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Can AI and OCR Save the Day with Stockpile Management as Retail Inventories in the U.S. Soar?

As retailers struggle with inventory pileups, OCR (optical character recognition) provides a low-cost way to create the digital twin that will help them find their stuff throughout the supply chain.

America’s retailers are dealing with a product glut that is piling up in warehouses. From computers to clothing to home goods to televisions, there is an abundance of unsold merchandise eating into profits and threatening to make the holiday season bleak for most retailers. In a scenario that contrasts with the shortages that troubled much of the pandemic, the overcrowded warehouses threaten not only to derail profits at a critical juncture but also to wreak havoc on inventory management.

According to a Washington Post report, “High inventories have been plaguing companies all year, playing a big role in the recent contraction in the U.S. economy. But merchandise pileups have only grown. U.S. retailers have been sitting on a record $732 billion of inventory as of July — a 21 percent increase from a year ago, according to Census Bureau data. ” (1)

The report goes on to say that inflation is now stubbornly creeping near 40-year highs, exacerbating the crisis and that even the deepest discounts aren’t translating into sales. Americans are allocating more of their budgets to necessities such as gas and groceries, leaving less for non-essential purchases. This results in massive stockpiles of inventory and dollars sitting in warehouses.

Inventory serves as a window into the economy

According to the post article, “Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the economy. Inventories of products that consumers buy help explain how the economy is or isn’t growing. ” But without accurate and dependable inventory data, retailers lack a clear understanding of what inventory is on-hand or where it is located.

A dependable yard management system, such as SiteTrax™ by Netarus, now more than ever provides businesses with state-of-the-art technology that keeps their finger on the pulse of not only their inventory but also valuable information. That information is essential for making proper purchasing and selling decisions, which are crucial to a company navigating difficult financial times and, quite possibly, determining who survives, thrives, or disappears from the landscape.

OCR to the Rescue

As even some retailers who have never been known to offer discounts on their products face unprecedented steep discounts to move products, tools like SiteTrax are proving invaluable in knowing what products are on hand and precisely where that product is to keep it moving. SiteTrax generates a digital twin for real-world asset tracking by capturing asset IDs from intermodal containers and chassis as well as their location with the push of a button and delivering this data to any database, enterprise ledger, ERP, or transportation management system.

With razor-thin profit margins, inventory management is more important than ever. The ground-breaking SiteTrax platform makes it simple to capture the geolocation of intermodal containers and share this information within an organization. A business can capture its container assets in near real-time with the click of a button on virtually any mobile device or their latest virtual gate solution. When an asset is captured, its ID is automatically pushed into any public, enterprise, or distributed database, including Yard Management Systems (YMS) and Terminal Operating Systems (TOS).

Digital Twin Use Cases for Asset Tracking

As businesses in the supply chain, including distribution centers (DC), look for innovative ways to manage inventory, keep lead times as short as possible, and keep costs low, tools like SiteTrax are priceless. The SiteTrax mobile app for Android is designed to locate assets within a facility. It is simple to use, has a low learning curve, and provides inventory location information that is nearly real-time.

At a time when warehouses are overflowing with products, there is a need for this type of information to be conveyed quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, the time saved locating products in crowded warehouses turns into significant productivity gains and the avoidance of lost products.

While large discounts may help to alleviate some of the pain of inflation, retailers continue to struggle to clear out excess inventory. Factors such as fuel, manufacturing, and transportation have fluctuated in recent years, complicating the determination of how much, if any, retailers can cut prices. It has been established, including a dependable inventory management tool, such as SiteTrax, in the equation is critical for assisting businesses in gaining control of their inventory.

SiteTrax by Netarus is ready to help

Retailers must adapt to fluctuating purchasing habits as the economy changes and evolves. Correspondingly, they must strive to reduce inventory backlogs. It has been demonstrated that having cutting-edge technology specifically designed to track assets by capturing intermodal containers and delivering that information in near real-time is invaluable, and SiteTrax is built to do just that.

The SiteTrax by Netarus team welcomes the opportunity to meet with retailers to discuss how their innovative YMS can assist them and encourages them to contact the company. Learn more at https://www.sitetrax.io.

(1) https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/10/10/discounts-inventory-excess-retailers-economy/

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