In 2020, over two billion people purchased goods or services online, and during the same year, e-commerce sales surpassed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. With the sheer volume of online orders and the ever-rising demand for faster shipments, an efficient warehouse or distribution center is a must to keep up with the market. However, there are a few common obstacles and bottlenecks that can destroy efficiency.
Here are some issues to consider looking into and fixing if your warehouse operations aren’t as up-to-speed as you would like.
Are your devices constantly going offline or disconnecting from your network? If so, you may have connectivity issues. The wireless LAN or WiFi network has become the primary network backbone; as you continually add more and more devices throughout your warehouse, there’s a chance that wireless performance will decline over time. This negatively impacts your warehouse efficiency as workers won’t be able to access pick lists, update order information, or generate accurate barcode labels without a wireless connection. These issues can disrupt workflow and lead to extensive downtime.
If you’re experiencing these issues, it may be time for you to get a wireless site survey. This in-depth evaluation of your current wireless infrastructure and mobile device landscape will help identify potential problem areas. Be sure to partner with a superior provider who understands your enterprise challenges and will work to prevent failures during the project’s paper phase, ensuring real-world success when the system is fully deployed.
No Automation Support
Warehouse automation tactics are gaining popularity around the globe, eliminating manual processes and allowing for more streamlined and accurate performance. Lack of automation support will cause delays in worker schedules and reduce efficiency of the operations. To avoid this pitfall, you must have a partner that works with you to understand and define your needs and then develop a tailored solution to present the greatest return on investment.
While it may seem complicated at first glance, looking into machine vision technology will undoubtedly help your business. Allowing for more efficient warehousing, you’ll reduce errors of damage and miscounts so that orders are fulfilled more accurately. Automation makes forecasting fulfillment processes easy so that scheduling an increasingly more expensive resource or transportation is more reliable. Automation also can reduce labor costs and overhead, providing the margin to invest in and maintain the automated facility itself.
Non-Existent RFID Infrastructure
Perhaps the quickest way to destroy your warehouse efficiency is to omit radio-frequency identification (RFID) support within your space. RFID saves money and time for your warehouse staff and supports the entire operation of your business from beginning to end. With RFID applications, you can immediately see how many items you have of any one type and their location. You can track SKUs from the time they are received into stores, issued to manufacturing, and used in a finished item.
Without real-time visibility within key business processes, you face the challenge of not having the right asset, at the right time, in the right place. RFID simplifies inventory management and helps to improve inventory accuracy. The technology makes it easy to perform stock checks, stock audits, and control shrinkage. RFID can also be leveraged to find items that are on site but have been misplaced.
Without the best warehouse efficiency services, you can hurt the overall impact of your entire enterprise. Updated services within your facility, such as voice-directed warehousing services, allow more tasks per worker, per shift. In fact, voice capabilities are now recognized as essential components of fully optimized logistics management systems. So, if you have yet to jump on the bandwagon, now is the time.
The voice-enabled worker performs tasks with his head up and hands free. Liberated from tasks that tax warehouse productivity, such as scanning, reading pick lists, and writing or keying in information, a productivity improvement of 20% and higher is possible. By issuing workers exact instructions, confirming tasks, and correcting errors as they occur, near 100% accuracy is achievable. It’s important to note that a single error incurs a series of costs in correcting that error, from returns, re-picking, and re-shipping to reduced customer satisfaction.
Improve Warehouse Efficiency with Peak Technologies
Improving warehouse efficiency is a must in a climate where e-commerce is booming with no end in sight. The only way to position your company for future success is to ensure that a stable network, automated processes, RFID infrastructure, and updated devices are implemented throughout your enterprise.
Peak Technologies has over 30 years of experience streamlining warehouses. We have services and solutions that will transform your processes, including our wireless network services, custom RFID solutions, and voice-directed warehousing services. When it comes to automation, we will work to understand and define your needs so that we can develop a tailored solution. Connect with one of our experts today to learn more about how we can help you overcome these common efficiency hurdles.