A business is not always a single building. As companies succeed, they expand their operations to multiple locations. Even small enterprises use different physical spaces for unique company procedures.
If a business stores their inventory in multiple warehouses, they should utilize management solutions that coordinate the activities of each location. Communication errors or slow processes between inventory systems can create inaccurate counts and other problematic outcomes.
Multiple location problems
There are many common obstacles that plague inventory warehouses. Demand Media said managers must avoid inaccurate counts, capacity issues, damage to goods and training inconsistencies. These issues are harder to monitor when companies spread inventory over several locations.
Informal obstacles may also present themselves. Inc. suggested locations separated from the main business headquarters receive lower priority. Very often, companies view one warehouse as the primary warehouse and use a second space to store overflow. These secondary facilities lack close supervision, but they could hold vital business information.
Employees working at separate venues may feel disconnected from the overall company success. If a warehouse worker does not see direct interactions from business management or other departments, they are prone to disengagement. Warehouse employees who operate in different locations may not spontaneously communicate, such as have casual conversations with each other in the halls or break rooms. The lack of personal relationships disconnects warehouse teams and means informal strategy adjustments go unreported.
Companies need tools to create a constant medium of communication between different locations. Mobile warehouse inventory management systems provide a link between employees and managers without geographical obstacles.
Each warehouse should implement the same software system. A unified solution provides every location with the same data coding and communication tools. Workers do not perform most of their duties from behind a desk, so managers should consider a mobile strategy.
It doesn't matter where the software user accesses the data, each person on the system works with the same information. If an employee uses a tool like a NAV barcoding scanner to conduct an audit of inventory, their count feeds into a central system. Point-and-click solutions don't allow for a lot of variance. Workers can perform physical inventory counts in a routine manner and provide consistent data.
An integrated warehouse
While employees separated by distance may not talk to each other, mobile devices allow them to see each other's daily activities. If one NAV barcode scanner user is constantly quicker than another, the pattern is visible in the mobile display and workers can examine and mimic positive trends.
The warehouse software not only works with other inventory systems; the mobile solutions plug in to the overall company infrastructure. If counts are different than projected or if there is an over abundance of products, the company is aware and can step in. Warehouse workers can see how their performance effects overall business success. Mobile integrated software is a tool that provides information and insight for the entire company.
For more information on barcode scanners and other data tools, business managers should Download the "Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync" white paper today.