In the currently rising age of online ordering and e-commerce, warehouse efficiency is more important than ever before. A brand’s image and reputation with its customers rests on its ability to quickly and accurately fill orders, and this responsibility falls squarely on warehouse staff.
For these reasons, many businesses have sought ways to boost overall warehouse efficiency. The best strategies for achieving this involve mobile data technology that can enhance the capabilities of workers – after all, people are still a cornerstone of any warehouse operations. However, introducing robotic systems to this type of environment can bring costly and difficult complexities.
Providing employees with mobile data technology such as Insight Works Mobile Warehouse Data Collection ensures that warehouse workers walking the floor have the details and tools they need to go about their daily tasks in the most efficient ways possible, which can increase the number of picks workers are able to make each day, speeding order fulfillment and supporting customer satisfaction.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the efficiency improvements that this type of robust mobile warehouse technology can bring.
1. Replacing outdated, inaccurate paper-based systems
A paper-based warehouse management system is a time-consuming and often error-prone approach to operations. They require workers to take multiple trips back and forth in order to make picks and properly record them. What’s more, should any kind of issue come up with an item or order, the worker must then locate a supervisor to help resolve the issue, wasting valuable time that could be used to make additional picks that day.
You just can’t compare such outdated, paper-based management with an advanced mobile warehouse data collection system. Warehouses that use manual, paper systems can’t achieve total accuracy in their order fulfillment and cycle counts. Issues like duplicate data, human errors and other problems persist within paper-based management systems, leading to costly returns and reputational damage to the brand’s image.
“Warehouses that use manual, paper systems can’t achieve total accuracy in their order fulfillment.”
A technological solution supported by mobile data collection can greatly reduce the risk of inaccuracies and provide more time for warehouse staff to make picks and accurately fulfill orders.
2. Ensuring warehouse workers have necessary data
A mobile warehouse solution also puts all the information that warehouse employees need to pick intelligently right in the palm of their hand. Mobile scanners ensure access to an array of critical details about individual orders, inventory and more, streamlining the entire daily workflow.
As Manufacturing Business Technology contributor John Graff said, the first step that warehouses should take in order to improve their efficiency is to arm their workers with mobile solutions.
“By doing so, employers are equipping their workforce with the power to access critical information and data in real-time,” Graff explained. “And unlike introducing robots into the workforce, providing mobile solutions such as 2-in-1 tablets and handhelds to workers will not cause a major disruption in operations, as workers typically use similar technologies in their daily lives.”
In this way, mobile technologies can enhance workers’ capabilities, enabling them to complete picks and other daily tasks in the most efficient means possible.
3. Providing access to key mobile data collection features
Workers can access and use real-time information through the critical capabilities and features that a robust mobile warehouse data collection solution like Insight Works can provide. These efficiency-boosting features include:
- Inventory and Bin Inquiry: Workers can verify bins and individual items within warehouse inventory right from their handheld devices, simply by scanning the barcodes. This eliminates unnecessary trips back and forth, saving time and effort on the part of employees.
- Camera Integration: With a camera on their mobile devices, workers can quickly and easily take photos and automatically upload them to their Dynamics NAV platform. Recording images of inventory items, shipments, and any damaged goods are simpler than ever.
- Offline processing: Nothing hurts productivity and efficiency quite like downtime. Whether the issue stems from a network outage, NAV failure or an interruption in utilities, offline processing ensures warehouse staff can continue operations as normal. All information collected during downtime is then automatically uploaded to NAV once the platform is available. Workers can also leverage offline processing in Scratchpad to provide workspaces for field employees without network access, for vendor-managed accounts, after-hours processes or for scanning in areas without Wi-Fi connectivity.
- License plating: This innovative feature allows workers to create labels for pallets or boxes that include a mix of inventory or serial numbers. Inventory is thus clearly identifiable, which saves time for the employee using the license plating feature as well as other workers who will make picks from these pallets and boxes.
Warehouse efficiency rests in the hands of workers and giving them the right mobile data collection solutions can make all the difference.
But this only scratches the surface of the potential efficiency benefits that mobile technology solutions from Insight Works can provide.