How Technology Can Boost Your Warehouse Productivity
As a business working in logistics, we certainly realise just how much technology has changed the industry over the last few years, and how much it can affect warehouse productivity.
Profit and technology go hand in hand when it comes to warehouse productivity.
Have expensive damaged stock costs affected your business? Do you have the real-time inventory data to take control of these warehouse management fees? Or do you have to undertake a labour intensive process which wastes people’s time? Time is money! Insufficient technology can affect warehouse productivity and a business’s profit more than you might think because businesses insufficient technology leaves them unable to understand and manage their inventory properly.
The reason behind stock damage is usually due to bad handling, but in most cases, this is a result of poor storage practices as a whole. Bray Solutions have a few simple ways to use technology to improve warehouse productivity, protecting your stock from damage in the process.
Bray Solutions 5 ways to increase warehouse productivity & output.
1. Go Mobile
In most warehouses, a fixed station with printing, labels, computers and picking lists will be available to warehouse staff, meaning a lot of trips back and forth throughout the day. Mobile technology, however, provides warehouse staff with instant access to management systems from any location in the warehouse, minimising unnecessary trips to a fixed station.
Despite the increase of warehouses using mobile technology, most continue to use fixed stations to perform basic warehouse tasks. Warehouses that still conduct practices this way will soon fall behind as technology continues to evolve.
Mobile technologies that can improve warehouse productivity include mobile printing devices, portable computers and portable barcode scanners.
2. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
A warehouse management system (WMS) is not only portable, but it also suggests the quickest methods for picking or put-away. Embracing technology means your warehouse will be neater and greener without the mass of worthless paper.
3. Mobile Printing
Mobile printing devices give staff freedom to reign throughout the warehouse and still get the job done. They allow you to print labels from anywhere in the warehouse without having to remain at a fixed station. Wherever you are in the warehouse, if you have a decent wireless connection, you have the ability to print on site, avoiding unnecessary walking time.
4. Barcoding Inventory and Barcode Verification
Barcode scanners are a key piece of equipment to own if you want to practise good warehouse productivity. Their help with picking, packing, shipping and more means barcode scanners are no longer optional– but essential to warehouses.
Portable barcode scanners allow warehouse productivity and mobile ability without having to compromise between picking stock or holding the scanner at a fixed station.
Barcoding inventory and barcode verification are both included when using a warehouse management system. Both will help avoid loss of stock and prevent stockouts. Barcode Verification is a process that checks the readability of your barcodes. Checking a few products per week or month will save time, money and build relationships with traders. To find out more about how barcode verification is an essential part of any supply chain, read our previous blog.
5. Wearable Computers
Wearable computers use voice technology such as recognition which allows staff to communicate with the Warehouse Management System (WMS). They are regularly used in much bigger warehouses but also becoming increasingly prevalent in smaller businesses as technology progresses.
Wearable computers provide a wireless, mobile service and come with a microphone and headset to receive communications via voice, verbally confirming their actions back into the WMS. These computers are ideal for quicker picking, improving warehouse productivity and speed. They can also check stock amongst other tasks.
Furthermore, investing in technology is something all warehouse management companies should consider if they wish to improve warehouse productivity. The process of managing a warehouse needs an upgrade if reducing costs and improving inventory accuracy is something your business aims for.