The introduction of On Demand technology and the move to Radio Frequency ID tags (RFID) is rapidly changing the face of the Australian b2b e-commerce sector, according to Leadtec Managing Director Scott Needham.
The b2b e-commerce industry is moving away from the traditional client side electronic data interchange (EDI) translation software to On Demand or Software as a Service (SaaS), providing more scope for smaller Australian companies to compete on a national and international level using b2b technology.
Translation software is no longer required because it is now often provided as a service in the network, allowing for massive cost reduction for trading communities.
However, the huge uptake in internet communication means smaller companies are capable of e-trading, creating huge disparity in the quality of the software and messages that are being sent.
Supply chain companies like Leadtec have become fundamental in the b2b process to enable the big retailers to engage with these companies.
The main challenges facing e-trading in Australia include the increasing number of trading partners, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and the introduction of Radio Frequency ID tag technology (RFID) in supply chains.
With an increase in the number of companies’ e-trading Leadtec’s challenge is to be able to communicate these messages while maintaining industry standards. Leadtec’s alliance partner GS1 supports Leadtec with standards implementation.
Great opportunities will come with RFID, which will enable retailers to pass stock through a scanner, removing the need for line of sight barcodes. Basically it means one day a shopper will be able to push their supermarket trolley through a gate and each item will be automatically scanned.
Realistically this technology is about 10 years away from being used at the consumer level.
RFID coupled with On Demand services will bring Australia in line with global standards for b2b e-commerce, particularly within grocery supply chains.
This new technology will provide Australian retailers, logistics organisations and suppliers with real-time, anywhere access to information about a shipment’s contents and destination by simply scanning the RFID tag.
The new technology will benefit major retailers in Australia’s retail, health and automotive sectors, by giving them easy access to transactional, product and shipping information.
Leadtec’s eTrading platform will provide all of these new technologies to its clients through one integrated On Demand platform.
According to GS1 Australia, On Demand technologies have transformed supply chain systems, by improving the way they share information.
GS1 is responsible for administering the global multi-industry system of identification and communication for products, services, assets and locations in Australia.
Over the next few years, the need for unique identification of products will become increasingly important and companies such as Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings and others will start using GS1net, an On Demand platform, in their supply chain systems.
GS1 is also starting to see a greater uptake in RFID technology in Australia and will need dynamic technology enablers and communications companies such as Leadtec to provide effective data solutions for Australian retailers who want to take on this new technology.