Is Your Mobile Warehouse Technology Being Effective?
Warehouse management technology can be more effective by utilizing the advances made in mobile devices. Mobility enables greater communications and collaboration resulting in increased productivity through more efficient processes and better data. Where business models rely on rapid inventory turns, tight schedules and thin margins, mobile technology is especially useful.
If you haven’t implemented mobility in your organization, you are in the minority. Mobility is firmly entrenched in today’s business operations. In a 2013 survey of 752 companies, CDW found:
- 94% say mobile devices make them more efficient
- 89% of business employees use mobile devices for work
- 67% would be less competitive without mobility
Benefits of Mobility in Warehouse Management
Mobile devices like radio frequency hand-held devices and bar code scanners have been used successfully in warehousing for some time to provide real-time information and product tracking. However, there is great opportunity in supply chain management to conduct business processes with mobile technology as well. Mobile devices and a system like ONE Warehouse for Sage 100 (formerly MAS200) can be used across the entire supply chain from the front to the back of the warehouse.
- Receiving: Capture inventory data from the point that it arrives in the dock. Incoming shipments can be automatically verified against purchase orders and instructions sent to an employee’s mobile device.
- Storage: Putaway is expedited by the system providing the best path to the right storage location or outbound location. Maintain visibility without the use of a paper trail.
- Inventory Control: Replenishment is facilitated by hand-held mobile devices. Requests can be handled in seconds and workers directed to the right location by the quickest route.
- Order Fulfillment: Picking operations are made more efficient with accurate order and storage information.
- Packaging: Packaging operations can be automatic with error-free order validation.
- Shipping: Shipments can be scanned, verified and staged for the proper truck.
In addition, using ONE Warehouse, seamlessly integrated with Sage 100 (formerly MAS200), provides many benefits by automating and integrating processes to keep your entire warehousing operation aligned and running smoothly.
- Mobile warehouse apps integrated with Sage 100 (MAS200) will reduce costs and improve efficiency. Mobile data collection sends real-time data into your ERP system eliminating manual entry and reporting errors. Better data mean better inventory management and efficiency which in turn lead to lower costs and higher profitability.
- Using mobile warehouse technology will result in improved performance and greater customer satisfaction. When you update and change information as it happens, replacing manually-intensive inventory processes, you can create value-added services and a seamless consumer buying experience.
How to Evaluate Mobile Capabilities
If you are looking to add mobility to your warehouse management technology, what other things should you consider? There are a number of mobile warehouse capabilities to evaluate including functionality, usability, compatibility and security.
- Functionality: Simple reporting and dashboards have been available on mobile devices for some time, but now companies are moving toward conducting business processes on these devices.
- Usability: Interfaces will need to be optimized for smaller screens. The interfaces must be simple and easy-to-use to eliminate employee frustration.
- Compatibility: The technology must work on a variety of devices including iOS and Android systems.
- Security: Increased data accessibility helps improve efficiency and responsiveness, but it creates more data security issues. Regardless of the platform you choose, care must be taken to secure data both internally and externally.
ONE can help you be more effective with your mobility implementation because you can choose what device you want to manage your warehouse. ONE Warehouse will run on rugged Windows-based scanners, phones, tablets or a desktop. Users can also use iOS and Android devices lowering hardware costs exponentially. With the freedom of picking your platform, the hardware can be mixed and matched so you don’t have to choose just one operating system.