Nobody likes change. This is especially true when it comes to business processes. But what if you could introduce a change to your warehousing staff that really did make their job easier? Over the last few years there has been a dramatic shift in the willingness of staff to take on new technologies (thank you, iPhone!) and warehouse automation software is no exception. The software is not only becoming more cost-effective, it’s easier than ever to use. The top 5 benefits of using a warehouse automation system are:
1. Physical Counts get Easier & Shorter. Physical counts have to be the most dreaded event in the life of a distributor. They are time consuming, they take additional staff to accomplish and they disrupt your normal processes. Customers report an average of a 75% reduction in time and resources once automated warehouse systems are implemented. Get out your calculator because that can be a huge savings for you right off the bat.
2. Shipping Errors Stop. Shipping errors are so easy to make when you have similar packaging or new staff that can’t quite differentiate between your products. Most warehouse automation solutions link back to your ERP system and have the ability to validate items against the sales order. If someone tries to pick the wrong item, the system will not allow them to continue. Shipping errors cost a minimum of $100 when additional shipping and material handling is calculated. Even if you only have a 2% shipping error rate, savings can be in the thousands once you eliminate the errors.
3. No More Data Entry! This one deserves an exclamation point because it is a huge time savings to your office staff. The warehouse team can ship and receive quickly using a manual system but the paperwork can become a sizable pile by the end of the day. By utilizing handhelds data is entered immediately in the warehouse, meaning office staff simply needed to run the update at the end of the day to post the transactions.
4. I Trust My Inventory Quantities. Have you ever had a customer call to find out if something is in stock and, when the quantity is on the low side, you call down to the warehouse to find out the true amount in stock? When data entry is slow and mistakes are being made, inventory quantities can be difficult to trust. Scanning each and every inventory movement solves this problem because quantity changes are updated real-time.
5. I Can Find Items. You may show that you have an item in stock but when you look for it, it seems to have disappeared into thin air. Is that because it was transferred and not recorded? Did someone steal it or just put it away in the wrong spot? Warehouse automation forces the user to scan item locations as they put-away, transfer or ship inventory so that you always know exactly where items are stored.
Automating your warehouse is a change that has been worthwhile for so many of our customers. By combining radio frequency and barcode technology with a robust Warehouse Management System you can have powerful, scalable and flexible real-time data to help you boost productivity, reduce costs, shorten order fulfillment times and increase customer satisfaction.
Maybe you only want to extend your paper processes to the wireless world. Or maybe you want to start small, but would like to expand your warehouse processes over time. Maybe you are a more sophisticated user that needs more control, automation and flexibility in their warehouse. Whatever your situation, there are systems designed to work and grow with you whether your organization is small or large. A full warehouse management system can act as the hub of your supply chain solution, integrating accounting, order and shipping software systems, electronic data interchange (EDI) systems, Crystal Reports software, radio frequency and barcode hardware, and warehouse automation equipment.
Automating your warehouse is a change that has been worthwhile for so many of our customers. To learn how ASI can help you to start reaping the benefits of automation, contact us today.