Investments in pick/put-to-light technology, wearables, robotic AGVs, high-speed conveyors, voice-directed picking, and a warehouse control system equate to an automated, smart, and efficient distribution center.
When Thermo Fisher Scientific wanted to improve worker safety in its bioproducts cold chain warehouse, it developed a novel deli-door solution that reduced the number of pickers in the cold storage and freezer spaces, dramatically improved picking safety and efficiency, and created more product storage space.
Shippers rely on 3PLs and refrigerated public warehouses to invest in technology, implement standards, and facilitate strategic business process change to drive greater efficiencies.
Rising consumer expectations are driving change throughout the supply chain. And there’s no tougher test for meeting increased expectations than Black Friday. The time is now for warehouse managers to examine the three critical success factors in warehouse labor management.
Before selecting a new Warehouse Management System (WMS), you have to know what drives your company to select features that target your specific needs. Use this advice to select the right WMS.
The warehouse design of tomorrow is flexing to meet the physical needs of basic warehouse operators as well as more highly automated e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Through automated, rules-based wave management and replenishment, American Hotel Register Company was able to eliminate manual sortation and create multiple, tailored options to proactively release orders by type.
The warehouse management system (WMS) has emerged as a valuable tool for tracking and streamlining tasks, the workforce, and material/equipment flows. Here are two factors driving its adoption today.
If there’s one lesson that we’ve learned from fine bourbon or whiskey, it’s that good things come to those who wait. Distilleries know this better than anyone. But when it’s time to get that product out the door and in the hands of distributors, the last thing a distiller wants to do is wait.
When an outdated warehouse management system was putting a dent in a distributor’s workflow, it turned to a technology partner to grow its e-commerce business.
East Coast Warehouse & Distribution’s strategic port location brings both advantages and challenges. Its facility keeps supply chains rocking, serving as the crucial first step in importers’ distribution systems in the United States, through port delays and even Superstorm Sandy.
SendOutCards keeps its personal touch while improving its greeting card and gift order fulfillment processes with Snapfulfil’s warehouse management system.
Warehouse operations no longer allow for “business as usual” practices. New initiatives and strategic investments in capital improvements will lead to greater returns in productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Investing in the latest materials handling equipment, WMS technology, and physical building improvements will result in a fully integrated distribution center.
Work with a team of service providers to get a new retail distribution center up and running in only six months? We should all be so lucky.
Cloud computing, omnichannel management, and big data are the questions. Can your warehouse supply the answers?
Debunking these five myths helps retailers and manufacturers see the real value of dedicated returns management.
A modular warehouse control system can help smaller operations keep up with larger competitors.
Mobile communication technologies facilitate warehouse efficiency and productivity.
Warehouse technology that supports communication and data analysis improves efficiency and reduces waste.
Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
Companies planning new distribution centers or warehouses weigh process data to choose materials handling equipment.
Follow these steps to choose a warehouse management system to improve fulfillment operations and inventory visibility.
Air cargo shipments of perishable goods such as produce, flowers, and seafood require careful handling.
Retailer DSW's new replenishment materials handling solution improves inventory control and reduces in-store markdowns.
The right pick-to-light system can help increase productivity, improve accuracy, and increase picking speeds.
Perishable shipments such as produce and pharmaceuticals require temperature monitoring and careful handling.
Technology management can affect warehouse operations’ connectivity during and after a power outage. Whether the facility’s warehouse management system (WMS) is installed on-site, delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program, or hosted in the cloud can have a huge impact on maintaining productivity, writes John Sterling of Foxfire Software.
A warehouse control system that integrates voice-directed picking technology, a high-speed sortation system, and scanning technology streamlined party goods supplier Oriental Trading Company’s picking, packing, and shipping operations.
Dannon's network design provides flexibility and speed to serve customers quickly, reduces transport time and costs, and delivers on the company's sustainability initiatives, while ensuring product freshness.
Using colors, shapes, numbers, and mnemonics in warehouse signage can help reduce training and picking errors, while improving service.
Here's the story of one consumer product, starting with its origin as a variety of inbound ingredients and following its progress from plant to warehouse to retail store.
Labor management tools can help you determine if your workforce is performing at the level necessary to deliver cost-effective service to customers.
Managers should identify and focus on the most useful warehouse metrics to gather, report, and apply, writes Eric Allais of PathGuide Technologies.
Acquiring a warehouse and implementing a warehouse management system from Cambar Solutions helped The School Box earn top grades for its distribution operation.
Slotting – determining the locations of your SKUs in your warehouse – used to be an easy concept. But in the new world of warehousing focusing exclusively to a large degree on e-commerce sales, this is no longer simple.
The deal comes at a critical time for the Silicon Valley-based electric car company, as it prepares for Model 3 production and readies to face one of the largest growth phases in the company’s history.
Here are six ways to stay on top of the demands of split case picking in the face of the eCommerce revolution.
Many companies are finding that value-added logistics services can help to give their supply chain a competitive edge. Use this advice to add value to your supply chain.
Freight railroads frustrated by lack of federal funding to bolster private initiatives; trucking industry posts fifth straight month of driver employment growth after a three month year-on-year decline; Warehouse Management System market to garner $3.112 million globally by 2022, supply chain professionals point to cyber security and changing trade regulations as top concerns in 2017.
Classic Distributing increases pick rates by 22% with the Jungheinrich® low-level order picker.
Data integration across systems can help optimize the supply chain and enable organizations to provide their customers with the best possible service from order to delivery.
Tip the scales toward greater efficiency in your warehouse by investing in industrial weighing equipment. Start by weighing the following options.
Jungheinrich® reach trucks help LeanCor’s mission to advance the world’s supply chains.
How powersports manufacturer Monster Moto worked with UPS to redesign its supply chain as it moved its product assembly from China to the U.S.
Thirty years ago, third-party logistics providers offered mainly rudimentary logistics and warehousing services. Today, however, many 3PLs offer complex solutions that help companies achieve strategic goals.
As wearable technologies, such as smart glasses and augmented reality, grow less expensive and more accessible, an increasing number of companies are exploring whether wearables could benefit their warehouse operation.
Ariens' tailored transportation planning solution from Redwood Logistics has led to efficiency gains, delivery improvements, increased visibility and cost reductions.
In time for the holiday season and other peak periods, retailers are stepping up their game in delivery, fulfillment, and warehousing technology to improve the effectiveness of existing resources.
More companies are relying on expedited shipping a regular part of their inbound transportation planning. However, intelligent systems are helping reduce the need for the Hail Mary emergency moves.
Profile of Marc Althen, president, Penske Logistics
Profile of Alan Sargent, supply chain and logistics director, Just Born Candy
Warehouse owners, operators, and facility managers can reap operational savings by looking up: at warehouse lighting. Switching to LED solutions cuts more than costs.
Ensuring labeling accuracy and consistency is critical to supporting efficiency up and down the supply chain. Here's one approach that can ensure your labels boost supply chain activities.
Consolidation warehouses typically contend with labeling inconsistency in e-commerce orders. Here's how to boost read rates for packages and avoid manual handling.
When considering, procuring, and implementing new logistics/supply chain technology, here are three steps to take to ensure a smooth rollout.
Use this advice to get your distribution center prepared before holiday orders come rolling in.
Inbound Logistics editor lists six cool things she learned (or just realized anew) as she edited the annual 3PL issue.
How do industry leaders plan to keep up with these unprecedented demands? The short answer is technology investment.
Ice cream companies have to ensure their products maintain their quality as they travel from the manufacturing plant to distribution center to the retailer, and finally into the consumer’s shopping cart and home. Cold chain management and proper sanitation are key ingredients.
New technology abounds inside the four walls of a distribution center. From narrow aisles configurations, specialized rack systems and lift equipment to optimize stacking capabilities, WMS software that integrates with automated sortation systems, and self-guided intelligent robotic vehicles, innovations in materials handling products are transforming the supply chain.
Supply chain logistics companies view veterans as a crucial pool of potential employees, and consequently they are using a range of methods to recruit and hire former members of the military for their workforces.
As warehouse heights have increased with the help of new materials handling technology, so have the risks. Here's one way to meet fire codes as well as cut sprinkler costs.
These supply chain, logistics, and transportation companies lead the way in supporting sustainability.
A sweating warehouse floor slab is not easily eliminated. Here's how DC occupants and building owners can address this perplexing problem.
Robots coming soon to a warehouse near you; The supply chain plays a key role in developing circular economies; OSA-related driver fatigue causes new safety rule proposals
Communication and transparency are key to being a good partner to your clients. Use this advice to effectively communicate with customers.
Warehouses can use a number of techniques to maintain service level agreements (SLAs) – the ”guaranteed” turnaround time for an order to go out – during peak demand periods.
Waveless fulfillment consistently maximizes warehouse productivity by assigning orders on a real-time basis as resources and fulfillment opportunities become available.
Here are three immediate steps shippers can take to build more robust operations in their warehouses, helping them both deal with dimensional weight pricing and grow more efficient overall.
Using pallet collars in the warehouse can increase how efficiently your goods are stored, shipped, and delivered.
Launching a cost cutting, productivity-enhancing, or sustainability initiative creates efficiencies with environmental benefits and cost reductions.
Smart, connected cities are closer than you think; Inevitable minimum wage hike has supply chain implications
A customized and strategic platform provides a company with a competitive edge over their competition.
Working with a third-party logistics partner who also offers foreign trade zones can provide big benefits in the right scenarios.
Profile of Jamie Overley, CEO of East Coast Warehouse and Distribution
Sound strategies for maintaining, optimizing, and modernizing materials handling systems can mitigate risk in today’s DC and go a long way toward ensuring a smooth ride in the supply chain.
Manufacturers are going back to the drawing board to rethink their temperature-controlled supply chains.
As the world becomes increasingly connected via the Internet of Things (IoT), the amount of data being created and shared is skyrocketing. Your supply chain will be profoundly affected.
Transportation and logistics deal value continues to rise; distribution centers prepare to reduce picking errors; mobile-based freight brokerage; predictive analytics and Internet of Things revolutionize procurement
A connected warehouse maximizes warehouse efficiency, as well as positions a company to decisively navigate constant changes across the supply chain. Real-time data intelligence delivers the visibility and control needed to effect measurable improvements.
How milk and other dairy products moo-ve from tens of thousands of cows to store shelves across the country - with udder efficiency.
Sean Smith, supply chain director at Agropur Ingredients, is always up for a logistics challenge.
When it comes to ASAP, quick-thinking shippers redefine what's possible.
Nutrabolt’s rapid growth created several logistics challenges, including processing orders efficiently and quickly; absorbing dramatic swings in order volumes to support promotional campaigns; and providing omni-channel fulfillment through a single warehouse. A third-party logistics partnership with Kane Is Able helped Nutrabolt meet these challenges.
E-commerce is leaving a trail of brick-and-mortar debris in its wake.
Value-added services that fall outside the realm of traditional supply chain solutions can save millions of dollars and create mutually beneficial, collaborative relationships.
Terri Anderson, production warehouse management systems analyst at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, configures, enhances, and tests the company's WMS by the book.
Supply management professionals are increasingly accepting cross-functional cooperation in purchasing, supply management, production and inventory control to optimize overall company performance and increase competitiveness.
Recent improvements in wireless cellular technology and mesh networks provide solutions that can be adapted for warehousing space, easing startup challenges and costs.
A look at the challenges warehouse managers face as they build a well-integrated warehouse workforce, and how they address those issues.
New lower-cost commercial systems and equipment are just over the horizon; they will provide an exciting array of inventory control to the logistics and supply chain community.
Judi Griffin, director of logistics at Burkhart Dental, is responsible for three distribution centers, purchasing and customer service teams, and inbound and outbound freight costs.
Inbound Logistics’ annual Logistics Technology Perspectives offers market research to help IT buyers and users make better sense of what’s going on in the industry. And, the Top 100 Logistics Technology Providers list celebrates best-in-class innovators that are helping shippers revolutionize their supply chains.
To increase fulfillment efficiency and order picking accuracy, eBay Enterprise gives its warehouse a voice.
It is essential to have damage prevention measures in place for racking systems to avoid employee injury and minimize loss.
New software helps warehouse operators keep up with the real-time demands of omni-channel fulfillment.
A look at the many logistics assets that make Georgia a terrific location for companies involved in manufacturing or distribution.
E-commerce excellence and proximity to large population areas are the new drivers behind site selection for fulfillment centers.
Developing an efficient and safe warehouse can be challenging. Use this advice to get the most out of your warehouse.
Digital technologies are shaking up supply chain solutions; Maritime industry opposes Keystone XL Pipeline amendment; Procurement is the gateway to innovation, collaboration, and revenue growth; Introducing the 10 best warehouse networks
Implementing a cycle-counting program makes physical inventory counts a lot less daunting.
Saving a few bucks doesn’t always mean throwing the customer under the bus.
Mark our words: Legislative and regulatory resolutions could spell trouble for shippers and carriers in 2015.
Five common misconceptions about LED lighting in industrial and hazardous facilities.
Debunking these five myths helps retailers and manufacturers see the real value of dedicated returns management.
Maersk Line helps one of their top refrigerated export customers overcome an operational challenge.
Smart shippers are already preparing and making changes to their supply chain operations to ensure they will be in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act from day one.
Five key questions to ask a software vendor to make sure they are the right fit for your operation.
Retailers try to head off peak season surprises by beginning their Christmas lists in the spring.
Memphis supports global supply chains through highway, rail, airport, and inland port assets, and a qualified workforce.
When a merger required Nature’s Way to consolidate distribution facilities, it called on the services of system supplier The Numina Group for a new design and technologies. Today, the facility successfully distributes products to customers in 50 states, and overseas through five supply chain channels.
An integrated warehouse management system improves data flow, efficiency, and accuracy, reducing operational costs.
TAJ Flooring used a transportation management system to improve shipment and freight spend visibility.
Bar-code reading errors slowed Champion Tire and Wheel’s operation; a new laser scanner got the company back on track.
Create your WMS RFP with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of potential suppliers.
With warehouse capacity at a premium, shippers consult 3PLs to help locate shared space.
An improving economy and e-commerce growth spur demand for warehouse space.
This article provides a step-by-step guide to logistics network optimization.
Pallets are a vital piece of warehouse equipment for storing and moving products.
Georgia offers manufacturers and distributors superior access to logistics providers and transportation infrastructure.
E-commerce retailers choose specialized distribution centers near parcel carrier hubs and transportation infrastructure.
Automated materials handling tools boost warehouse productivity and improve efficiency.
Third-party logistics providers are assuming a less transactional, more consultative role with shippers.
Ensuring supply chain security requires that shippers and logistics providers stay one step ahead of thieves.
Big data gathered by materials handling equipment helps warehouse managers improve productivity and safety.
New books on supply chain, logistics, and transportation help logistics professionals stay sharp.
Chris Halkyard, chief supply chain officer for e-commerce site Gilt, discusses managing flash sale logistics.
Foreign Trade Zones can help global shippers cut operational costs and speed customs clearance for imports and exports.
Molson Coors Canada’s new delivery planning system integrates routing, pallet building, and truck loading.
Actionable tips help you revitalize your warehousing, 3PL, trucking, and global logistics operations.
Tools such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and advanced picking solutions support lean supply chain operations.
Reducing warehouse energy and water consumption helps companies improve their bottom line and bring value to customers.
Successful order fulfillment begins with strategic and tactical planning well in advance of the holiday season.
Warehouses and DC networks adapt to changing supply chain trends; U.S. FTZ activity continues to grow; Trendset malfeasance raises red flag for shippers.
Delivering temperature-sensitive flu vaccines to Laos required climate-controlled transport and impeccable timing.
Sensor-based logistics solutions monitor factors like temperature and humidity to protect perishable shipments.
To optimize warehouse operations, integrate solutions like warehouse management systems and warehouse control systems.
Minnesota's warehouse tax may push jobs out of state.
A new inventory management system by Manhattan Associates nurses Nature's Best's fulfillment operations back to health.
Changing consumer expectations and demand for greater efficiency, economy, and productivity present new twists and turns in warehouse automation.
Prologis Pulaski DC breaks ground, breaks new barriers in sustainable development; Voice technology finds traction in the supply chain; Healthcare industry stands to gain by adopting retail supply chain best practices; Freight spot market swings with seasonal demand; Midwest floods present new challenges for inland waterway shippers
Parties storing goods in warehouses need to be alert to liens on their goods, writes Ron Leibman of Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland, & Perretti LLP. To avoid unpleasant surprises, both parties to a warehousing agreement must understand their rights and the documents that cover their transactions.
Monitoring the pallet-level temperature of fresh, frozen, and packaged foods allows shippers and transporters to more effectively manage the quality and safety of products as they move through the supply chain, writes Kevin Payne of Intelleflex.
Companies choosing between voice-directed and pick-to-light technology often find that the right choice is a combination of both.
Peruvian supermarket chain drives DC network realignment with a new cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) warehouse management system (WMS).
Close-out retailer Tuesday Morning implemented Interlink’s WHSe-LINK warehouse management system to receive, store, and allocate its daily inbound shipments of unique SKUs.
The Alternative Site Framework designation is changing the Foreign Trade Zone landscape, allowing shippers a more expedient process for streamlining the supply chain.
Continuous e-commerce growth has prompted an increasing number of retailers to use third-party logistics (3PL) providers for handling their direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Jeffrey B. Graves of Sedlak Management Consultants explains that for retail logistics executives, assessing 3PL capabilities that best fit their company’s requirements can be a challenge, yet critical for optimum return on investment (ROI)
Food company Bob Evans entrusted Millard Refrigerated Services with its warehousing and distribution operations. The two businesses worked together to expand both their supply chain capabilities.
By working together to align the processes by which shippers tender freight and carriers receive it, supply chain partners can achieve greater efficiency at the loading dock while improving safety, quality, performance, and margins for all stakeholders.
Pharmaceuticals manufacturers face special supply chain challenges such as temperature control, security, chain of custody, and regulatory compliance, but successful strategies help deal with these issues.
Mexico-based automotive glassmaker Vitro Automotive opened a distribution center in the United States to serve Detroit automakers just-in-time requirements. Its long-time logistics service provider Evans Distribution Systems staffed the new DC for Vitro to ensure a quality workforce.
Warehouses are one component within a much larger distribution ecosystem, writes Editor Felecia Stratton.
Companies such as Pep Boys and Georgia Pacific are harnessing technology to gain greater warehouse labor productivity through labor management systems; incentive programs; and warehouse management systems connected to forklift-mounted mobile computers.
A consultant, integrator, and wholesaler share some warehouse wisdom.
Tablets offer several advantages over notebook computers and handheld devices, says Chris Wright, DRS Technologies.
Warehouse managers are using a mix of consumer-grade smartphone technology and rugged mobile devices to optimize their workflow, says Laura Kelleher of Honeywell.
Applying lean principles to materials handling equipment purchases and configurations helps companies cut costs, writes Robert Arndt, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.
Developing a customized warehouse management system (WMS) was a collaborative process for packaged food products direct-sales company Tastefully Simple and technology provider Softeon.
Slotting is the concept of using data analysis to assign every part a location based on its specific attributes. Determining the best type of storage equipment, stock quantity, and location for each stock keeping unit (SKU) yields more efficient picking operations, writes Christian Rueckerl.
Deploying a warehouse management system (WMS) on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis allowed online retailer PetFlow.com to manage its own fulfillment operations without a large capital investment.
A look at the logistics challenges faced by companies shipping alcoholic beverages, and some practices for dealing with those challenges.
Retailers such as Brookstone, BuySeasons, Pet Supplies Plus, and Wayfair streamline their supply chains to deliver better customer service.
More efficient operations are the key to warehouse productivity – and, in turn, more satisfied customers, according to Kenco’s Jason Minghini.
No longer hauling just fresh produce and other groceries, today’s truck and trailer refrigeration systems also keep other high-value loads at ideal temperatures and humidity levels so they arrive safely at their final destinations, writes Thermo King’s Tom Kampf.
Shipping fresh produce requires quick movement through the supply chain to prevent product spoilage. C.H. Robinson’s general managers, Gary York, Bob Biesterfeld, and Mark Petersen, provide advice for managing produce shipments.
Healthy warehouses use strategies such as one-on-one training, layout optimization, materials handling equipment, adjustable partitions, performance measurement tools, wrist-mounted bar-code scanners, and energy-efficient lighting.
Warehouse operations visibility means knowing the real-time location of your materials handling vehicles, drivers, and inventory so operations can be optimized for maximum productivity, says Phil Van Wormer of Sky-Trax.
Integrating voice-enabled logistics with hosted ERP solutions and warehouse management systems can improve productivity and accuracy.
Here are five areas where supply chain executives can find additional return on investment opportunities from their Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
Industry experts explain how to avoid threats to warehoused goods, conduct a global security assessment, and benefit from renewed government and private sector attention to supply chain security initiatives.
Optimizing materials handling equipment and processes in the warehouse impacts the entire supply chain.
Industrial property developers are cultivating greener distribution facilities and nurturing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards compliance. The bounty? A harvest of benefits for their tenants.
Natural pet food manufacturer WellPet partnered with Aspen Logistics and Kane is Able to improve its supply chain and warehousing operations.
A warehouse optimization project enables leather goods distributor Tandy Brands to better serve customers.
A growing consumer interest in locally grown food is changing the way many food companies source products. Food quality and safety concerns, transportation costs, and local economic development efforts are compelling restaurants, groceries, and wholesalers to engage smaller producers and localize their supply chains.
Avoid costly delays when shipping perishables with these tips from Crowley Maritime Corporation's Nelly Yunta and Kip Douglas
Charlie Jacobs of APL Logistics explains the cost savings and efficiency benefits of implementing lean practices, as demonstrated by three warehousing case studies.
Jeremy Woods of Summit Realty Group explains how an orchestrated strategy to integrate supply chain, energy use, and real estate costs can help save money.
Collaborative distribution lets manufacturers, especially consumer product goods (CPG) companies, merge loads destined for the same end point to maximize trucking efficiency.
The emergence of refrigerated container units provides more cost-effective rail and intermodal shipping for perishable and temperature-sensitive goods.
The key to successful shipping in Alaska is to partner with a transportation provider that knows how to manage Alaska’s many obstacles.
By integrating contract packaging into distribution operations, companies can cut costs by 30 percent.
Geography, transportation infrastructure, and a strong distribution sector make Memphis a natural logistics hub.
Boost your cross-docking operation's throughput for more efficient one-stop shipment, with these tips from Nelson Bettencourt of CEVA Logistics.
When selecting a site for a new warehouse or distribution center, there's a second infrastructure that demands attention: the power generation and delivery system.
ProFlowers' time- and temperature-sensitive shipments create plenty of challenges for John Kuehn, senior vice president of supply chain operations. Here's how he nips problems in the bud.
Ferber Warehousing's 650 clients benefit from the firm's innovative total business distribution software solution, Conveyor.
For a fictional company looking to expand its franchise nationally, DC network optimization is a measure of real success.
Investing in automated storage and retrieval systems and WMS helps warehouses grow greener and reap financial benefits.
Warehousing risks can spring out at any moment. Some are meant to be shared, others avoided. Successful warehousing operations strike a balance.
A precise temperature-controlled packing and shipping procedure helps Advanced BioHealing ensure its biomedical product's safety and integrity.
Fuel-optimized forklifts? Check. Energy-efficient light bulbs? Check. Here's your cheat-sheet for warehouse sustainability efforts, courtesy of Rajiv Saxena of APL Logistics.
For the aftermarket auto parts business, where materials handling is as important to the bottom line as execution, planning begins with implementing a Web-based warehouse and inventory management system, writes Jim Burleigh of SmartTurn.
Online haberdasher Bonobos relies on its third-party fulfillment partner, Quiet Logistics, which operates warehousing facilities with Kiva's robotics materials handling solution.
Shared space environments, secondary packaging services, and reimagined cross-docking functions are helping manufacturers get more value from warehousing providers. Cliff Otto, president of Saddle Creek, outlines the benefits.
Smart companies carefully select and intelligently apply automation not only to boost productivity, but also to turn the distribution center into a competitive weapon, writes Mick Mountz of Kiva Systems Inc.
To better serve customers and remain globally competitive, warehousing and logistics providers are continuing to evaluate robotics solutions.
Forklift accidents have a devastating effect on warehouses – and they happen more often than you think. Use these five keys to prevent forklift accidents and promote warehouse safety.
Think of wearable technology as consumer facing? Think again. Wearables one-up handheld devices and have real supply chain implications.