Your warehouse is a complicated, multi-faceted main hub through which nearly everything goes from crude materials holding back to be made into completed merchandise to the finished product, waiting for dispatch to a distribution centre, retailer or end-customer. But there is something even more significant in today’s extremely competitive market that depends on more effective warehouse activities: client satisfaction.
What do your clients want from your logistics and warehouse activities? Accurate, timeliness and perfect fulfilment every time. Following is the guide to flawless fulfilment including warehouse solutions.
Step 1 – Deploy industrial wireless solutions
Industrial wireless pain points
As the size of warehouses increases, an absence of seamless nomadic communications with employees roaming the space can cause expensive inefficiencies in nearly any function – from receiving to picking to shipping.
Downtime and unavailability
With automation and mechanization so critical to the efficiency of warehouse processes, unreliable technology results in downtime that can cause expensive havoc in operations, customer satisfaction, and ROI.
Bottlenecks and congestion
Older, obsolete warehouse technology is too often unable to deliver the high bandwidth levels required to overcome efficiency-sapping operational bottlenecks.
An inability to support today’s broad range of devices – laptops, handheld computers, tablets, barcode scanners, portable printers, RFID readers and more – leads to unreliable communications and automation of processes.
Industrial wireless and mobile solutions
Industrial wireless systems provide real-time access to the WMS, giving a solid and reliable user interface on a variety of devices to improve the productivity of the employee. They provide persistent connections to roaming warehouse machinery such as forklifts and crawlers, as well as connectivity for all handheld scanners and portable devices in use across space. The outcome is safe, streamlined end-to-end operations in warehouses and distribution centres as well as the entire supply chain.
Step 2 – Improve staff communications and management
Communications and management points of pain
End of the page
Mobile solutions allow instant communications from manager-to-employee-to-shipper that can increase efficiency, eliminate ineffective paging systems, and maintain everyone working together.
Warehouse executives are tied to their desktop computers without mobile connectivity, keeping them from more efficiently supervising directly on the floor.
Too often, because of a lack of integrated communications systems, workers cannot interact with each other, supervisors, or executives in real-time across the warehouse floor. This makes it harder to resolve issues in real-time and attain greater productivity rates.
Without high-speed mobile voice and information access across the wider staff base, procedures such as automation, cross-docking, and task interleaving are not available, making processes less timely, less productive and more expensive.
Mobile voice and data capture communications solutions
Mobility enables your warehouse executives to get out of the office and back to the warehouse ground with the rest of your employees by allowing the extension of all the required desktop tools to the palms of their hands.
Managers and supervisors can stay on the warehouse floor to protect productivity and performance while maintaining the real-time link with employees, suppliers, and associates required to maximize on-the-job efficiency and effectiveness.
Employees can interact with their own mobile devices that are portable, handheld or wearable, eliminating time-lost walking to and from on-the-floor telephone stations or distracted by noisy and unintelligible overhead pages.
For permanent employees or contractors, physical cards can also be printed to allow identification, access control and even tracking of locations.
Step 3 – Streamline order picking processes
Pick and fill points of pain
Walking the walk
Up to 70% of a picker’s time can be spent walking with legacy pick and fill procedures. To find the correct product, they have to walk the aisles, wasting time and lowering productivity.
The product cannot be automatically verified when chosen with manual procedures and fragmented technology solutions. This can result in unrecognized mistakes as well as incorrect staging, packaging, and shipping.
More volume, smaller orders
Overall, orders flowing through the warehouse are increasing in quantity, particularly orders of smaller size and lesser value. This leads to an increase in the relative labour costs to fill each order, reducing already thin margins.
Inefficient picking and filling cause stock inaccuracies that all too often leads to expensive out-of-stock, lost orders, disappointed clients and lost revenue.
Pick and fill mobile and data capture solutions
Deploying mobility in the pick and fill features of the warehouse allows you to understand what products are on your warehouse racks and where they are located.
Mobile data capture solutions improve current picking systems such as pick-totted, pick-to-light, and carousels and can be used across distinct picking levels, such as picking pieces, picking cases and picking pallets.
The precision of the inventory is also enhanced. When workers scan a shelf tag, barcode or RFID tag, they receive immediate verification that the right item has been picked and the item is deducted from the inventory instantly. Errors are decreased considerably by automated data capture and immediate double-check for precision.
Step 4 – Advanced inventory and storage capabilities
Cycle counting points of pain
Errors of your ways
The counts of manual and low-tech cycles are expensive, time consuming and prone to errors. They are a big cause of the lack of accurate, real-time inventory visibility, availability, and control.
The lack of precise, real-time visibility into inventory and storage impacts the valuation of your inventory, which eventually adversely affects the balance sheet of your company.
Days late, dollars short
By the time manual and other low-tech cycle counts are finished– often days or weeks, thousands of picks and put away have taken place resulting in stock inaccuracies that can reduce sales and client satisfaction.
Letter of the law
To comply with increasingly stringent regulations, accurate inventories are essential. The option is the high price and significant disturbance of having to shut down a warehouse in order to complete physical inventory.
Cycle counting mobile and data capture solutions
The effectiveness and accuracy of cycle counting are dramatically enhanced when cycle counting personnel are equipped with real-time access to the inventory database and advanced mobile data collection features. Workers now use great new mobile devices for more intuitive cycle counting and direct WMS interaction, such as durable and economical handheld computers and tablets.
With advanced data capture, wireless and mobile solutions can fully automate the asset tracking process and provide up-to-the-minute information on the location, status, and condition of totes, pallets and more. The outcome is completely automated, precise and cost-effective tracking of your assets with nearly no manpower needed.
Cold chain storage solutions
The cold chain is an environment that is rough and demanding. Goods must be delivered under the strictest circumstances and throughout the supply chain, you must handle fluctuating temperatures and humidity concentrations.
Cold chain points of pain
Extreme cold temperatures in freezers and coolers can make it hard for either staff or technology to put away, picking and counting inventory with a high degree of precision. This can result in expensive out-of-stock orders, lost clients, and lost profitability.
Out in the cold
Cold chain activities can be difficult on technology that’s not industrial strength. In non-rugged mobile devices, freezing temperatures and condensation due to temperature changes may lead in unreliable operation.
Cold hands, bad data
Manual procedures are susceptible to error even under the finest circumstances. In the cold chain, entering information correctly while wearing gloves or freezing fingers is even harder.
Strict safety regulations require companies to maintain historical records accurately. The absence of accurate, real-time data in the cold chain can lead to an unreliable history of food temperature.
Cold chain mobile and data capture solutions
Using refrigerator- and freezer-compliant portable phones and networks that can resist low temperatures and condensation strengthens traceability, enhances order accuracy and speeds delivery times in cold storage environments. With the secure operation, regardless of the drastic temperature swings, employees can enter information rapidly and effectively – even with gloved hands – using big keys and an easy-to-use touch screen on ergonomically constructed portable mobile computers.
ADC Barcode is involved in the supply of barcode scanners, barcode label printers, barcode verifiers and label applicators. We also provide custom software, EPOS systems & hardware, RFID and wireless networking technology amongst other professional services. Get in touch now and obtain more information.