Here’s How You Can Optimize Your Multichannel Supply Chains

BY MEGAN RAY NICHOLS

Multichannel supply chains provide many options for customers of all types, whether at a retail location, over the phone or online. While these supply chains work best when channels work together, many managers keep their channels separate.

Managers can build multichannel supply chains so different channels can work together. This provides them with better information and smooths out the experience for customers, who naturally engage with more than one channel over time.

Multichannel supply chains can also benefit from advanced technology, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics, to improve data collection and efficiency.

Here are several ways you can optimize your multichannel supply chains.

Have Your Channels Work Together

Many supply chain managers consider their channels in isolation when they could benefit from having them work together.

While 81 percent of retailers use supply chain models that make their inventory visible across channels, only 16 percent make that inventory fully transferable to other channels. You can restructure your supply channels to integrate with each other and trade inventory as necessary to fulfill customer needs.

Making inventory transferable across channels also makes it easier for your supply chain to allow things like buying online and picking up in the store.

No retailer wants returns, but data shows customers are more likely to buy products if they think they’ll be able to return them easily. About 92% of customers consider returns as being important to them and their purchasing decisions.

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What Is the Science of Sustainability?

By Megan Ray Nichols

Sustainability is a word that appears in conversation often these days, especially with the United Nations giving us a looming 2030 deadline to start reducing our carbon emissions. Everyone is talking about sustainability and why it’s so important, but if you ask people why, they won’t have an answer for you. What is the science behind it, and what can we do to live a more sustainable life?

Sustainability Defined

First, what is sustainability? We talk about living a more sustainable life all the time, but it’s helpful to be able to put a definition behind the word.

At its most basic, sustainability is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” according to UCLA. This definition might work well in casual conversation, but there’s so much more to it than just meeting our needs while preserving natural resources for posterity.

Sustainability and sustainable development encompass everything from food production to the health of the ozone. It also includes climate change and its impacts both today and into the future. As much as we dream of going to the stars, we are not a space-faring species yet. That means this little blue marble is the only home our generation and those yet to come will have — and we need to take care of it.

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The Tech and Technique Behind Effective Home Surveillance

By Jackie Edwards

The video surveillance industry continues to develop and prosper as awareness for safety grows among citizens concerned for the security of their homes. According to a poll conducted in 2018 by SDM, in which both integrators and dealers were asked about their state of confidence with the current surveillance market, 75% said they believed the market’s state to be excellent. As video surveillance continues to grow in prominence and ubiquity, with more homeowners looking to secure their households, the more technical aspects of home surveillance should be made transparent and readily available. Placement technique and varying types of surveillance systems are being continually innovated and specialized towards fostering intuitive home security setups. Here’s an overview of the current standards for installing CCTV systems and their variant iterations.

Conventional surveillance setup 

A conventional surveillance setup is comprised of either mountable or stand-alone cameras, positioned independently in various areas which work in conjunction with each other to capture consistent video. The collective of cameras send footage to a monitor system; the signal being broadcast from the cameras to the monitors is closed circuit. Viewing of the camera’s feed is strictly observable from connected equipment. The majority of modern surveillance cameras capture high resolution video and are best situated in corner areas of an indoor space, since they are typically capable of wide range viewing. The system itself is conventionally connected by coaxial cables. Inconspicuous and out of reach, wired systems are still commonly used by homeowners to deter potential burglary and more generally maintain consistent observance of their property.

Wireless configuration 

As a means of eliminating the need for cumbersome wire installation, newer surveillance systems are entirely wireless. Composed of a camera, transmitter, receiver, visual monitor, and a supplemental data storage system, wireless setups allow for broader range in regards to placement and proximity from the central monitoring unit. Footage is captured and streamed from a radio transmitter to an antenna; the receivers can either be based within the camera and monitor or separate from one another. Being wireless, these units are able to be disguised as everyday items, or can be totally mobilized and mounted onto a tripod or other peripheral.

Flexibility of location for surveillance

Areas of the home that experience the most break-ins are the front door, backyard, and the ground floor parallel to the house. What should be considered when plotting effective surveillance locations is the camera’s proximity to a power supply and proximity to the home’s router – if wireless. Integration of IoT principles makes it possible to use a smart device for wireless monitoring of the surveillance feed. Some cameras are designed for communication with other smart and IoT outfitted devices. Homeowners are granted the flexibility to place camera’s base on their own concerns for which area of the home is considered a security risk.

Freedom for homeowner’s and how they arm their home is the priority for surveillance companies. As the industry continues to develop along with smart technology’s integration to domestic life, surveillance systems will persist in popularity and normalcy.