A complete warehouse management solution is generally made up of rugged mobile technology equipped with barcode and RFID reading capabilities, wireless label printers, and voice-directed hands-free technology. These tools allow warehouse workers to fulfil orders accurately and efficiently, including receiving, picking, shipping and inventory. These systems can also communicate seamlessly with back-office WMS, accounting and business software. Later in the article we will explore the key benefits of these devices for warehouse workers along each stage of the warehouse operations cycle.
Within any warehouse, operational efficiency, real-time visibility and operational accuracy are key. Trying to find a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and the mobile computing device that offers the best combination to achieve this is critical. It can also be quite a challenge given the number of device options available.
Whether you are looking to implement a new, or upgrade of existing warehouse devices, one of the biggest questions you’re likely to ask yourself is whether to opt for rugged, semi-rugged or consumer devices. It’s important to consider all the options for your business, as selecting the incorrect device could result in frustrated users, decreased productivity and increased costs.
Android rugged devices are all the rage with substantial benefits. In this article, we will be exploring their key benefits, but you can find the key differentiators of all devices in one of our previous articles here.
Ruggedised Devices – Android is the operating system powering many specialised rugged devices. If you need your devices to survive the day-to-day environment and the drops, tumbles and spills that come with that – choosing an operating system that is compatible with toughened devices could be a sensible move.
Data Capture – Android devices have the capability to capture the barcode data required as part of most operations. Rugged devices are perfectly optimised to make barcode capture faster and more accurate, with inbuilt scanning hardware, and the ability to capture even damaged and distorted barcodes, as well as images and form capture, making it easier than ever to capture accurate data.
Battery Power – With users using their device continuously throughout the day, battery power is an important consideration when choosing an operating system and device. These devices offer high-capacity, replaceable batteries, and in-cab chargers. Combine this with Android’s power management capabilities which enable longer battery life with fewer charges, and you’ve got a device you can rely on.
Training and Ease of Use – Android operating systems will undoubtedly be familiar to most of your workforce. Users will be able to locate and use the functionality they need quickly and easily, with little-to-no specialist training required meaning that, when introducing new devices, you’ll experience very little downtime and few usability issues.
Security – It is easy to protect your data and ensure devices are secure, by supplementing Android’s consumer operating system with the latest secure Android architecture that ensures their devices are fully enterprise-ready.
Quality Connectivity –When workers need to be able to access job-related data or backend systems on the move, robust WWAN/WLAN connections and seamless roaming can make all the difference. Android devices have robust WWAN/WLAN connections and seamless roaming, minimising the likelihood of your users being offline, and ensuring that the data is always available in real-time.
Simple to Manage and Control – Android is the most widely used operating system on mobile devices, making integration with existing systems simple and eliminating compatibility issues
Lifecycle Management – Enterprise Android devices provide devices built to last a minimum of 18 months, removing those compatibility issues and future-proofing your devices.
The right mobile device for warehouse management should cover all three stages of operations, from inventory management to shipping and receiving, through to picking and labelling. Warehouse staff benefit from the constant presence of a mobile computer at each stage, enabling them to move smoothly between tasks, record progress and stay in contact with each other and company HQ.
Inventory management – Rugged devices give warehouse operatives visibility of your entire inventory in real-time. Being able to check live stock levels with just a few taps of a screen means faster access to key information.
Shipping and receiving – Delivering goods to each stage of their warehouse journey is made simple when a quick scan reveals its warehouse destination. Vehicle-mounted rugged mobile devices enable team members to double-check data from forklifts without having to dismount, increasing safety and allowing them to move goods with confidence.
Picking and labelling – A rugged mobile computer can alert your warehouse staff instantly if the wrong item is picked and allows them to track their workflow as they go about their shifts. Every action is logged on the central system, giving operatives the autonomy to record their own progress and deviate from a set picking list in order to maximise efficiency and stock fulfilment.
Software for warehouse management systems varies in capability, customisation and integration with barcode readers. When researching barcode readers for a WMS, it’s extremely important that you consult with your software vendor to find out what data capture devices integrate with their software. Also, find out whether or not the vendor offers device specific mobile applications or if the software is cloud based. All of these things will influence your choice of data capture device.
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 fulfilment and manufacturing warehousing.