To say that wireless networks and wireless connectivity are essential to each and every person who works in the supply chain would simply be an understatement. No matter what sector you operate in or what your business does, you and your business operations must have access to mission-critical data via the Internet.
Without an effective and efficient networking system, warehouse operations can come to a standstill. This means that employees won’t be able to utilize mobile devices to scan barcodes, read radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, or use any track-and-trace systems, which will ultimately cost your business thousands of dollars in lost productivity, if not more.
Avoid the loss of capital and uptime by putting systems in place to help mitigate these costly errors. Here are four tips on how your operation can do just that, and work to achieve wireless network efficiency:
Determine What Type of System You Need
It is estimated that across the nation, 7 out of 10 warehouse operations are experiencing at least one issue with their current wireless networking systems. Some of these issues may stem from not having the right wireless network in place or the proper components for the scope of your operation.
Determining what the current system and components your operation is using and what you need in order to be successful can help you better achieve wireless network efficiency across your operation. Here are several things you should keep in mind as you begin the process of planning and determining what type of system you need:
Previous planning and design of your system:
Try to determine the original planning and design of your systems. This can help determine the age of your system and if it is properly configured based on the current needs of your operations.
Wireless platform and architecture:
What platform was your wireless system built on? Do you know where all your access points are and how many devices they are rated for? Asking these questions will help give you a feel for your wireless platform and architecture.
There are many components that go into your warehouse wireless systems, which include a wide variety of equipment. Determining what you have in your operations and what you may need in the future can help set your operations up for more success.
If you begin to ask yourself these questions and dig deeper into your warehouse wireless system, you may begin to feel lost. Don’t fret—you may just need expert guidance and advice to help you determine what systems you have in place and what equipment you need to find more efficiency. Project management services as well as wireless site assessments and surveys can help.
Do a Wireless Site Assessment
The health and performance of your wireless networking system is key to running an efficient operation. The question then becomes how do you know if your systems are running as effectively or efficiently as possible?
Wireless networks don’t have to be old to run into issues. That’s why your operation needs to invest in a wireless site survey and assessment to determine the overall health of your network. A site assessment will help your operations address any of the physical and environmental factors that may affect your wireless coverage, such as a wall, metal shelving, and temperatures within your operation.
A wireless site assessment will be able to help you and your operation identify any problems or issues with these aspects of your network:
- Overall environment
- Propagation frequencies
- Network specs
Implement a Network Management System
It’s no secret warehouse operations have vast networks and wireless systems in place to ensure that processes across the enterprise run smoothly. Implementing a network management system can help make operations even smoother by creating a specific system to ensure that your network is performing at optimum capacity.
There is a wide variety of network management systems for your warehouse and they are built for a variety of sizes and scopes of operations. By evaluating your needs through a wireless site survey and assessment you will be better equipped with the knowledge to make the decision that is right for your business, so that operations within your warehouse move at a steady pace to achieve efficiency.
Provide a Secure Data Infrastructure
Data is a driving factor of many business operations, and this is especially true for the warehouse. Barcodes and RFID solutions give insights and information into many aspects of your operation that include incredibly valuable data.
A safe and secure network solution helps protect your valuable business data from potential threats such as malware and hacking. Consider these steps as part of the process to secure your warehouse information:
- An advanced security system from the implementation of your wireless network infrastructure.
- Select authorization that only allows approved individuals and devices onto your wireless network.
- A system to audit your network in order to see who accessed what data and when.
- Row-level security that allows employees or users to only see certain sets of approved data.
Wireless Network Efficiency for You
Wireless is—both now and for the foreseeable future—an essential part of all warehousing and supply chain operations. This is why you need to ensure your operations are achieving the highest level of wireless network efficiency in order to get the most from your network. Count on the experts at Peak Technologies to help ensure you are getting the most from your networking solution, and if not, they can help create a plan to set you and your operations up for success.