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SMART Products and Data Provision

The demand for smart products that provide data has become key to the sustainability and growth of all companies in a highly competitive environment.

Historically, customers had no other option but to go into a store to make a purchase. Should the store not have the stock or be too expensive, the store manager had an opportunity to react: either get stock for the customer at a later date, negotiate price or even sell a similar product to secure the sale. The customer would only physically pursue another supplier after all alternatives from the initial intent to purchase have been exhausted.


Today, the vast majority “window shop” online to confirm details such as price and stock availability prior to making a purchase decision. Based on the information they gathered, two options are available to them: make an online purchase via the website or shopping app OR they will go into a pre-determined store for a specific product at a specific price.

Unfortunately for store owners today, customers have more power since stores are not afforded a second chance as historically practised, such as getting stock for the customer at a later date, negotiating price or even selling a similar product to secure the sale. The seller's first opportunity to secure a sale will be the seller's ONLY opportunity.


More companies need to understand how critical smart products and data are in a world driven by technology. A company will only be relevant to their customers if they have the right product at the right store and at the right price in order to secure the sale.

This is achieved through data collection and communication, incorporating hardware and software. The hardware is in the form of pallets or crates that are created to be smart through RFiD or BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Tag devices that are fitted onto the hardware. 


Through this hardware and software, integration efficiencies are increased, manual labour and mistakes are reduced; and costs are efficiently monitored. These variables ensure that the product is offered at the right price. This, however, is not guaranteed as competitors reduce pricing and run promotions on certain product lines.


Adding to this process, is the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI will study and analyse market prices and buying patterns that will be used to further secure the sale.


Mpact’s role in this process is to provide hardware (pallets & crates) that are smart, thereby assisting our customers with data collection and communication, which in turn, is used to perfect their supply chain management and sales processes. A core vision for Mpact is to ensure that all products are converted to smart products in order for customers to benefit from data analysis, decision making and effective

 

Credit: Lance Kallis