Creating 360 Degrees of Success
X7 Project Named
2015 AIDC Case Study Competition Winner
Forester Research reported in 2015 that US online sales will grow to $334 billion by the end of the year and estimates these revenues will reach $480 billion by 2019. These are amazing numbers that merit attention but behind them lurks another growing statistic, one that keeps retailers awake at night – the growing number of e-commerce returns. E-commerce returns require a costly, time intensive process to manage and grow with the growth of e-commerce sales.
Some e-tailers, such as Zappos, have built their business and their reputations around returns. They anticipate and plan for high return volumes as part of their business plan. Handling so many individual items consumes extensive resources and significantly impacts operational efficiency, pricing, and profit.Retailers and their service partners, third party logistics providers, are concerned with the rising number of returns and their associated costs.
Traditional automation systems are very costly to implement for e-commerce returns and are not primarily designed to function at the item level. These systems often include tunnel scanner systems and sortation systems which are very expensive and are unable to handle individual products. Because of this, most logistics operators rely on labor intensive manual processing with workers handling products, using handheld scanners to identify them.
While e-commerce returns are in the spot light for high product returns, other applications similarly generate high numbers of product returns. Such an application is pre-stocked promotional displays.
Manufacturers contract with retailers to receive display units pre-stocked with product. The displays are placed on the store floor for a time period. At the end to the promotion the displays are returned and inventoried to analyze the sales by store and product. Each display holds a large number of products when shipped out. Depending on the success of the promotion, a large number of items may be returned with the display. Both the promoter and the retailer depend on accuracy of the inventory to assure correct invoicing and payment.
Processing returns of individual retail items, as seen by e-commerce and pre-stocked promotional displays, is very similar to the checkout process at grocery retailers – individual are scanned by a cashier. Technology developed for retail scanning has evolved and can be used cut the cost of item level returns.
When Datalogic introduced the Jade™ X7 automated scanning portal, it was initially to accelerate the grocery checkout process. Jade™ portals are the industry’s fastest automated checkout solution. These devices allow shoppers to place items in any orientation onto a fast moving belt; each item is automatically identified at speeds significantly higher than a traditional manual checkout. Shoppers move through the checkout process much more quickly and smoothly.
Systems integrators worldwide quickly realized that Jade™ automated scanners had applications beyond the grocery checkout.
In the Netherlands Vierpool, a Certified Datalogic Business Partner, developed a complete solution using the Jade™ portal and software to more quickly process high volumes of inbound and outbound inventory. Such a system was installed at Simon Loos for processing returns of pre-stocked promotional displays.
Simon Loos is the warehousing and value added logistics supplier for the largest retailers in the Netherlands. The company regularly works with retailers and executes promotions using pre-stocked displays. When displays are removed from stores, employees at Simon Loos scan all the returned products. Reports are is prepared based upon the data from the inventory.
The traditional method for handling returns was very labor intensive. Presentation scanners and handheld scanners were used to individually scan items as they were unloaded from the displays. Conveyors would transport the scanned items to the packaging area. The speed of the process was dictated by the speed of the manual scanning. To increase speed, more manpower would be added to scan more items per minute.
Vierpool automated the process at Simon Loos using the Jade™ automated scanning portal. A Jade™ scanner was placed at the start of the process providing much faster scanning of items. Now a single employee places Items are placed onto a fast moving belt. The items pass through the Jade™ system and they are identified as speed significantly faster than manual scanning. The items continue to the next station where they are re-packaged. The structure of the work space is significantly altered to creating a much more efficient use of space.
The Jade™ portal eliminated the manual scanning resources. Instead these resources were reallocated to repackaging or placed elsewhere in the facility. The impact of the automated portal was significant. The logistics operation tripled its productivity and better optimized their personnel. A first read performance above 99% delivers very high throughput for the whole process.
The solution includes a user-friendly interface for operators and file sharing with parent administrative systems. Beyond the functionality to identify items, the system captures images of the items allowing annotated pictures of products for easier identification and inventory records.
The implementation of the Jade™ X7 automated scanner in the logistics environment has significantly improved the returns process productivity. The system speed has been increased without the need to add resources. The results are easy to quantify and the company has reported a savings of 50% because of the solution, resulting in a very fast return on investment (ROI).
Automation using the Jade™ portal at Simon Loos for processing returns of pre-stocked display item has caught the attention of global e-commerce companies. Jade™ systems are now being tested for processing e-commerce returns. Other important uses for the Jade™ portal include pick-and-pack operations and omni-channel fulfillment. Jade™ technology is delivering automation to e-commerce, an industry experiencing exploding growth.
AIM is pleased to honor the entire Datalogic team for their innovative efforts to expand the use of Jade™ X7 technology in the marketplace! Leaders of the company will be in attendance at AIM Summit 2016 next May in Orlando, Florida to present the award-winning case study in addition to being honored during AIM's annual awards luncheon with the 2015 AIDC Case Study Competition Award.
To access complete details about Datalogic's winning submission, download the entire case study here, or visit the
AIM: Support the Association
our industry organization, it’s important to keep up with AIM’s current
objectives and ways it’s serving its members. In speaking with even the most
informed executives in the industry, it’s clear that we oftentimes take for
granted the many ways AIM endeavors to provide value to its members and stay
that Supports You
Mike Monocello| Editor
SCAN: The Data Capture Report
November 2015 | Reprinted with permission
spoke with Mary Lou Bosco, COO of AIM/AIM North America to get a quick update
on the association’s initiatives and general goings on. One thing that was
apparent during our conversation was that AIM isn’t sitting still. "We
understand that yesterday’s AIM is not necessarily today’s AIM, or tomorrow’s
AIM,” says Bosco. "The organization and its leaders understand the industry is
constantly evolving and are committed to remaining focused on how AIM must
adapt not only on current issues and trends, but to be proactive in staying
ahead of future changes.” Indeed, she explains that AIM regularly undertakes a
strategic planning initiative (the latest is currently in progress) to allow
the leadership of the association to evaluate the many aspects of the industry,
as well as global business in general, and remain poised to plan, act — or even
react — as changes occur.
to Bosco, the following are just a few examples of how the association is
working to provide value to AIM’s diverse membership base:
is continually working to increase visibility and recognition for all members
of the association. This would include increased participation at industry
events through AIM Pavilion exhibitions, speaking opportunities for AIM members
and through industry event partnerships that provide AIM members with greater
access to targeted audiences on an international basis. In 2015, AIM launched
the AIM Webinar Series designed to connect members with topics of interest and
value from leading AIDC industry executives. The opportunities here are
two-fold: AIM members can gain unique access to industry executives and AIM
members who lead the webinars have the ability to promote themselves and their
organizations to other industry professionals.
Committees continue to expand as new and emerging markets develop. Recent
examples include both the expanded efforts of committees like the Internet of
Things (IoT), the Healthcare Committee (AIM NA), and the AIT Alliance (AIM NA),
along with new committees like AIM’s Track & Trace Committee, which
launched in 2015.
addition to the development of AIM committees, AIM recognized the need for
another, higher level of cooperative efforts within the AIDC industry. The RAIN
RFID Alliance (RAIN), launched in 2014 as a partnership between Google, Impinj,
Intel, Smartrac, and AIM, brings together corporate expertise in the promotion
of universal adoption of RAIN RFID technology. Today, RAIN, an AIM industry
alliance, has close to 100 member companies around the world and has
established itself as a major resource and advocate of RAIN RFID innovation and
there’s a lot going on at AIM and one can see how there would be value to
becoming member. In addition to the previously mentioned initiatives, Bosco
says there are some other reasons to consider becoming a member of AIM.
continues to expand offerings of member-exclusives. AIM has created and
continues to grow its network of partnerships in the U.S. and internationally,
ones that negotiate significant discounts for industry events, services, etc.
AIM also uses its networking power to bring business development opportunities
to AIM members through initiatives such as a Request for Proposal (RFP)
Service, and a Buyer’s Guide that connects individuals or organizations looking
for products or services with AIM member expertise.
example, she says AIM members have access to information and opportunities in advance
of the industry. "Through membership, individuals and organizations use their
participation as resources to influence innovations and technologies
significantly before mass distribution or public presentation,” she says. "This
offers the ability to have a direct impact on the future of the automatic
she says that AIM’s reputation as an unbiased resource provides members with
access (i.e., large corporate entities, government agencies, legislative
contacts, other industry associations, etc.) they otherwise would not easily
obtain. As a nonprofit, AIM doesn’t have the reputation of an ulterior motive
that can plague business owners or representatives who are often seen as
also says that AIM membership provides strength. "It’s a collaborative power
that is greater than many businesses have on their own, especially those in the
small to mid-size category,” she continues.
Bosco says AIM increases brand awareness and opportunities through its
promotion of member companies, as well as the member-to-member networking
sum all this up most simply, Bosco says that AIM opens doors, something it’s
done for nearly 50 years and will continue to do for many more. "AIM’s success
is in its members’ success,” she concludes.
Mike Monocello is Editor of the influential industry publication SCAN: The Data Capture Report, published by RMG Enterprises, Inc. since 1977. For more information, or to subscribe to SCAN/DCR, visit its website here.
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AIM 2015 | Year In Review
Don't miss the opportunity to have your organization spotlighted in the special focus section of AIM's premier publication, scheduled for release in January 2016.
The deadline to include a company logo has been extended until December 10th, so you still have time to make that $100 US investment to increase visibility and recognition within the global AIDC market. Click here for details.
Help Us Help You | Member Profile
One of the many benefits of AIM membership is receiving special Members-Only announcements, discounts and access to industry insider resources. However, we can't reach you if your AIM profile isn't up-to-date.
As you wrap up your business efforts in 2015 -- or organize your 2016 goals -- take a moment to visit your AIM profile to review and update as necessary. For immediate access to the Members Only section, click here.
Help Us Help You | Featured Member
Each month, an AIM member is selected as the Featured Member on AIM's website. During this time, your company can increase recognition and visits to your own website.
If you would like to submit your company for consideration as a future Featured Member, contact AIM by email here.
Mary Lou Bosco, AIM Chief Operating Officer
Jayne Gaston, AIM Member Relations Coordinator
This regular feature in AIMatters is designed to keep you up-to-date on the work of the various committees within the association. All AIM members are eligible to join committees and we encourage every member to participate in the great work being done to enhance and support our industry.
To receive information specific to a committee’s work, offer ideas for new topics or projects, or get involved with a committee, contact AIM Committee Connection today.
As we approach the end of a very active -- and successful -- year for AIM Committees, it is important to offer thanks to all of the participants, especially the individuals in leadership positions.
AIT Alliance (AIT) | AIM North America
Chair – J.T. Mackey, Monode
Healthcare Committee | AIM North America
Chair – Ardi Batmanghelidj, Innovatum
Items of interest & value for AIM Members
On the Road with AIM's Chairman
If you're looking to keep up with AIM's Chairman, Chuck Evanhoe, you better have a suitcase packed, the latest update of Google's translation app and a pair of comfortable shoes!
As AIM continues its efforts to expand international outreach, recognition and growth, Chuck has been globetrotting as AIM's Ambassador-in-Chief sharing the association's story and the benefits of membership. Along the way, he has also been joined by other AIM executives and members to emphasize our value proposition.
During the past few months, Chuck has hosted meetings throughout Asia (China, Korea and Japan) and Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK), as well as in Canada for executives from companies involved in the AIDC industry.
With each stop, the interest in AIM grows stronger, a result that has the potential to be beneficial for all of AIM's members.
Thanks to Chuck and to all the AIM members who participated in our international outreach during 2015!
AIM Twitter Now LIVE on Website Homepage
Check it out...now you can see AIM's Twitter feed live on the Homepage of AIM's website!
Whether it's time to register or just a save-the-date, be sure these upcoming AIM events are on your calendar. Simply click to learn more!
AIT Alliance Meeting
January 5, 2016
AIM Summit 2016
May 1- 2, 2016
Orlando, Florida | Rosen Centre Hotel
Industry Event Partnerships
AIM is pleased to partner with leading industry events in the coming months. Check out these options to connect and increase recognition for your organization!
Or, find a complete listing on the AIM Events Calendar here.
National Retail Federation (NRF) The Big Show
January 17 - 20, 2016
New York, New York
HIMSS 16th Annual Conference & Exhibition
February 29 - March 4, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada
IPC APEX EXPO 2016
March 13 - 17, 2015
Las Vegas, Nevada
Supply Chain & Transportation USA | MODEX
April 4 - 7, 2016
Internet of Things World
April 26 - 27, 2016
San Francisco, California
RFID Journal LIVE!
May 3 - 6, 2016
JTC 1/SC31 Plenary Meeting
June 6 - 10, 2016
Sapporo City, Japan
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