Flawless Fulfilment Is Easier Than You Think – Part 1

Stay one step ahead of your competition with flawless fulfilment

Today’s forward looking warehouse and logistics professionals are using wireless and mobile technology as the catalyst for driving flawless fulfilment. When mobility is extended throughout your warehouse, new levels of efficiency, accuracy and visibility can be achieved. Ponderous paper processes are replaced by real-time computerised forms on mobile computers. Barcode scanning, including 1D and 2D, enables checking and double-checking that the right items are being picked, packed and shipped. RFID provides automatic tracking of materials and assets without human intervention. You can move from automation in a single process to a broad integration of the latest technologies across all of your warehouse processes.

The reality is, too many warehouse processes are still pen-and-paper-based. Just as problematic is technical fragmentation, with technology available in only a few operations. Flawless fulfilment requires technical and operational integration across all your processes and workflows. You could argue that all areas of the warehouse are equally important but the bottom line is if we receive things poorly the odds of us picking them and shipping them properly are pretty close to zero. A cloud WMS system can cost effectively assist in increasing efficiency and productivity.

Flawless Fulfilment can be achieved by:-

Deploying Industrial Wireless Solutions

Today’s warehouses are bigger, taller and more densely packed than ever. There are more SKUs, shorter cycles, and a premium on fast, accurate fulfilment.

As warehouse environments become more reliant on real-time communications technology to automate and streamline processes, the initial step towards achieving flawless fulfilment is deployment of a truly industrial strength wireless and mobile solution.

The nature of industrial environments is in a constant state of flux, requiring wireless networks to quickly adapt to changing dynamics. Equally important is the need for mobility. Industrial environments have never been more on the move – in terms of people, equipment, materials and merchandise – than they are today.

Challenging warehouse environments need industrial strength wireless networks to overcome these issues and pain points. They enable automation and mechanisation of labour intensive processes such as receiving, put-away, storage, cycle counting, picking, packing, loading and shipping. They can also deliver high performance in difficult cold storage environments such as refrigerators, freezers and coolers.

Industrial wireless systems also deliver real-time access to the WMS, providing a robust and reliable user interface on a range of devices to enhance worker productivity. They also provide persistent connections on roaming warehouse equipment such as forklifts and crawlers, as well as connectivity for all handheld scanners and mobile computers in use across the space.

Improving Staff Communications & Management

Flawless fulfilment doesn’t happen without everyone in the warehouse working together productively. This demands fast and efficient task management enabled by real-time voice and data communications between supervisors and employees everywhere in the facility.

Equipping warehouse staff with access to instantaneous business-critical communications systems enhances productivity and provides a real-time coordination platform that can increase task interleaving and help you achieve flawless fulfilment.

Mobility also empowers your warehouse managers to get out of the office and back on the warehouse floor with the rest of your staff by enabling the extension of all the necessary desktop tools right to the palms of their hands. Utilising devices that have both voice and data capabilities and are built to endure the harsh environment of the warehouse, allow managers to access all business systems and workers with the push of a button.

Employees can communicate with their own portable, handheld or wearable mobile devices, eliminating time lost walking to and from telephone stations on the floor or being distracted by loud and unintelligible overhead pages.

Streamlining order picking processes

Warehouses are becoming larger with an increase in the number of items carried, both of which impact the achievement of flawless fulfilment. In a recent warehouse survey, more than half of respondents reported plans to increase the number of SKUs (54.2%), the volume of items carried (54.2%) and their annual inventory turnover (50.6%). In the next five years, almost 70% of respondents indicated plans to increase automated processes and 66% plan to equip staff with more technology. These initiatives are especially valuable for pick and fill functions where costs are high and errors can easily snowball into less accurate, less timely shipping and greater numbers of dissatisfied customers.

WMS will ensure that stock is received properly into the warehouse, if it doesn’t come in correctly you don’t have much hope of maintaining stock integrity going forward

With manual and technically fragmented pick and fill processes, efficiency and cost-effectiveness are significantly compromised. The result is costly, ineffective and inaccurate inventory visibility that can lead to higher carrying costs and shipment errors.

The optimum solution is adding mobility and automation to picking operations, allowing the same number of workers to process more orders per day with fewer errors, thus improving customer service and reducing the cost of doing business. Deploying warehouse mobility in the pick and fill functions enables you to know what products are on your warehouse shelves and exactly where they are located. Mobile solutions also empower you to utilise hands-free and multi-modal technologies that go well beyond simple scanning functionality, enabling workers to utilise voice-guided direction with screen reinforcement and enter data by voice, scan or keyed entry.

Results can be exceptional. Errors are significantly reduced through the automated capture of data and instant double-check for picking accuracy. Out-of stock is eliminated through the ability to instantly deduct items from your inventory as they are picked. You gain the ability to deliver granular picking information that enables LIFO/FIFO for improved inventory management.

You can also instantly store serialised product information with customer orders to allow fast location of products or parts that may have been recalled, reducing tracing, tracking and liability costs.

Join us next week for part 2 which will cover:-

  • Advanced Inventory & Storage Capabilities,
  • Upgrade Inbound Handling Operations
  • Turnaround Outbound Handling Performance.

About us:

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.