Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos recently told his company, we are going out of business–It’s our job to prolong that as long as possible.
It’s hard to even imagine an empire like Amazon dying, but it is the case with every company. They all have lifespan. Some longer than others.
Some seem to be dying forever like KMart, and some that died seemingly overnight, like Bear Stearns. Regardless of how strong your company is today, someday it will be dead.
Few companies have learned to ride the rough tides of business for decades and still remain a pillar of economic success.
One example of staying power, however, is McDonald’s. –But how is it that McDonald’s has managed to weather the many decades of ups and downs, and still remain one of the strongest brands in fast food?
The secret is in embracing change, not fighting it.
Yes, at the surface these examples seem to have little in common: a retailer, an investment bank, and a fast food restaurant chain. But the truth is, that at their core, the first two failed due to their inability to change.
Anyone that has stepped into a KMart (if they can find one) will feel as though they are stepping back in time. The store has an almost “second-hand” store feel. The brands that they carry are low-name or no-name, and their stores are poorly stocked and staffed. It’s no wonder that stores like Walmart rapidly overtook them by introducing “super” stores with groceries, better brands, cleaner newer stores, and a greater selection.
Bear Stearns is vastly different in that it was a highly successful investment bank with a storied reputation started which began in 1923. No one in their right mind could have ever seen this empire collapse seemingly overnight. However, the writing was on the wall; the subprime housing market could not sustain its course. Other investment firms knew it. So did Bear Stearns. But the appeal of the easy money prevented them from changing until it was too late. And Bear Stearns was no more.
McDonald’s on the other hand… McDonald’s has gone from up to down, and down to up what seems hundreds of times. From bad press to worse press they have ridden the tides of each decade; yet, still today, remain one of the most popular fast food chains in America. Their secret?
When America went “healthy” so did McDonalds. When drive through lanes became too backed up, McDonalds created two lanes. When employee minimum wages increased in some states, McDonalds installed self-checkout terminals to reduce the need for cashiers. And on and on.
A New Era for Retail
Are you prepared to look at your business with a set of honest glasses and make the necessary changes required to give your business the needed edge to stay relevant in the coming years?
Retail remained somewhat consistent until the internet which expanded a retailers audience world-wide. However, today a new internet has been born. It is an internet of things.
But what is this new internet, and how does it affect you as a retailer?
The term “internet of things” was coined by Kevin Ashton of Procter & Gamble in 1999 in a presentation where he discussed how RFID would change the world by connecting the world of “things” through a network of sensors.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology which allows items to be tagged with labels which contain a microchip the size of a grain of rice, and an antenna. The benefits of the technology are mind blowing. Tagging your product with RFID allows retailers a granular view of their inventory like never before. Transforming tasks, such as store audits, from tasks often requiring additional staff and days or even weeks to accomplish, into a simple action performed by a single person in minutes. RFID helps rectify your inventory to over 99% accurate, and in a virtual world where you CAN sell that which you don’t physically have, selling an out of stock product can mean the end of a valuable customer.
How difficult is it to implement this technology? In years past, the task and cost of implementing RFID was not small. The promise of the technology always seemed “too good to be true.” And perhaps it was. Until now.
RFID for the Masses
If one looks back at the history of RFID, it wasn’t until recently the technology was truly a feasible solution for any retailer, both large and small. As recent as 2001 might seem to some of us, at that point a single RFID tag cost $1.10. Hardly a price point justifiable for nearly any product. Fast forward to 2018 and tags now cost between .5 and .10 cents (depending on volume) and continue to drop in price.
Hardware was bulky and cumbersome. It was only in the last 5 years or so that handheld RFID readers manufacturers began to offer software developers kits which allowed programmers the ability to control readers using platforms such as Android, iOS, and Microsoft.
Software was also expensive and specialized. It was mostly on premises and operated within the customer’s Local Area Network (LAN). This often demanded an on-site technical network specialist to keep the network live. Today modern software operates in the cloud which makes it extensible, flexible, and nimble. Today’s model is Service.
Perhaps the last challenge which prevented RFID 2.0 from emerging, and software in general, was its inability to “play well with others.” Each software was an island and required unique processes and actions to transmit data. Today, modern software utilizes APIs or Application Programming Interfaces. These APIs allow data to be securely transmitted between websites via encrypted transmission. The benefit is that software systems are now able to pass data back and forth and operate in a contiguous “ecosystem” of software. It is critical that your RFID system work with your ERP, POS, ecommerce platform, or any inventory control system.
Seems like everyday we learn about some new tech gadget, miracle cure, or robot. The world is changing. As Ferris Bueller famously stated “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you could miss it.”
Simple RFID is an RFID solutions provider which develops cloud-based, WAN (Wide Area Network) connected hardware, industry leading hardware, affordable RFID tags, and plug and play integrations with some of the top softwares in the world including Shopify, Bigcommerce, Vend, and more. Reach out today to learn more and run a risk free trial to see what RFID can do for your business today. sales@simpleRFiD.com