnall Golden Gregory has been a summit sponsor since 2013. Michael D. Golden, co-leader of AGG’s Logistics and Transportation Practice, with 18 attorneys, serves on the Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. This year’s keynote speaker was Sandra MacQuillan, Chief Supply Officer at Kimberly-Clark, who was introduced by AGG partner Ashley Steiner Kelly. Another partner, Andrew J. Schutt, moderated…

Evolution of Data Collection Tech in DC’s

Data Collection in Warehouses Data collection is a very important business function that needs to be performed in a Distribution Center in order to maintain accurate inventory count real time of all the SKUs that a distribution center ships for all its customers. Hence all the processes that are performed reflect inventory count real time and hence orders can be fulfilled at a much faster pace, without shortages, without mispicks and delivering the highest levels...

How has Voice changed as a Data Collection Technology?

I still remember, it is so fresh in my mind, I was a developer that was part of the professional services team supporting the Warehouse Management iSeries deployment for our customers and I got this very interesting design spec that said Voice Picking. I got excited and I met with the Consultant/Business Analyst that was designing this system, I was educated on this new process, where in the users would talk to the computer, I...

10 Best Practices Today to Improve Order Picking Efficiency in

Picking is one of the most important functions that is performed in the warehouse for the reasons below, 1. Often picking process is the most time-consuming process, hence could become a bottle neck, if not done fast enough 2. The more orders are picked, the more orders can be shipped, that means more orders can be invoiced, hence picking directly increases the revenue for the Distribution Center 3. Picking also directly impacts the throughput metric,...

Video: Powering The Supply Chain With Mobile Technology Featuring Special

Podcast: Powering The Supply Chain With Mobile Technology Featuring Special

Smart Gladiator helps Retailers, Distributors and Logistics Service Providers mobile enable their Supply Chain & Operations processes. By mobile enabling these processes, companies can not only realize tremendous cost savings, but also provide a much more user friendly work environment for everyone engaged in executing fulfillment streams. Providing mobile capabilities such as texting, facetiming, video based training, and picture sharing enables better collaboration in operations and engages millennial workers with latest, fastest technology. Hear about…

Podcast: Using Technology to Streamline Training Efficiency

Training warehouse labor is costly and time consuming. We spoke with supply chain technology expert Puga Sankara to learn strategies and innovations that reduce the burden of training. Our conversation spans from simple, inexpensive solutions that can be implemented immediately without overhauling your current system, to the incredible technologies on the horizon you should have on your radar. Listen to the podcast or read through the transcript below to learn how to mitigate your current training…

Webinar: Powering the Supply Chain with Mobile Technology

Smart Gladiator helps Retailers, Distributors and Logistics Service Providers mobile enable their Supply Chain & Operations processes. By mobile enabling these processes, companies can not only realize tremendous cost savings, but also provide a much more user friendly work environment for everyone engaged in executing fulfillment streams. Providing mobile capabilities such as texting, facetiming, video based training, and picture sharing enables better collaboration in operations and engages millennial workers with latest, fastest technology. Hear about these trends…

Teamwork: Critical & Achievable for the Supply Chain


Disciplined Daily Cycle Counts Enhance DC Culture


Capturing Passion in the Supply Chain Profession


Designing User-Friendly Systems: Not as Easy as It Sounds


Google Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics on the Block


Technology or Process: Find the Road to Productivity


Trust but Verify: Wisdom on 3PL Relations


Samsung Beating Apple in the Innovation Game


Oil Drills & Apples: Sensors Provide Insight


Innovation & Effective Change Mgmt Prove a Critical Combo


Data Rich, Information Poor: Conundrum of Distribution Center



Join more than the 800 technology entrepreneurs, investors and senior technology executives from across the country at the 2015 Venture Atlanta Conference. The 2015 Venture Atlanta Conference, the Southeast’s premier technology innovation event, announced the companies selected to present on Oct. 20-21 at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta. This year’s presenters comprise the strongest roster yet of both early- and later-stage companies. They showcase the opportunity within the region’s technology community. Venture Atlanta has…

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Smart Gladiator was established in 2013 and is based at Technology Square in the Midtown area of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, a technology community that is recognized as a national, if not global, locus for mobility technology.

Smart Gladiator LLC,
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Georgia Institute of Technology – Tech Square
75 5th Street, Suite 3135
Atlanta GA 30308

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Smart Gladiator Wearables for Warehouse Improves Picking Efficiency, Productivity and Saves Time and Money in Operations. Our Wearable Devices are Ergonomically Designed and Need Minimum or No Training to Operate. The Warehouse Software Incorporates Unique Features Such as Voice-picking, Gamification, Video Training, Communication Capabilities Such as FaceTime, Photo Sharing and Text Messaging. We have extensive warehouse ruggedized hardware devices line up for operators, supervisors and truck operators.
We do customized installation both in the hardware and software sides of the supply chain. Also, reduce retail chargebacks by image enabling your Supply Chain with the LoadProof App. Chargebacks are a major expense while shipping to major retailers, they could be as high as 13% of the annual revenue. Schedule a demo now with one of our supply chain experts and improve your warehouse productivity.