Robotics as the Future of Retail

In this era of technological advancement, almost everything has been automated with the help from so

In this era of technological advancement, almost everything has been automated with the help from software development companies. Robotics is considered to be the next thing that will take over all the industries.

One such industry where robotics has already made its marks is the retail industry. There have been many companies that have successfully started implementing robots in place of humans and many others are testing robots for implementation.

In this article, we will see as how robotics is required in the retail industry and how efficiently does it turn around the retail industry. We will also take a look at the ever discussed issue of human versus robot.

Why is robotics required in retail stores?

The main advantage that stores have compared to online retail is the presence of employees. People go to stores to be able to touch and feel the products they want to buy and employees of those stores help them in properly identifying their choice of products. It is true that most retailers have taken too many employees out of stores, leaving customers to serve themselves. But if there is no one to help the customers, it would be better to stay back at home and shop online.

Well this dilemma can be understood when we say that more and more shops are getting automated by the day through robotics which allow retail owners to use lesser manual work and use more machines to do their work in an efficient way by saving way more time than before.

Some existing robots in the retail industry

Various top notch retail companies like shipping, warehouse and storage have already started using robots to remain ahead of their competition. According to an article by Business Insider, Chloe is a robot that retrieves products that customers request from a kiosk and is being used by Best Buy. Target began a trial of Tally, a robot that travels through aisles and takes inventory.

Robots have also been used in warehouses as well. An article by Bloomberg technology says that Amazon is using 30,000 robots in its warehouses all over the globe.

Starship is one more robot which is being tested for delivering products to the doorsteps of the consumers.

How do robots increase the efficiency in retail?

In the current era, robots are taken to interact with customers, owners, managers and co-workers. The most common use of robots in retail is online where robotics is used in customer services. These conversational interfaces are able to handle very complex queries in a short period of time.

Also in the shop floor, robot employees can directly fetch the products to the customer’s hands. This improves efficiency as unlike a human worker, a robot does not need breaks and hence can monitor the store continuously.

In warehouses, robots are able to handle delicate packages, fragile items and even sew entire pieces if clothing better than any human and in lesser time.

Unlike humans, delivery robots find it much easier to locate an address which increases the efficiency in the shipment process.

Robots involved in inventory management require no time to keep a track of the inventory. It can tell if an item has been wrongly priced or kept at a wrong place better than most humans.

Will the future of retail be human-less?

Most of our transactions today in retail have become automated with the help of technology and software development companies. But the question is if there is really no need of humans if robots come. Well, most researches show that the answer to this question depends on many factors. For example, the type of product would determine whether a customer would want to interact with a robot or a person. Whereas there are many cases in which the customer needs help and does not bother from where it comes-robot or a human.

But still, experts say that all customers would want to interact with people over robots in majority cases. Business-wise it is also true that when the stakes are high, human input is much more important. For matters where a consult is required, humans are always more preferred.

Information Technology: Changing the Landscape of Aviation Industry

Information Technology: Changing the Landscape of Aviation Industry Technological advancements have

Information Technology: Changing the Landscape of Aviation Industry

Technological advancements have been transforming the aviation industry. Digital technologies have been the driving factor for improving airlines’ operational efficiency. Custom software application development has become a major contributor to a company’s competitive advantage and garners exponential growth in business. It helps the industry to leverage its technology and services by extracting full potential. It also facilitates the implementation and development of global standards and delivers value to the airline business firms.

Increase in customer expectations

The best customer experience is the key to success of aviation industry. The advent of technology and social media is increasing the customers’ expectation to build and increase their relationship with the organization. Understanding customers’ preferences is important to deliver customized and personalized solutions. Commercial off-the-shelf software packages do not meet all the necessary industry requirements. Due to rapid technological changes in the IT industry, it is difficult for the airline firms to accommodate these changes. This is when custom software development outsourcing companies come handy. IT innovation and modernization help the airlines re-engineer their business processes by addressing the industry challenges and opportunities and transforms its practices to a customer-centric approach. This conventional approach increases the connectivity and enhances the customers’ satisfaction and innovative software applications provide real-time value to the customers.

Increase in pressure to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency

Airlines have built up complex processes and systems over decades and it requires large improvements and modernization to operate more efficiently. Custom software development companies help the aviation industry firms get all the benefits. The requirements are gathered keeping in mind the firm’s business processes and stakeholders. All functions are designed effectively and efficiently to fit in the organizational structure. Customized solutions are also designed to work seamlessly with the hardware that the firm possesses. This offers a cost economy by reducing the licensing costs. Businesses often need multiple software applications for their operations. Maintaining and integrating the various data and processes is a tedious task. A single custom-made solution helps the firm address these challenges and assist in improving the operational efficiency.

Increase in competition

Market conditions and industry developments affect the growth of any business. The increase in air traffic and competitive pressure has been adversely impacting the financial sustainability of the airline industry. Bespoke software applications reduce the costs, increase process efficiency and make the business flourish. Improved business performance earns profits. Custom software outsourcing companies increase firms’ competitive edge by delivering unique and enhanced business process solutions that differentiate the firm from its competitors and provide greater productivity and profitability.

Today, customers are demanding transparency of data and processes. The current market conditions and industry developments coupled with evolving technological trends and customer preferences are introducing more challenges than ever before. IT automation has removed barriers and changed the landscape of aviation industry. It helps the industry in cutting costs, improving relationships with the customers and clients, and improving the financial performance in a sustainable way. Custom software development outsourcing companies benefit the aviation industry in the following ways:

  • Personalized/customized solution - One can never be sure if the off-the-shelf software is going to work for organization’s business and functional requirements. Custom software applications are developed utilizing the latest up-to-date technology.
  • Technical Excellence with a highly expert offshore development team with cutting-edge tools and technologies across all stages of the application development lifecycle
  • Secure, sustainable, and scalable solutions that fit the firm’s business and environment
  • Higher and faster business value realization by aligning IT with the business processes and delivering the solution on time
  • Business process transformation through constant and continuous improvements and innovation

 

Risk assessment through quantitative analysis

What is quantitative analysis? While analyzing risks in software development companies, we use two a

What is quantitative analysis?

While analyzing risks in software development companies, we use two approaches-Quantitative or Qualitative. Qualitative analysis is the technique wherein we use proper mathematical models. Whereas, qualitative analysis is done by assessing the quality of work which does not contain any sort of measurement. Qualitative analysis involves the analysis of statistical and mathematical data with numerical results.

What is quantitative analysis in risk management?

As quantitative risk analysis deals with a numerical solution, risks are assigned numbers on which the assessments are made. Usually this analysis is made on the basis of cost or time. That is, risk is measured in terms of the loss in cost or time.

Necessity of Quantitative risk assessment

Ideally, a quantitative risk assessment is a compulsion when the policies involved in a project demands it. Apart from all this, there are situations where quantitative techniques become essential. These situations vary from project to project.

Some cases where quantitative analysis is a must for proper risk assessment are:

  • When single point estimates are used for project planning.
  • Understanding the maturity in risk management process of the project undertaken.
  • Deciding between two or more Project approaches.

Quantitative analysis also aids to characterize organizations and leaders to analyze project risk. The ultimate aim of quantitative analysis is to minimize the annual loss and can be used to:

  • Identify the threats that can be reduced to optimize costs.
  • Prevent the loss of assets.
  • Optimize the ROI.

Difference between Qualitative and quantitative analysis

  • Qualitative analysis considers all the risks in the identifying process while quantitative risk analysis process considers those processes which are marked for further analysis in the qualitative risk analysis.
  • Qualitative analysis is done by creating a probability/impact matrix whereas quantitative risk assessment techniques predict the outcomes in terms of money or time based on combined effects of risk.
  • All projects use qualitative risk analysis but not all projects use quantitative analysis.
  • Qualitative analysis does not use mathematical models to analyze risks whereas quantitative models do use mathematical models to analyze risks.

Various techniques used in Quantitative risk analysis

The various techniques used in quantitative risk analysis are:

  • Estimated monetary value
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Sensitivity analysis

Estimated monetary value (EMV):

According to PMBOK, this is a process used to identify, analyze and respond to project risk.

EMV is used to analyze as to how much risk can be tolerated by the stakeholders and how much fallback plans do they want. Stakeholders often want to know the monetary value of the risk occurring. For such situations EMV is the best technique.

EMV= Probability*Impact

Example:

 Suppose there is a project where there are the following risk probabilities:

  • Weather: A 25 percent chance of excessive snow fall that will delay the construction for two weeks which will, in turn, cost the project to $80,000.
  • Construction cost: A 60 percent probability that the price of the project will go down by $100,000 because of lowering construction cost.
  • Labor turmoil: A 15 percent probability of construction coming to a halt if the workers go on strike. The impact would lead to a loss of $150,000. Consider your industry and geographic area to determine whether this risk would have a higher probability.

To find out the EMV, the following calculations are made:

Weather: (25/100)*(-80000), negative since loss

                =-20,000

Construction cost: (60/100)*(100,000), positive since gain

                                                         =60,000

Labor turmoil: (15/100)*(-150,000)

                          =-22,500

Therefore Project EMV = -20000+60000-22500=15,500, hence the project will gain $15,500 as the final value is positive.

Monte Carlo simulation:

Monte Carlo analysis uses simulations to determine the risks for various scenarios. Here, certain variable inputs are considered to generate the range of outcomes with a confidence level for each outcome. This is done by establishing a mathematical model. This technique is used for forecasting the likely outcome of an event and thereby making project decisions.

 

Let us take an example. Suppose there are 3 modules for a project. Monte Carlo analysis determines the best case (optimistic), most likely and worst case (pessimistic) scenarios as follows:

Modules

Best case completion

Most likely case completion

Worst case completion

Module1

2 days

4 days

5days

Module2

3 days

4 days

6 days

Module3

1 day

3 days

5 days

Total duration

6 days

11 days

16 days

Let us assume that we run the simulation for 500 times. We see that the project can be completed between 6 to 16 days. We get the following results from the simulations:

Total Duration

No. of times the simulation result was less than or equal to the total duration

Percentage simulation where the result was less than or equal to the total duration

6

5

1

7

20

4

8

75

15

9

90

18

10

100

20

11

125

25

12

140

28

13

200

40

14

440

88

15

475

99

16

500

100

 

This simulation shows that there are 18 % chances that the project gets completed in 9 days, 40 % chances of it being completed in 13 days and so on.

Sensitivity Analysis:

Sensitivity analysis is a technique used to show the effects of changing one or more variables on an outcome. For example, in project management, it may be used to determine the change in ROI if the output of a certain variable process is changed.

In project management, the purpose of sensitivity analysis is to:

  • Help identify the key variables which influence the project cost and benefit streams
  • Investigate the consequences of likely adverse changes in these key variables
  • Assess whether project decisions are likely to be affected by such changes
  • Identify actions that could mitigate probable adverse effects on the project

Conclusion

Irrespective of it being a quantitative or qualitative process, risk assessment, in software outsourcing companies, is the most important phase of project management. The various ways of Quantitative assessment serves assured ways of risk management after qualitative assessment is made. So, the importance of qualitative analysis is very high as it gives exact values for risk assessment.

Guidelines for Android application design

Today mobile phones are considered as necessary accessory and it is not only looked as telecommunica

Today mobile phones are considered as necessary accessory and it is not only looked as telecommunication device but the multitasking gadget that makes everyday life easy. The applications developed by mobile application development companies India are the inseparable parts of the smart phones which makes it multifunctional. The smart phones have reduced the time of the users in many ways by providing instant solution. We can understand the significance of it by looking at example fund transfer from one bank account to other bank account.  The person have various options like visit a bank, visit an ATM, drop a cheque, use Internet banking or use a mobile app. Obviously, the first three options are tedious. Internet banking and mobile app banking give the flexibility to transfer fund instantly from anywhere. But between them the mobile application one is more instant as it is secured and multiple credentials are not needed to be entered every time.

Importance of design in app development

Android app design is essential to attract the user for long hours. Designing is combining the user mind with the user interface.  Android app design is not only important for bringing in new customers or retaining them but also to depict the brand value of the company. A profound app design will bring in more downloads which gradually increases the ROI of the organization.

Guidelines for making effective application design

  • User driven

Recognizing target audience in the initial phase makes it easy for app designers to plan the functionalities of the app according to the user preferences to make it valuable and grab more attention. After confirming the target user, create persona of them which allows determining what will drive users’ decisions within the app.

  • Create prototype

Before creating actual design, create a simple prototype. Make sure that prototype covers all the basic functionality of the application. The prototype can be made by using simple pen and paper however functionality and flow is clear.

  • Integrity of an App

The application should look like a one collaborative thing; no element should contradict or ambiguous. The design should be easy to understand and guiding the user to find the things quickly and easily. Also there is no place for intrusive or frivolous; it simply takes user away from application.

  • Navigation

Navigation is a journey of the application which has be easy and convenient for users. The hierarchy in the processes is important to the user to intuitively traverse through the content of the app. While making prototype the navigations should be clear for better implementation. To better navigation design learn creating swipe views with tabs, creating a navigation drawer, providing up and back navigation and implementing descendant navigation.

  • Consistency

The style and theme of application should be consistent to give complete and connected experience to the user. This can take place when design is guided by the Android SDK standards and paradigms. Consistency elevates user experience and encourages the user to use app. 

  • Immediate results

In today’s fast world nobody has the time to wait and mobiles are designed for quick access. Thus, customer expects the immediate results from the application. To get results faster improve performance of the application and tweak the UI. Waiting is always annoying so if application requires time to perform any heavy tasks then at least let users know how long they have to wait.      

  • Easy to learn

To attract user in first time the application should be easy to learn. To make application easy to learn use design patterns that is familiar to users. Identify the popular interfaces and study common mobile patterns, such as slide-out navigation. This does not mean copying design of others, the common patterns will be like baseline to enable user to learn fast, then on that own layer of creativity has to be applied.  

  • Accessibility for fat fingers

All mobiles are finger touch; very few have the stylus option. As fingers are thicker than the stylus or mouse pointer, we have to pay attention to make finger friendly design. Buttons should not be smaller or bunched closely together, this does not make user to tap them accurately. If user does not able tap what he wants to then users frustration will increase.Therefore, it is necessary that there is enough space to tap user.

  • Contrast colours

Colours can make application beautiful if used properly. If similar type of colours are used then details get lost, the buttons or different other elements cannot be properly distinguished from one another. Therefore it is recommended that important elements should have contrast colours to recognize easily. Mostly light colour to buttons with dark or black text is recommended. Also, give the application a clear hierarchy by displaying the most valuable features largely and brightly.

  • Feedback

Feedback is the acknowledgement to the activity or task of the user. The feedback can be positive or negative according to the success or failure of the activity. It can be given by using animation, peek, pop up, sound, notes, etc. Feedback directs the users and tells whether action is complete or not. 

In view of mobile app development companies, Designing is bottom line investment as it directly affects the customers. Smart organizations are realising that effective design is necessity in order to make an impact on business results. It’s more than just how something looks; it’s about how it works and how it satisfies customer needs. Guidelines provided above are the secrets of successful Android development companies.

Top ten project management tools for small to medium IT projects

Project management deals with initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the&nbs

Project management deals with initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of team to achieve targets  and meet particular success criteria. A project is a temporary mode designed to produce a unique product, service or result which has defined beginning and end. Project management tool helps better to communicate with team members and keep clients informed. Project management can be seen in every walk of life and phases from making a recipe to developing a complex software, application and webpages.

Project Management facilitates to manage risk, quality, change and benefits the user in terms of timeline, scope and budget. It helps managers follow time frames more accurately, preventing projects from ending past due date. Working with project management tools assist project managers to keep projects under budget and on time. It is important for most business's of any scale which considers  costs that include time / resources, dollars costs and return on the investment needed to make the projects. It smoothens the process of determining the schedule of projects, resources allocated and responsible for ensuring that the stakeholders know about project status.

 1) Microsoft Project

It is widely used tool for project management. Desktop application is available as a Office 365 subscription which allows to work from any corner of world. Plan resources, manage team schedules, calculate scenarios, and collaborate with all the project stakeholders. It helps them develop a schedule, assign resources to tasks, track progress. It also manages the budget, and analyze workloads for an ongoing project.

 2) Podio

Podio is open by default and transparent and can be built on top of an open API. Podio speeds communication and provides the transparency and accountability needed for efficient teamwork, by enabling people to organize and track work in one easy-to-use place. Every app is made using a simple drag and drop interface, with which any user can pick from a combination of these field types to create their apps. Podio has feature of reporting, workflows, webforms, workspace, podio chat, task management.

3) Wrike

Wrike's end-to-end solution takes your projects from initial request to tracking work progress and reporting results. Wrike enables to create and delegate tasks, track deadlines, visualize  plans on the Gantt chart, and share reports. It includes following feature of Gantt chart, Resource and workload management, Cross-team collaboration, custom status and workflow, Real time status update and visual dashboard and reporting. Wrike is a powerful yet user-friendly solution that helps you achieve your project goals.

 4) BASECAMP

Basecamp is easy to use interface to collaborate with your team and client. It allows you to create multiple projects and setup discussions, write to-do lists, manage files, create and share documents, and organise dates for scheduling. It facilitates to manage projects and check status on mobile device on the go. It is a good application for small projects where a lot of collaboration is required with clients and team or for internal projects.

5) Smartsheet

Smartsheet is an online project management & task collaboration tool that defines how teams work and works as software as a service application. It is  easy to use spreadsheet-like interface, coupled with file sharing, Gantt charts, card view and work automation features have helps to quickly grow into a favorite business app for productivity and manage any kind of work with one centralized tool that is seamlessly integrated with Google Apps.

 6) Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects is the ultimate productivity tool to manage projects with your team. Teamwork allows you to keep all your projects, tasks and files all in one place and easily collaborate with a team. It helps to visualise the entire project through a marked calendar and gantt chart and setup reporting.

 7) Asana

Asana helps teams to track work by single user and manage projects. It facilitates to manage tasks, projects, conversations and dashboard and keeps work organized, and teammates accountable. It also helps to create or join project. To keep track of work with mobile apps for both iOS and Android. It is free to use for teams upto 15.

 8) Freedcamp

Freedcamp is free for unlimited users and projects. Free accounts are limited to 10MB file size limit with unlimited storage on all plans. It facilitates to provide features free to non-profits, teachers and students. It includes components such as Tasks lists,sticky notes,calender milestones, discussions, time tracking.

 9) Trello

Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards and organize everything together . It tells what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process. It helps to minimize meetings and sync with other platforms.It is easy to organize boards and members for every slice of life with teams. There is no limit to no of users.

 10) Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is the project management software a that enables users to work online. It is focused on product development and customer support rather than sales and marketing. Zoho integrates with various platforms like MS outlook calendar, google apps, Dropbox. It  plans projects,deep insights charts and reports, keep track  of time,track and fix issues and manage documents. It adds unlimited users on all plans at no extra cost.

 

Conclusion

Project Management have become indispensable to the modern-day project manager and they form the basis what is achieved during the course of a project. Knowledge of the different kinds of costs that the project will incur is essential to successful budgeting while project managers are planning a project. An understanding of overall cost of a particular company in a specific industry will help project managers create budgets that take cost into proper consideration and deliver winning results. It is difficult to tag any project management tool as the best. Choice of project management tool by companies depends on project requirements, back-end technology, performance, cost and many other aspects. This list is an indicative list that a company can use to select. These are upfront tools to manage project one should review for appropriately according to budget and have secure user experience.