Tip # 7: Centralize informationUse software to help you integrate information regarding orders, inventory and other data in one location so that all members of your team have access to it in real time. Make sure that the WMS software you select can integrate information across all warehouses and related facilities including third party logistics providers. Having the ability to manage multiple warehouses and facilities from a centralized location can help reduce errors, improve order fulfillment rates and enhance customer satisfaction rates. Here is an example of how this can help manufacturers and processors. Manufacturers sometimes utilize contract packagers and contract manufacturers. These companies may not use warehouse management solutions so aging inventory may not be adequately tracked and reported, leading to loss. By using a WMS that has the capability to manage multiple facilities across the enterprise, your business can decrease losses from aged inventory and have greater visibility and control over inventory and orders.
Tip #8: Invest in technology tools and resources to support your infrastructure and warehouse operations
Make sure that your business has the tools to monitor and maintain the required performance levels to meet customer expectations. Having the technology you need to provide real time, accurate information can produce big pay offs in terms of operational efficiency and workforce productivity.
Here are a few examples:
- Mobile device management (MDM) service: This can be provided by a third party vendor or using software in order to remotely access mobile devices in the field to troubleshoot, secure, update software and perform other tasks. By using mobile device management, your business will benefit from having greater uptime, improved labor productivity and efficiency at a fraction of the time and cost associated with keeping devices up and running without these resources.
- When was the last time you evaluated your wireless network? Making sure that your facilities have full coverage in all affected areas can save valuable time and reduce errors and wasted labor.
- Make sure that you always have an adequate supply of batteries and accessories for your mobile devices. Keeping printer ribbons and related items on hand is another business essential.
- Find a mobile computing hardware/equipment service vendor who can provide a variety of services including warranty, extended warranty and repair service based on time and materials. Ideally, try to find a vendor that can provide you with loaner devices and buyback service to get the most out of the service and keep devices in the hands of warehouse workers.
- Consider implementing additional technologies such as pick-to-light, voice, cartonization and the latest material handling solutions to increase operational accuracy, speed and workforce productivity of your business. Today, consumers place high demands on real time, accurate information visibility and fast delivery. Leveraging technology in the warehouse can reduce order processing time, errors in picking and shipping and keep costs down so that you can win and retain customers.