How Has Technology Expanded on the Shop Floor?
In recent years, technology has developed at an alarming rate. For decades, electronics have been upgraded and downsized rapidly, but in the last ten years the development in certain areas of technology – primarily in the field of consumer electronics – has reached blistering speeds.
Of course, this rapid advancement has bled out into a number of different fields, not least into shops, stores, factories and warehouses up and down the country. Here is a small selection, a cherry-picking of a few different ways that business is changing due to technology.
Manufacturing – Product Modelling in Three Dimensions
A combination of advances in the fields of engineering and manufacture has led to a better, more integrated system of 3D product modelling, which has helped to streamline the entire design process from start to finish.
The most complex of products can now be completely modelled in full 3D thanks to newly developed computer software, which allows the manufacturers to visualise the finished product as though it was in front of them, thus enabling them to know exactly how production would work.
When you pair this with the upcoming 3D printer technology, you have a super effective combo that’s just begging to be put to good use…
Business – Tablets and Smartphones Enabling Mobile Workforces
Tablets, like the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Note, along with smartphones like the iPhone and many Android phones have helped to revolutionise almost every area of business and retail. Nowadays, people are carrying around more computing horsepower in their jacket pockets than they would have had inside their desktop computers just a few years ago, and the world’s industry is reflecting this.
The main way in which the business sector is benefitting from this new technology is in the ability to make all of its employees completely mobile. As long as the phone or tablet has some signal or a mobile internet connection, the worker should be able to do almost anything he or she would be doing in the office.
The number of apps available is astounding – from giving you access to Microsoft Office documents such as .doc, .docx and .xls files to allowing you to wirelessly save or download file through Dropbox and the like, there is very little that cannot now be done with an app.
This has also affected software developers in a similar way – if a company is designing computer programmes, it would now be foolish to not at least look into the possibility of developing it for both iOS and Android as well.
Retail – Improve Efficiency through Software
The current big thing in retail is the touch screen kiosk. No matter what type of retail you are in, you’re almost guaranteed to find some benefits from getting a kiosk installed in your store – they can be used to process transactions, thus replacing a paid cashier, or to give information and directions about your store, so removing the need for printed catalogues or maps.
Already, a number of companies specialise in producing kiosks for major brands, as well as for smaller firms, so there is plenty of choice for businesses seeking to use a touch screen to their advantage.
It’s plain to see that the world is being reshaped by each major technological innovation, but it makes it difficult to make any remotely confident prediction about what the future holds for business. Who knows what tomorrow might bring to the table?