Marketechnics Report: 2002 is Dead, Long Live 2003
The feel from the show floor at the Marketechnics Show in Dallas this week is that things in technology are getting better… SLOWLY.
First, a look at the key trends from this year’s show:
- The industry is clearly moving toward greater automation in the checkout
lane. NCR (Disclosure: NCR is a sister company to RAM Communications client
Teradata), Wincor-Nixdorf and Optimal all had interesting new takes on POS
- The interest in practical applications for radio frequency identification
(RFID) is growing, along with the acceptance that the initial applications
will be in the supply chain and customers won’t see them in broad use
until 2015 or there about.
- Security issues are growing in importance — OMI and other vendors are leading
the charge here with tracking modules in their core warehouse and transportation
- Biometrics is also part of this security trend. Companies like BioPay have
- There is a surge in the use of wireless applications due this year. Jeff
Smith of Accenture suggested this would happen a few years ago, but 9/11 and
other things have slowed acceptance on this side of the pond.
- Price/revenue optimization is still growing, but at a rate that is slower
than I expected.
The show itself was better attended than last year’s version in San Diego, and the workshops I went to were well presented and well received. The session on RFID, while a little rudimentary for me, captured the imagination of the audience, and the session led by Bill Homa of Hannaford Bros. was an excellent case study of how a company moves into new technology, although many of us were hoping for more quantifiable results.
All of the vendors I spoke with on the show floor were happy to leave behind last year because there simply wasn’t enough business conducted, and the projects that were begun during the year tended to be smaller than in previous years. This resulted in a few layoffs in the vendor community, and even a few Chapter 11’s.
2003, according to both the vendors and retailers I talked with, is likely to be a fairly good year, unless the war goes disastrously wrong. IT budgets are up at three retail companies I talked with, each of which is planning a seven or eight figure project this year.
Moderator’s Comment: Which of the trends cited — POS automation, RFID, product tracking solutions, biometrics, wireless applications, price/revenue optimization — will become pervasive in the industry first and why? [George
Anderson – Moderator]