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ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION… WHAT’S THAT GOT TO DO WITH THE PRICE OF BREAD?

It decides it.

You’re in a Supermarket. Ok, so imagine a loaf of bread. It’s worth the most in the morning, when it’s just been baked and has that buy me look feel and aroma. As its freshness decreases over the day, the price decreases. Freshness is the price metric indicator for bread.

Another product, non-perishable this time. Cans of soft drink. The sale of these is directly related to the weather. Hot weather, higher demand. So the price is linked to the outside temperature. Other products are more perishable, packaged sandwiches. Again, the price is set to automatically decrease according to the shelf time remaining. This kind of process already happens, but manually, the shop person goes round with the pricing label gun and stickers up those sandwiches 30 minutes to closing. It’s that, but gradually, incrementally, automatically, and because of that, theoretically more FUTURE profitably. Other items can be priced according to how many are in stock. Those tins of soup look cheap today. These ideas are, in some instances, already implemented. The use of e paper price labels, rare in the UK for some reason but apparently quite common on the continent, being a key component. The e-paper labels, powered by the wifi in the shop, are programmed to adjust according to set criteria. The price of bread automatically decreases during the day, perhaps steadily, perhaps in surges that take into account shop footfall at specific times. The refrigerated drinks fluctuate in price, according to the temperature out in the street. The overstocked tins of soup are cheap, until the number of units falls to pre-determined levels, whereupon the price increases automatically. In this shop of the present and not so distant future, everything can be optimised, programmed to deliver pre-determined outcomes, working towards to the known economic principles of supply and demand in real time. It’s almost Information partner: BOLDMIND inevitable, a just in time principle, extended from one oend of the supply line to another. But are we being served? Is our daily bread simply a function to be optimised with the minimum of human intervention? Ingredients delivered by road drone to a supermarket bakery, mixed and baked by robotic system, placed on the shelf by a shop drone, where, if you sit long and patient, you can see the price tick down to zero. It’s an elegant metaphor for ourselves.

Information partner:

BOLDMIND

 

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