Technology and operational efficiency


20.1 Introduction 

Information technology (IT) applications in business are various and rapidly changning. Often, the changes that occur are to processing speed and business jargon; the essential tasks remain the same. Key technology applications that can boost efficiency:

  • automated stock control systems 
  • computer-aided design (CAD)
  • 3D prinitng
  • robotics
  • communicating with suppliers, including electronic data interchange (EDI).

30.2 Automated stock control systems 

Modern stock control systems are based on laser scanning of bar-coded information. This ensures the computer knows the exact quantity of each product/ size/ colour that has come into the stockroom. In retail outlets, a laser-scanning till is used to record exactly what has been sold.  This allows the store's computer to keep an up-to-date record of current stocks of every item. This data can enable a buyer to decide how muh extra to order, or a electronic link with the supplier can re-order automatically.

All this information will be held in the form of a database. This makes it easy for the firm to carry out an aged stock analysis: the computer provides a printout showing the stock in order of age, it enables managers to make informed decisions about what to do now and in the future: should they have a sale? Do they need to order less?

30.3 Design technology

Computer-aided design (CAD) has been around for…


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