Are you striving to streamline your logistics management? If you manage your critical logistics processes manually, you might expose your business operations to errors, the impact of which may go far beyond logistics.
Though the process is complex, a few simple yet intelligent tools can help you optimize your logistics processes in a big way.
A scanning solution is one such smart tool that can boost the accuracy and productivity of your warehouse operations. Paper-based inventory tracking systems can be highly unreliable and time-consuming. A barcode scanning solution can help you enhance your tracking and bring consistency to the process.
Problems of Paper-based Tracking
It is crucial to understand the issues of the paper-based process before we learn more about the scanning solution. Here are a few key challenges of paper-based tracking system:
- Manual inventory management does not provide you real-time tracking data. Without vital information about inventory status, your decision-making could be flawed.
- An unautomated logistics management process consumes more time. As a result, your staff’s productivity might take a hit.
- Accuracy is critical to the seamless process flow of logistics. However, if you receive your items through paper and then enter the details in your ERP system, you risk compromising your accuracy. Errors in item receipts would affect not only that process but also stock counting, transfer, and picking processes.
- Uninformed decisions and inaccurate order processing lead to incorrect and delayed deliveries and even credit notes. As a result, your customers will be unhappy.
Benefits of an Automated Scanning Solution
An efficient inventory management system can help resolve these issues. Enhanced accuracy is the most significant advantage of adopting a sound inventory management system. When the efficiency of the stock receiving process increases, it will lead to accurate deliveries to the customers and correct invoices. It will also make the job of the finance department easy through reduced disputes and credit notes.
A sound inventory management system will also provide real-time information about inventory status. These insights would be valuable for the sales department as you would get real-time insights into accurate inventory levels, executed picklists, and shipped orders.
Things to consider before implementing a scanning solution
What does implementing a scanning solution require? Here are a few crucial things that you need to consider before adopting a scanning solution:
Look for a logistics mobility solution that can easily be integrated with your existing ERP system. An ERP integrated solution will ensure that all other crucial business processes are well connected to your logistics department operations.
To optimize your logistics management, make sure your scanning solution can scan most of the inputs in your inventory processes. Apart from offering the provision to enter details through the keyboard or to select particulars from a predetermined list, your scanning solution should be able to scan items in less time. Here are the different types of barcodes that a good scanning solution must support:
Barcodes for Inventory Location
To manage your inventory efficiently, it is a best practice to allocate barcodes to every location in the warehouse. All the items can be tagged with the location address to save time consumed in item retrievals.
Barcodes on Stocked items
Every item in the warehouse needs to be given a barcode label. Barcodes will help you get complete item information quickly with a single scan. Irrespective of the volumes of the stocked items in your inventory, a scanning solution would help you track them effectively.
Barcodes on Documents
Apart from inventory items and locations, assigning barcodes to pickup documents would also enhance your tracking. You could give your picklist a barcode, which includes the picklist id. By doing so, you would not need to print a picklist on paper every time you receive items. It would especially help you in the initial stages of the solution’s implementation.
Barcode scanners are small computers that can be connected to the scanning solution through Wi-Fi. These devices can be moved around to operate from different Wi-Fi access points. While selecting a barcode scanner, you need to make sure that the scanner is robust and can operate in diverse conditions. For example, if you store inventory items in a cold storage unit, your barcode scanner should be able to work efficiently in extremely cold temperatures too.
A competent barcode scanner should be able to scan barcodes accurately irrespective of the distance. This is vital because if you store inventory in high storage warehouses, you should be able to scan barcodes of the items stored at the top aisles from a distance.
Make sure that the barcode scanner you select can scan different types of barcodes, such as QR codes or GS1-128 barcodes. Furthermore, your barcode scanner should be versatile. Your staff should be able to carry it in hand or even connect it to a truck.
Since your barcode scanner will need to be connected to Wi-Fi, you need a stable WiFi connection. If you do not have an uninterrupted Wi-Fi network, it might cause delays in inventory processing. As a result, your productivity will take a hit, which will, in turn, negatively impact your customer satisfaction levels. Hence, despite having premium equipment and solution, it is vital to invest in a good WiFi connection.
You will use a barcode printer to print barcode labels for your inventory. The barcode printer you choose should support the volume of your stock. It should be able to print different sizes and types of barcode labels. While purchasing a barcode scanner, keep your business growth in mind and invest in one that can also support your increasing needs.
Select the right solution for your business
If you want to select the right scanning solution for your business, you need to consider the things mentioned above. Though it might seem like a long and diverse list of requirements, these aspects are core to the functioning of your logistics solution.
To-Increase Anywhere for Logistics offers all these critical features that will help you streamline your logistics operations. Apart from providing best-in-class logistics management solution, we also partner with Zebra to bring you high-quality barcode scanners and printers. Our solution will help you handle and automate vital inventory processes.