In an exclusive interview to IoP Journal, Vanderlei Ferreira, president of the Brazilian subsidiary of Zebra Technologies, stated that smaller entrepreneurs will propel the country to better days in the post-pandemic of Covid-19. According to him, a large part of the new online stores is made up of small businesses, which are essential for the Brazilian economy. “In 2019, the country already had 13.5 million micro, small and medium-sized companies, according to Sebrae”.
Brazil, a country of continental size, with congested urban centers, has a lot of space for more efficient logistics. “The need for modernization and automation”, says Ferreira, “became even more explicit with the Covid-19 pandemic, which put pressure on e-commerce, markets, pharmacies and all other businesses essential to the population”. In an article recently published by the IoP Journal (in Portuguese, Logística brasileira precisa de um choque de eficiência), Vanderlei Ferreira shows why many retailers were criticized for not meeting delivery deadlines or for punctual shortages of certain products, mainly due to increased demand and operations limited by the needs of social distance.
“It is wrong to imagine that retailers will return to the old molds after the reopening”, argues the executive. “Firstly, because the habit of buying online must remain, since many people who were resistant to e-commerce were forced to try the model and not only adapted, but also liked the convenience. Secondly, experts report that, from time to time, humanity will have experiences similar to what we are facing today with the coronavirus and isolation will always be the best security measure. With that, purchases will again be limited to digital ”.
Facing this scenario, Ferreira considers that there are endless opportunities for a small company to digitally transform its business. “The neighborhood emporium, which sold only to the public who passed through its door, can expand its operations to the entire city or even the country, through an online store”.
The notion that innovation is only for large corporations could not be more wrong. SMEs can be at the forefront of intelligence and automation. According to Zebra’s 2019 Business Intelligence Index, 37% of SMEs can be considered smart. The general figure, which includes businesses of all sizes, points to 17%. The Intelligence Index is calculated based on 11 criteria that include vision and adoption of Internet of Things (IoT), data management and intelligent analysis.
According to Ferreira, investments in technology made by companies of all sizes can translate into greater productivity for the employee, reduced team training time and full visibility of information in real time. The latter would have a fundamental role in helping decision makers to make more informed choices, which help the business run better.
“Innovative technologies and solutions such as RFID, mobile computers, printers, barcode scanners and tablets are having a significant impact on all types of business”, explains the executive. “It may seem complicated, but it is not. In a clothing factory, each stage of production receives sensors that can track everything from the inventory of raw materials to the time spent by the employee producing each item and the volume of electricity used to make a T-shirt ”.
Ferreira clarifies that the Internet of Things (IoT) allows sensors to connect to a network and share information that allows employees to perform certain actions. “By collecting and monitoring these materials stored in the cloud, companies are able to build databases that can be accessed quickly and easily through corporate mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones,” he added. “These devices use the Android operating system, which is already familiar to most workers, due to their personal devices. The combination of these lightweight, intuitive mobile devices and cloud technology will help make small businesses smarter, without significant investment commitments. ”
Watch the full interview of Vanderlei Ferreira, president of the Brazilian subsidiary of Zebra Technologies, to the IoP Journal (in Portuguese):