Zebra's TC53 and TC58 mobile touch computers recommended from SK&T

In this blog, you’ll learn about Zebra’s next-generation TC53/TC58 touch computers and why these devices are one of the top recommendations to replace your aging hardware.

SK&T's 5 Key Factors for RFID Success with Zebra Technologies

If you’re looking to implement RFID to track inventory, materials, or assets in your operations, you need to focus on RFID hardware and tag selection. Here are some tips and recommendations from our experts that will help get you started.

Key Reasons to Switch to Zebra's Warehouse Tablets

Discover the many advantages of switching from traditional handheld devices to rugged warehouse tablets, including increased screen size, versatility, ruggedness, affordability, and ease of use for modern warehouse workflows.

Zebra's New MC9400 Mobile Computer with Industrial Features

Learn about the many new capabilities that make Zebra’s MC9400 mobile computer the ideal upgrade for better industrial efficiency. 

BarTender Label Design and Management Software from SK&T Integration

Collin Ochwat, Senior Inside Sales Account Manager at SK&T, explores the comprehensive capabilities and benefits of label management software, detailing how it enhances efficiency, compliance, and brand consistency across various industries.

SK&T Blog Graphic | Mastering the Art of Great Customer Service

Andrea Dilger, Customer Service Lead at SK&T, shares her secrets to mastering the art of customer service. Drawing from personal experience, Andrea offers powerful insights and tips on mastering the human touch, overcoming challenges, and building unshakeable customer loyalty in an age where every customer interaction counts. 

Derek McDowell's Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification

Discover how Derek McDowell, Warehouse & Technical Support Specialist at SK&T, leverages his Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification to enhance warehouse operations. This blog will guide you through the transformative power of Lean Six Sigma and inspire you to apply these principles to your workplace for increased productivity and efficiency.

Cartoon depicting mobile computers and barcode technology with the text “If It A’int Broke, Don’t Fix It”

In order for your business to evolve, optimizing your operations with modern barcode technology matters.  Understanding opportunities for improved efficiency, automation, accuracy and mobility may be exactly what your business needs to thrive.

Today, just about the only things that are certain in the manufacturing, warehousing, and transportation industry are disruption and uncertainty. Especially with businesses struggling to satisfy rising demand under the dual constraints of ongoing supply chain disruption and continuing labor shortages.

For perspective, consider these data points:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US manufacturing, warehouse, and transportation sectors were short 1.3 million workers in June 2022.[1]
  • Another study predicts that the manufacturing labor shortage could grow to 2.1 million workers by 2030.[2]
  • In a survey of manufacturing industry executives, 38% of executives report that attracting new workers is their top priority for the production workforce in 2022.[3]
  • In a survey of US companies, business leaders reported that supply chain disruptions cost their businesses an average of $228 million in 2021.[4]
  • And it’s more than the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey of 400 senior supply-chain and procurement executives revealed that everything from Brexit and the US-China trade war to major commodity price fluctuations and cyberattacks have disrupted the global supply chain over the past three years.[5]

Supply chain disruption and ongoing labor shortages don’t show any sign of easing, so the news is especially grim for businesses that are struggling with manual processes and inefficient legacy systems. If you’re stuck in that boat, what can you do?

For many leaders the answer is to take a fresh look at technology solutions that improve the mobility of their workforces and give them better insights into their businesses. After all, when you’re struggling to find qualified workers, anything that helps you retain and maximize the productivity of existing workers is something you need to consider. And solutions that make it easier to collect and improve the accuracy of the data that drives critical decision-making are worth a hard look, too.

Modernizing the technology side of your business often comes with two initial challenges.

First, where do you start?

Second, how can you manage the changes on the fly?

If you’ve asked those questions, you’ll want to learn about the Warehouse Maturity Model that we’ve been working on with Zebra Technologies. This is a strategic, five-phase approach to technology systems that can be applied to just about any business that relies on moving parts, products, and people efficiently. The key to the approach is that it adapts to your specific conditions, providing a step-by-step roadmap that’s based on the state of your existing systems. And, since the Maturity Model is focused on workforce mobility, data collection, and decision-making, it’s perfect for helping businesses that need to overcome labor shortages and supply chain interruptions.

For example, labor shortages are magnified when you’re relying on outmoded workflows and manual processes that require long training times. The Maturity Model will help you determine if those factors are areas you can improve upon, and what specific mobility tools you can deploy to make it easier for workers to stay connected to the data, resources, and people they need to work as productively as possible.

Similarly, when supply chain instability hits your business, you need streamlined access to accurate data that can help improve planning and decision-making. The Maturity Model offers a framework that you can use to identify shortcomings, then apply technology solutions that deliver better data with less work. The goal is to deploy technology that gives leaders the insights needed to make the business more agile, and more productive.

When labor shortage and supply chain problems prevent the manufacturing or distribution side of a business from meeting expectations, the impact ranges from lost sales and lower profit margins to dissatisfied customers and diminished brand reputation—none of that is good. So, since those challenges are here to stay for the foreseeable future, it may be time to consider your approach to modernization. If so, click here to learn more about our Modernization Guide or contact SK&T for immediate assistance.

[1] https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t07.htm

[2] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/manufacturing-industry-outlook.html

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/energy-resources/us-2022-manufacturing-industry-outlook.pdf

[4] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1259125/cost-supply-chain-disruption-country/

[5] https://impact.economist.com/perspectives/sites/default/files/the_business_costs_of_supply_chain_disruption_gep_1.pdf

SK&T Integration Team Photo

With supply constraints continuing to be a challenge, please know our team is proactively communicating with suppliers and fighting on your behalf. We are dedicated to keeping communication open and remaining transparent. Thank you for your support and continued partnership.