Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Stocking the shelves

When we outline there plan for distribution in socialism, critics often deride proposals as bureaucratic central planning and  that the market is the best way of determining supply and demand. We answer that capitalism itself as provided the logistics of a supply chain that merely simply requires tweaking for a future socialist society to decide what is required by communities. Bar-codes and an integrated computer system already control stock-levels of local supermarkets linking to their regional distribution centres which in turn is connected with their suppliers and manufacturers.

Coca-Cola haveimplemented a new system operated by tech firm Trax which digitised the previously manual stock-taking process. Relying on pen and paper stock records that then had to be inputted into a computer was hardly ideal. It led to delays in replenishing empty shelves. Implementing the Trax system resulted in a 63% reduction in "out-of-stock" occurrences and audit times that fell from 20 minutes to two minutes. Retailers are out of stock about 8% to 12% of the time at the moment but systems like  Trax can reduce that to 3% or 4%.
Using shelf-mounted cameras and augmented reality on smartphones and tablets, Trax's image recognition system monitors all the products on open shelves and in coolers, understanding how they differ in size, shape and colour.
A "panoramic stitching engine" pieces together the in-store images to recreate the full shelf, while analytic software recognises each product. The supermarket is instantly alerted if brands are out of place or missing from the shelves.
The firm is identifying 250 million products a month and providing real-time data to 170 retailers and brand manufacturers around the world.