JDA’s Brave New World of Retail

by RaeAnne Marsh

JDA Software’s supply chain software is changing, if not the face of retail, then its behind-the-face. Seeing is believing, as the saying goes, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more is a physical, in-person demonstration worth?

JDA recently unveiled a world-class JDA Customer Experience Center, located at its global headquarters in Scottsdale, that will serve as a dynamic lab space showcasing tangible, hands-on technology innovations. The 13,200-square-foot JXC will serve as a space for customers to see, touch and interact with future supply chain innovations.

“Our vision for a connected, intelligent and autonomous supply chain is fueled by the innovations showcased in the JXC, leveraging the best in artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing, augmented reality and robotics,” says Desikan Madhavanur, executive vice president and chief development officer at JDA. “Now, customers can experience these in person, firsthand, when they visit our headquarters, and we can strategize with them on how to apply these innovations to their future digital supply chain projects.”

In a lab space dubbed “the Lighthouse,” the new JXC showcases JDA Luminate™ next-generation solutions and enhancements to JDA core products that embrace digital edge technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, as well as innovations created with JDA’s technology partner ecosystem.

Working with JDA partner FourKites and others, JDA Luminate™ Control Tower showcases dynamic transportation use cases, illustrating how a connected ecosystem of partners, social, news, events, and weather signals drives more profitable transportation decisions.

Also showcased is a collaboration between ReTech Labs and JDA — leveraging JDA’s AI, deep learning, product recognition and advanced mobile technologies — that enables video capture of an actual planogram along with the ability to compare it to the digital plan. Visitors will be able to identify product compliance opportunities, including out-of-stock conditions, and track their resolution.

Another demonstration allows visitors to use a VR headset and handgrips to manipulate a planogram as if they are in a physical merchandising layout room. Users can virtually map and manage a digital planogram, accelerating planning and execution activities.

Conversational computing is the heart of a demonstration from JDA and Theatro of the world’s first voice-controlled mobile platform for the hourly workforce.

Moving from the virtual to the real world, Locus Robotics is featured at JXC with its autonomous robots that move selected products from one area of a facility (a warehouse or a manufacturing plant) to another area for shipping or further manufacturing. With average installation of just two weeks, these robots do not require the traditional facility floor mapping that might take three or four months to complete but make use of a tracking program for the items. And the Locus robots are able to independently navigate obstacles to move product from one location to another. This increases productivity and reduces repetitive human tasks and fatigue. 

Soft Bank Robotics’ Pepper, a humanoid customer assistance robot, actually is changing the face of retail — it can interact with customers. JXC offers a demonstration in which the visitor, acting as a customer, can ask Pepper if a shoe is available in a desired size. Pepper, having complete access to JDA’s inventory and supply chain information, answers the customer with information regarding inventory available at the store, another store or even an option to have the pair of shoes delivered to the customer’s home. Its knowledge of inventory even allows it to show the customer other shoes that might suit that customer.

Virtual visits to the JXC are also possible, thanks to technology by iBeam that will allow viewers to virtually “beam” into the JXC and experience some of the demonstrations through their devices.    

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