At PLM Global we understand that the decision to introduce a Mobile Enterprise Solution to a warehouse is often not one which is taken lightly. There are costs involved in the introduction of new technology of any kind and there is also the question of there being a marked move from traditional, well-established, working practices.
In the world of Supply Chain Solutions however few things are standing still. Warehouses are increasing in size (many being measured in football pitches rather than square footage) and the expectations placed on suppliers are greater, and more instantaneous, than they have ever been before. These changes alone place huge pressure on companies trying to store and ship goods as fast and as reliably as they can.
Thankfully though, technology has also been advancing at a very fast pace and the result is that mobile enterprise solutions need no longer be a wish-list item. Warehouse streamlining can be achieved easily through the installation of a wi-fi network, barcode (RF) equipment and mobile computers. These systems combined make asset management and inventory reporting faster and more accurate than has previously ever been possible.
The advantages of streamlining via a Mobile Enterprise Solution are significant:
- Reduced time – the difference between the time taken by a worker to manually scan each individual item entering a warehouse versus the automated scanning as it arrives on the premises is immense. The instantaneous nature of the system means that inventory reporting is always in real-time and no allowances need to be made for data processing.
- Reduced cost – time is money so reduction in the time required by staff to carry out frequent tasks will naturally result in a cost reduction but, more significantly, the ability to know exactly how much of an item is in stock at any point in time means that there is a lower risk of running out of essential (perhaps process- critical) stock or re-ordering more of something which is already plentiful but has been missed.
- Reduced error – human error is unfortunately something which can creep into any task involving manual data input – in fact, the recognised average ‘error benchmark’ for data entry is 1%. The removal of the need for staff to record and then transfer details of in-coming and out-going items means that errors can be minimised, if not completely eliminated.
- Increased Productivity – With manual data input no longer being required, staff can get on with other, more productive tasks. Gone too is the frustrating time spent going to and from each area of the warehouse (which, with the growth in warehouse size, can be significant) to gather information and then upload details. The inclusion of mobile data capture innovations such as ring scanners also leaves hands free for multi-tasking.
The above points focus mostly on the internal savings to be made in streamlining the warehouse, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that there are other very tangible benefits to the end clients – such as greater visibility throughout the entire process, guaranteed traceability (vital for those more sensitive sectors such as food, pharmaceuticals etc.) and overall improvements in service delivery.
If you would like to discuss the possibilities to achieve these kind of savings within your stock tracking, asset management, inventory reporting and order management systems then simply get in touch!