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Portland, Ore. -- PSC Inc., a global provider of integrated data-collection solutions and services for the retail supply chain, today announced the results of a recent survey, which revealed that food retailers will expand their use of mobile and wireless technology.
More than one-third (38%) of survey participants ranked "inventory control" as the application area where the technology can make the most significant impact on their business over the next two years, while 16 percent identified "customer service" and 14 percent identified wireless POS.
The survey was conducted among the 4,000 attendees during the three days of the Marketechnics tradeshow in February. Survey participants included senior executives, merchandisers, in-store IT managers, operations personnel and logisticians of leading food retailers from across the country, the majority (48%) of whom were from the grocery sector.
Asked to rank the benefits of mobile & wireless technology over one-third (37%) of respondents identified "real-time data/information" as most essential while "increased productivity" (22%) and "improved customer service" (21%) were ranked second and third respectively.
The survey also revealed key features of mobile & wireless systems food retailers plan to deploy over the next two years. "WinCE/Pocket PC" was
ranked first for operating systems, but survey respondents also indicated that there will continue to be strong demand for mobile systems with alternative proprietary and open standards operating systems.
For communications, 67 percent of food retailers plan to utilize WLAN capabilities, while over 25 percent revealed they will utilize WWAN, PAN (Bluetooth), or VOIP. Additionally, nearly half of respondents (49%) plan to deploy systems with RFID to handle data collection applications, but also pinpointed Mag Stripe, Smart Card, or Debit PIN PAD as anticipated capabilities.
"Clearly, mobile and wireless technology will continue to be a key enabler for improving operational efficiency in the food retail sector," said Brad West, Vice President of Mobile & Wireless for PSC Inc. "While traditional applications such as inventory control, shipping and receiving, and price management will still drive operational improvements, it is also evident that food retailers are strongly interested in taking advantage of the latest technology to deploy new applications, such as mobile POS, that will elevate customer service to another level.