Finding ways to optimize the distribution warehouse is a never-ending quest. Competition and customer demands continually put pressure on your business to reduce costs and increase productivity. One of the most valuable tools you can use to optimize your warehouse is mobile technology. Mobile capabilities can increase visibility of the warehouse, improve inventory and stock levels and enable employees to be more productive. When you can update and change warehouse data as it happens, you are able to create value-added services for management and your customers.
There are many options for implementing mobility on your warehouse floor. Smartphones, mobile barcode scanners, RFID, and tablets are all technologies that can be used to help manage the entire supply chain. In order to get the most out of your mobile solution, you need to know how to choose the right one. That’s why evaluating your options is critical.
A Checklist for Choosing Mobile Technology
We’d like to provide you with a quick checklist of must-haves when it comes to mobile warehouse management technology. Keep the following in mind as you evaluate potential warehouse management solutions:
Ruggedness/Durability – Can the solution be used in a rugged environment? Matching the technology to your specific location and processes is important to control technology replacement costs.
Uptime – Does the vendor guarantee a realistic expectation for uptime (generally 99%)? Minimizing downtime is crucial to your warehouse operation and you can’t waste time with unreliable technology.
User Acceptance – Will your employees actually use the application? Increasing employee productivity means that you need a technology that is easy to use and saves time.
Communication within the warehouse – Does the solution enhance communication within the warehouse or hinder it? Your technology should transparently improve communications without adding frustrations and additional time.
Compatibility with ERP platform and other applications – Does the solution work with your existing ERP system? If not, don’t bother investing in it. Take the time to find a solution that easily integrates with your existing ERP system. Seamless integration means that you will save data entry time and decrease the opportunity for human error.
Scanning capabilities and scanning accuracy – Can you easily and accurately scan barcodes and track inventory using the solution? Accuracy is critical to your warehouse operations. You need complete confidence that your mobile technology will support barcode solutions and provide accurate data.
Capabilities – Does the solution contain all of your must-have features and capabilities? Voice command, speech to text, cloud access, and scanning options are all popular features included in high-quality mobile warehouse management solutions.
Total Cost of Ownership – Will the solution make your operations more cost-efficient? With the right mobile technology, you should be able to cut costs out of your processes.
Brand – Do you have experience with the brand? Do you trust the vendor? Your relationship with your technology partner matters; make sure you choose the right one.
Of course, the best mobile warehouse technology can only be effective with the right warehouse management system. The best application for you will greatly improve the way you do business. Warehouse management software should provide business automation for your accounting, inventory control, order entry, assembly and warehouse systems. It should provide access to real-time stock information and enable a smooth, streamlined process in order to maximize your efficiency. It should offer seamless integration with your ERP and accounting software.
Accounting Systems, Inc. (ASI) understands your need to focus on the tasks that make your business successful and leave the technology tools to the experts. We can provide the distribution software and mobile technology you need to lower costs and increase productivity. If you need to evaluate mobile technology for your warehouse, contact us. We would love to help you find the best solution for your business.