Most companies from the supply chain and logistics sector are always striving to improve their warehouse efficiency and productivity while minimizing errors and process delays – and mobile technologies have proven to be of immense help in these cases, and many more. In general, warehouse industry has only recently embraced the latest advancements in enterprise mobility and digitalization, but the results are beyond prominent.
According to IDC and Gartner, enterprise mobility is one of the key enablers that drive exponential growth, business value and productivity in warehouse management. Mobile solutions expedite warehouse efficiency, nimbleness, flexibility and accuracy, which ultimately help the business gain maximum returns on technology investments.
Enterprise mobility in warehouse management
Mobile technologies drive warehouse operations, management and productivity in more than few ways. The warehouse management include certain complex set of activities and operations that heavily depend on consistent and accurate movement, tracking and delivery of shipment in a secure, timely and systematic manner. This is where mobile warehouse apps play a great role.
These enterprise apps simplify and enhance the overall warehouse operations and replace expensive radio Frequency (RF) technology with mobile RFID systems. Being connected with the warehouse management software, the enterprise warehouse apps offer a singular view of the entire inventory and processes in action. It allows executives to expedite the warehouse management with easy and quick scanning of items into the system, real-time updates and so on.
The key functions of mobility in warehouse operations
Warehouse operations include a number of daily tasks including order and package processing, picking, labelling, storing, identifying shipment orders, receiving, counting, shipping and cross-docking, scanning of incoming shipments, rerouting, inspecting and relabelling the items and so on. In a typical warehouse, the managers should have a clear idea about the areas and ground-level actions that can be mobile-enabled and take initiatives accordingly to reap the benefits of mobility.
The choice of mobile technologies and mobile devices will depend upon the warehouse’s geographical locations, employee skill set, materials stored in the warehouse, capital expenditure and other specific business and organizational requirements.
In an ideal situation, mobility helps in accelerating warehouse management and productivity in these 3 core areas:
Processing of inbound materials
- Real-time updates can be exchanged using mobile devices between incoming shipments and the warehouse to facilitate efficient inbound scheduling.
- Based on these updates, the dock door assignments can be created and altered on a real-time basis.
- Mobile devices are used to scan, verify and receive inbound materials in warehouse and to update the status in the enterprise system without any paperwork.
- Mobile devices are used to inspect inbound materials against the preconfigured quality parameters, and enter data with specifications in the enterprise system
- Mobile devices facilitate actions like real-time order visibility, cross-docking, suggestion of suitable inbound shipments, material allocation and direct shipment of items.
- Mobile devices help with spot suggestion for putting away of materials in the warehouse as per custom rules, warehouse layout, existing items’ placement, item type and other parameters.
Improved inventory management
- Mobile devices help raise purchase requisition right in the warehouse shop floors and in real time.
- Executives can take basic actions like issuance of receipts, record keeping, transactions and details of goods transfer using mobile devices.
- Mobile apps provide real-time information about material tracking, locations and destinations, handling instructions and other critical data regarding specific transaction
- Mobile devices help warehouse executives to gain anytime, anywhere information about the stock-specific information like availability, location etc.
- Mobile devices help executives to scan items with ease for cycle counting orders at any location. The mobile app allows the user to track, verify, enter and identify the item count.
- Mobile apps facilitate the processes around stock management, quantities, condition, pack details, location, replacement etc.
- Other tasks that can be fulfilled using mobile apps are job notifications and scheduling, replenishment transactions, material allocation and vendor/consignment management
Processing of outbound materials
- Warehouse workers can easily check the enterprise system generated pick lists on their mobile devices equipped with the right apps, which also provide apt directions for task completion and update the system with the task status in real time.
- Executives use mobile apps to administer and execute tasks like labelling, containerization, loading and shipping. Mobile notifications keep them updated with special instructions and additional information and incidents.
- Mobile apps connected with the dispatch planning system helps the workers prioritize dispatch and delivery requirements with the help of real-time updates on shipment, tracing of pre-dispatch tasks.
- IT admins and managers can track real-time data about item delivery, delays, diversions and downtime and any other issues faced by the shipment handlers through mobile devices and apps, which helps answering customer queries in a better and more accurate way.
- Mobile devices show real-time fleet location, vehicle and traffic status, weather conditions and item updates, which help optimize and consolidate the dispatch and delivery processes.
- Mobile devices like mPOS simplify the processes like electronic proof of delivery/collection and customer signature and facilitate the process of acknowledgment, status updates and record-keeping.
Mobile devices and enterprise apps are considered an imperative facilitator of all these warehouse operations and are known for boosting executive performance, speed of work, accuracy and agility through real-time data, enhanced team communications, efficient work processes and improved transparency.
Using handheld devices in warehouses doesn’t only enable hands-free mobility but also quickens other critical work processes like data-entry, advanced shipment tracking, inventory management and so on. Mobility provides an end-to-end solution that automates the routine yet crucial warehouse operational tasks, which inadvertently enhances workflow management, omnichannel distribution, overall employee productivity and logistics processes pertaining to all the units, resulting in higher revenue generation.
Managing warehouse operations require the workers to be enabled with the right set of mobile devices and enterprise apps to accomplish specific business requirements and purposes, and you would be amazed to know how Scalefusion MDM can help company IT admins manage, monitor and secure their company devices and data remotely to drive a flawless enterprise mobility strategy.