Faster, better, more accurate. No, I’m not referring to the Million Dollar Man (in fact, I’m not even referring to million dollar software), but those qualities are what companies are looking for when they choose to upgrade their warehouse management processes. Finding a faster, more efficient means of handling products is important for supporting a successful warehouse, and a well-run warehouse is vital to the success of a business. For some, upgrading their logistics and supply chain management is proving to be a substantial boost to productivity that’s moving them ahead of the competition.
Many warehouses handle massive numbers of shipments every year, and in an economy that has seen less frequent hiring of additional help, much of the focus has been on maximizing the potential of the workforce currently in place. Having fewer hands to help receive and move shipments places an increased premium on accuracy and speed. Most particularly for warehouses that deal with perishable and time-sensitive products, such as foods, beverages or anything that involves the cold chain, careful tracking of shipments is essential for ensuring that items reach store shelves and consumer homes in a safe, efficient manner. Automated tracking of shelf life and shipment status is invaluable for maximizing profit and business potential, and something best left to software.
In this era of RFID-enhanced warehouses, avoiding newer technology can put you far behind the competition in relatively short order. Between the various tools and warehouse management software applications available, and the ability to track each and every shipment through RFID tags, the level of visibility granted an automated warehouse has never been greater. Mobile warehouse management and barcoding technology add another layer of information, enabling better (and paperless) oversight of when products arrive, when they need to be rotated and precisely where they are located. Many warehouses still rely on tribal knowledge for this sort of information, but even the best memories fail.
Manual processes tend toward error, paper can get lost, but a system that centralizes information and helps automate the warehouse provides a level of support that can help a business reach its maximum potential with minimum investment.