Warehouse Management: The benefits of investing in technology within the warehouse
January 25, 2024
Efficient warehouse management is crucial for business success, regardless of its size. Small and large enterprises face the challenge of optimising inventory, streamlining order fulfilment, and enhancing overall operational efficiency. Implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) often comes with a cost, including a monthly fee and potential additional charges for necessary modules or add-ons. Some providers also require compulsory investment in hardware, even for basic system usage.
However, StoreFeeder WMS is different.
The platform recognises that not all businesses can afford warehouse hardware investments initially and aims to ensure that budget constraints do not hinder access to the extensive benefits of integrating a WMS into warehouse operations. But a little investment can open up great benefits.
StoreFeeder WMS adopts an inclusive approach by making all core functionalities available to every user. This comprehensive warehouse management software is designed to streamline and automate various warehouse operations, encompassing picking, packing, goods in, and stock transfers.
We will talk about automation of tasks in next week’s blog,
For small businesses or warehouses not yet ready for a digital, paperless system, we still offer a paper-based solution to still allow businesses to achieve efficiency gains.
Larger businesses, or warehouses ready to take the next step forward, can benefit from a fully digital operation, centred around the StoreFeeder WMS android app. This approach empowers the workforce through PDA's, leading to significantly improved efficiency and accuracy in daily warehouse tasks, ultimately resulting in substantial cost savings as the transition to a paperless warehouse is made.
This week we focus on how the system caters to warehouses of any size by addressing the three main daily warehouse processes.
In basic warehouse operation, incoming deliveries are manually entered into the system, with each product recorded to book stock in. The stock's location is then updated in the system.
On the other hand, StoreFeeder's advanced technology, through its app, simplifies the delivery process. Users can effortlessly scan received items, and the app displays any open deliveries associated with the product. The user can then input the quantity received or scan each item at the pallet, select the location, and complete the put-away process.
Whether handling deliveries item by item or scanning everything at once, the system updates in real time, ensuring quick, simple, and accurate operations. The app enhances efficiency, provides real-time inventory visibility, and updates stock information instantly.
In the basic operation of StoreFeeder WMS, all picking processes initiate with creating a pickwave.
Intelligent routing technology is employed in all pickwaves to guide pickers efficiently through the warehouse, optimising the route for speed. Printing the pick sheet provides a location-based guide for pickers, indicating what items to pick and the quantity.
Taking it a step further with advanced technology, the StoreFeeder App enhances accuracy. While the basic operation lacks validation, the app directs pickers to the correct location, specifying what and how much to pick. Importantly, it offers a validation option, ensuring that the picker selects the correct products from the designated location. This validation step guarantees the accuracy of the items sent to despatch for packing and shipping to customers.
In the basic operation of StoreFeeder WMS at the packing stage, there's a manual process of matching products to orders, printing shipping labels, and ensuring accurate packing.
Various basic despatch options exist, involving bulk despatch, matching labels and packing sheets to products or the manual scanning of an order number barcode for label printing. However, these methods are very susceptible to human error.
The advanced technology solution offered by StoreFeeder WMS introduces barcode despatch technology, we call it product led despatch.
When packing, scanning any picked item triggers the system to identify the correct order. If it's a single-item order, the shipping label prints immediately, ensuring a validated and accurate despatch. For orders with multiple items, each needs to be scanned for validation and label printing.
If your process is picking order by order, then the solution is scanning the order number and then each item to validate the order and initiate label printing.
Both options eliminate manual errors with a seamless, product led despatch process.
The 5 minute rule
StoreFeeder employs the "5-minute rule" when businesses use the app. The app is designed to be intuitive and easy to follow, eliminating the need for users (such as warehouse staff, pickers, and packers) to possess detailed product knowledge.
Instead of relying on staff to identify items, the app provides location and product guidance. This way, users simply follow instructions on the app, allowing them to go to the specified location and scan the item to confirm.
This approach ensures that even new or temporary staff can be productive immediately without the need for extensive training or work shadowing.
StoreFeeder WMS facilitates a reduction in carbon footprint by eliminating the need for various paper-based documents such as goods in sheets, picking sheets, and packing sheets within the warehouse. The adoption of the app not only benefits the environment by saving trees but also results in significant cost savings related to paper and printer toner expenses.
StoreFeeder WMS is a versatile warehouse management solution suitable for both small and large businesses, offering scalability, affordability, and advanced features at the time when the warehouse is ready to progress.
In its basic form, it efficiently handles order processing, while its advanced technology comes as part of the package without additional costs.
The system's investment in hardware is cost-effective, as the app runs on Android devices, including mobile phones and these can be turned into scanning devices with low cost Bluetooth devices.
PDA devices are more suitable for warehouse operation and even with the potential initial hardware expenses, the reduced paper and toner costs, coupled with improved accuracy and efficiency, ensure a quick return on investment.
Choosing StoreFeeder WMS is a strategic decision that can significantly enhance warehouse operations, providing a foundation for streamlined and effective management aligned with business goals.
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