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How can increased visibility lead to warehouse efficiency? October 18th, 2018

How can increased visibility lead to warehouse efficiency?
Logistics is big business. Did you know, for example, that in the US it accounts for 8.2% of GDP and 15-20% of finished product cost?

At the core of this trillion-dollar sector is the warehouse, where minor missteps can have a major impact on the supply chain. Today’s warehousing professionals are looking to new technologies to gain the visibility they need to improve efficiency, accuracy and customer service.

But there are significant obstacles to overcome. Reports suggest more than a third of companies are planning to increase the number of warehouses they operate, while a similar number are planning to expand existing warehouses.

So how can new technology help?

Inbound processes streamlined  

Advance shipping notice (ASN) accuracy can often cause issues in the warehouse. New processes can help to ease the problem through verification and labelling at the receiving area to ensure 100% of incoming materials are barcoded, so items are ready for scanning and other warehouse management system (WMS) automated processes.

With wireless LAN enabling real-time access to WMS, the status of a return can be instantly updated and validated with immediate action for repair or issue of customer credit. Zebra has found that warehouses using its mobile printers and handheld computers during receiving and put-away processes can improve processing time by 62% and save up to 30 minutes per day per worker.

With wireless LAN enabling real-time access to WMS, the status of a return can be instantly updated and validated with immediate action for repair or issue of customer credit.

Optimised stock control

Without an automated system, companies will struggle to know what they have in stock, which often leads to excess inventory build-up or unexpected shortages.

Barcode and RFID technologies can reduce the time it takes to identify and track inventory. This an include handheld and fixed readers, printers and antennas. Find out more about Zebra RFID solutions here.

Outbound done right 

It’s estimated that fifty percent of warehouse costs are spent on order picking.

RFID labels, barcodes and voice-directed picking can accelerate picking time and reduce expensive errors.

In the typical warehouse, space is limited and expansion isn’t always an option. With real-time location system (RTLS) solutions, warehouses can save up to 40% of the staging area space, while optimising travel times.

Handheld computers, RFID labels and mobile printing can streamline the final stages of order fulfilment, ensuring orders contain the right products and are shipped to the right customer at the right time, with the right compliant label.

BlueStar and its partner Zebra offer a number of solutions to help increase visibility in the warehouse. With the latest technology, businesses can eliminate hundreds of labour hours every month, improve order speed and accuracy and boost customer satisfaction. 

SAMANTHA KALANY

Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.

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