Mobile Technology is Disrupting Warehouse Operations and Productivity

    Most companies in the supply chain and logistics sectors 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, the warehouse industry has only recently embraced the latest advancements in enterprise mobility and digitalization, but the results are beyond prominent.

    Warehouse Management
    Warehouse Management

    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 a few ways. The warehouse management includes a 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 warehouse management with easy and quick scanning of items into the system, real-time updates, and so on. Additionally, these apps can generate receipt templates for deliveries and acknowledgements, streamlining the process further.

    The key functions of mobility in warehouse operations

    Warehouse operations include a number of daily tasks, including order and package processing, picking, labeling, storing, identifying shipment orders, receiving, counting, shipping and cross-docking, scanning 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 location, employee skill set, materials stored in the warehouse, capital expenditure, and other specific business and organizational requirements.

    Also Read: How a mobile-first strategy can drive an intelligent field-service management

    In an ideal situation, mobility managed with mobile device management for Logistics helps accelerate 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, 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 the warehouse and to update the status in the enterprise system without any paperwork.
    • Mobile devices are used to inspect inbound materials against 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 suggestions for putting away 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 requisitions right on the warehouse floor and in real-time.
    • Executives can take basic actions like issuance of receipts, record keeping, transactions, and transfer details 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 gain anytime, anywhere information about stock-specific information like availability, location, etc.
    • Mobile devices help executives scan items with ease for cycle counting orders at any location. The mobile app allows users 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 labeling, containerization, loading, and shipping. Mobile notifications keep them updated with special instructions, additional information, and incidents.
    • Mobile apps connected with the dispatch planning system help the workers prioritize dispatch and delivery requirements with the help of real-time updates on shipment and tracing of pre-dispatch tasks.
    • IT admins and managers can track real-time data about item delivery, delays, diversions, downtime, and any other issues faced by the shipment handlers through mobile devices and apps, which helps answer 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 processes like electronic proof of delivery/collection and customer signature and facilitate the processes of acknowledgment, status updates, and record-keeping.

    Also Read: Learn how mobility can revamp your supply chain management

    Mobile devices and enterprise apps are considered imperative facilitators 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 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 requires 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.

    Sonali Datta
    Sonali Datta
    Sonali has an extensive experience in content writing, marketing, and strategy and she has worked with companies where she was involved in the 360-degree content production and editing. An avid reader and animal lover, she loves to cook, take care of her plants and travel.

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