The current processes are inefficient, owing to the use of barcode for scanning of products and to track their location in the warehouse. Every time warehouse managers pick up products, they first have to identify the barcode and then their position.
Actually, there are five steps involved in the warehouse management process:
The warehouse owners receive notifications regarding the arrival of products. This helps them free up some space for the next lot. In the warehouse that is meant for the distribution, goods are required to be scanned and staged for the putaway. Besides this, there is another important activity that needs 100% attention of the warehouse operators–Inspection.
Products are brought to the warehouse, scanned and inspected for quality. The bigger task commences now. Certain locations are allotted for the product placement, which allows operators to get back to the product and get it ready for quick delivery. This stage also includes the collection of details regarding the size and weight of the product to find out how much weight the locations can bear.
Three decisions to make:
- How is the inventory being stored?
- What is the replenishment time for each of the products?
- Where should the product be stored?
If the first stage of receiving has been properly planned out, the third questions become redundant. However, during scenarios when multiple consignments are dropped into the warehouse, storing becomes a tad complicated.
When an order for a product is placed, a warehouse manager runs an inspection to find out whether the products are available for customers or not. Post this, a guide with the list of the product locations helps pickers to identify the right products from the shelves.
This involves four types of picking: strict-order picking, wherein a picker accomplishes a tour to retrieve a single order for shipping, batch picking, wherein a picker accomplishes multiple packaging at a single time, zone picking, wherein several zones are assigned to different pickers and saves travel time, and wave picking, wherein all orders placed in a single one are collected at once.
Though there is no travelling time involved, shipping indeed is a labour and time-intensive activity. Every product must be labelled properly for delivery men to handle it carefully.
With these five steps, a warehouse appears no lesser than a maze in itself. As eCommerce arises as an influential channel, the warehouse management would get tangled and turn into an unmanageable mess.
“So you mean, you have predicted the problem, do you have a solution?”
Warehouse management processes are complicated. However, when we incorporate technologies, it should experience simplicity. If not, then either the technology is at flaw, or it needs another technology.
Numerous warehouse owners have shown a high reliance on barcode technology. As a result, demand for the best warehouse management software has increased. However, the stickers can easily get damaged even with a little friction. Besides this, it needs a direct line of sight for the detection. Hence, it could consume equal or even more time than required.
Another addition to the warehouse revolution has been in the form of RFID technology. Large warehouses are investing in RFID tracking technology to manage their products. However, they are also in for RFID guns for picking their products from their locations.
Ultimately, the very purpose of the technology to control the time and money turns redundant.