Today’s world is complex. Your warehouse network doesn’t have to be.

Wireless local area network (WLAN) is defined as a wireless computer network that links two or more devices using a wireless distribution method. Using a WLAN allows device users to move around within the local coverage area. A typical wireless LAN is comprised of multiple components including a router/ modem, switch/ hub, wireless access points and wireless capable devices such as laptops, tablets or mobile computers. The amount of infrastructure needed will vary depending on the square footage of the facility needing coverage.

Supply chain operations, now more than ever, require wireless networks due to the mobile nature of the workforce. Staff on the move need to communicate, share data and efficiently complete daily tasks. The use of WLANs help to provide seamless connectivity that is critical to the success of warehouse staff.

Warehouse Wireless Networking Solutions can enable automation and mechanisation of labour intensive processes such as receiving, put-away, storage, cycle counting, picking and packing, loading and shipping. They can also deliver high performance in difficult cold storage environments such as refrigerators, freezers and chillers.

Industrial wireless systems deliver mobile, telnet or browser-based access to the Warehouse Management System (WMS), providing a robust and reliable user interface to enhance worker productivity. They can provide persistent connections and roaming on fast moving warehouse equipment such as forklifts and crawlers, as well as connectivity for all handheld scanners and mobile computers in use across the space. The networks can also help assure efficiency with locationing capabilities that identify the presence of workers, assets and vehicles for optimal task management. The result is streamlined end-to-end operations in warehouses and distribution centres, as well as throughout the entire supply chain.

Every warehouse business is concerned with productivity and efficiency. The problem however, is that many struggle to gain the right amount of visibility into their operations that allows them to make better informed decisions. In order to avoid increasing operational costs, many warehouse businesses have turned to wireless technologies, software and real-time data to solve their operational issues.

Let’s explore some of the benefits network solutions can provide.

Functionally robust wireless local area networks can help supply chain operations to improve asset tracking capabilities and reduce order fulfillment periods. Paired with mobile technologies warehouse operators may also increase inventory data accuracy through automated inventory cycle counts. Supply chain businesses can also benefit from WLAN infrastructure flexibility that they otherwise would not receive with wired internet connection. Through voice-over LANs staff with also benefit from improved communication capabilities. These among many others are just a few of the reasons to consider refreshing WLAN technology.

Wireless and mobile technologies have revolutionised the efficiency and productivity of warehouse operations. Wireless network connections give retailers a clear, real-time view of all activities happening in the warehouse and enable them to efficiently count and track inventory, improve order fulfilment accuracy, and provide workers with real-time communication.

Here are some reasons why –

Asset tracking:

Through wireless network connectivity, organisations can automatically track all warehouse assets in real time, enhancing both worker and machine productivity. By outfitting each item with RFID tags in constant communication with a system’s network, organisations have a way to track the whereabouts of each item at all times. This aids not only in loss prevention, but in the rapid fulfilment of orders.

Inventory counts:

No retailer wants to be without the most popular products, but neither do they want to overstock. Excess inventory creates unwanted expenses. Accurate inventory counts provide retailers the data they need to precisely predict product demands and stock inventory accordingly. Accurate inventory counts also allow retailers to provide up-to-the-minute information to customers, particularly important when a specific product is no longer available or is in short supply.

Voice and data communications:

Real-time voice and data communications enhance workers’ task and project management. Mobile communication devices give supervisors a way to see what is happening on the warehouse floor while receiving real-time project updates from the network. Wireless voice communications have proven particularly useful to big-box, warehouse-style stores like Costco and Home Depot. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi-based VoIP systems, as opposed to cellular-based systems, provide sales associates in warehouse stores with strong, clear signals for incoming calls, allowing associates to answer telephone queries from anywhere in the store, even deep within the racks, closing more sales and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

It’s surprising how many organisations have been using Wi-Fi technology that isn’t the right fit for them.

Industrial environments require far more than a standard wireless solution to cope with day to day operations, and an inconsistent connection can seriously impact productivity, reliability and efficiency.

In complex working environments such as plants, warehouses and ports which are open to interference and extreme temperatures, industrial networks need to be reliable, persistent and surpass expectations, no matter what’s thrown at them. However, matching the power and performance needed to guarantee a dependable connection for everyday use is no easy task.

In Summary

If you are experiencing any of the following warehouse wireless pain points and your WMS is not performing at its best, then it’s time to review your Warehouse Wireless Networking Solutions.

Sheer size

As warehouses increase in size, a lack of seamless nomadic communications with workers roaming the space can cause costly inefficiencies in virtually every function – from receiving to picking to shipping.

Downtime and unavailability

With automation and mechanisation so critical to warehouse process efficiency, unreliable technology leads to downtime that can wreak costly havoc in operations, customer satisfaction and ROI.

Bottlenecks and congestion

Older, outdated warehouse technology is too often unable to deliver the high levels of bandwidth needed to overcome efficiency-sapping operational bottlenecks.

Device proliferation

An inability to support today’s wide variety of devices – laptops, handheld computers, tablets, barcode scanners, mobile printers, RFID readers and more – leads to unreliable communications and process automation.

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.