With technological advances happening all around us, warehouses are seeking ways to use technology to streamline operations and improve efficiency. Technologies such as warehouse management systems can provide the foundation for dramatically enhanced productivity, as well as the ability to adapt and grow with your organization.
Consumers Demand Instant Gratification, Driving Innovation
Technology innovations are pushed forward by ever-increasing demands for better and faster service. From clients to vendors and end consumers, there’s constant pressure to do more with less and deliver superior services with fewer resources. A report by DC Velocity notes that 77 percent of respondents to a recent survey of 375 transportation and logistics executives say that their customers are now demanding same-day service. Nearly all respondents (92 percent) say those demands create significant organizational challenges.
Warehouses and distribution centers, as a critical component of the supply chain, are under increased pressure to adapt to rapid changes to consumer demands, with the flexibility to both store and ship products at a moment’s notice. Only with the proper technology in place are today’s warehouse organizations able to meet this new service standard.
Warehouse Management Systems Enhance Efficiency
Warehouse management systems (WMS) rely on Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) to provide instant access to the precise location of any part, product, pallet, or virtually any labeled item within your facility. These platforms provide a number of benefits in a warehouse and distribution center setting, including increased accuracy, reductions in excess inventory and less waste, increased inventory turns and improved service levels and customer satisfaction.
WMS rely on warehouse bar code labels to identify and track merchandise, facility assets and other items, enabling AIDC at the inventory location level. Scannable bar code labels automate the process of entering item numbers and product identifiers, thus increasing the accuracy of data entered into a WMS by reducing the likelihood of human error.. Warehouse bar code labels also reduce data collection time by making use of bar code scanners which instantly collect and enter data rather than relying on manual input methods.
With technologies such as WMS in place, warehouses believe they can offer drastic improvements to service—especially when their mobile workforce is equipped with technology that provides instant access to critical information. DC Velocity points to technologies that can automate “key processes in the pickup and delivery areas” as a core area in which information technology can impact efficiency. In fact, survey respondents say they believe new technology could reduce pickup and delivery times by nearly one-third. WMS offers a foundation for automation in these key areas.
Warehouse Bar Code Labels for Any Application
Because warehouses and distribution centers rely on the ability to quickly locate products in different facility areas, on shelves and even landing docks, they require a variety of types of labels and signs. There are label and signage options to meet every application in a warehouse or distribution center setting.
- Warehouse Floor Labels – Designed to allow workers to quickly identify the proper location for bulk and staging areas.
- Warehouse Rack Labels – Provide the ability to scan and differentiate between shelving locations for precise product identification.
- Retro-Reflective Bar Code Labels and Signs – Provide long-range scanning capabilities for faster identification, up to 50 feet with long-range scanners.
- Container Bar Code Labels – Designed for easy identification of returnable trays, totes and containers.
- Pallet Bar Code Labels – Durable bar code labels for instant identification of returnable and reusable pallets.
- Custom Warehouse Signs – A variety of hanging, fixed-mount, outdoor and aisle signs for proper labeling of various facility areas.
- Outdoor Warehouse Signs – More durable sign options for outdoor applications, capable of withstanding exposure to weather elements.
Warehouse Management Systems Provide an Organizational Framework
A warehouse that lacks an adequate labeling and management system becomes a maze for workers who waste precious time trying to locate the proper area of the facility to stock products or remove products for shipment. When shelf ends are clearly labeled with aisle warehouse signs, racks identified through color-coded, easily scannable multi-level rack labels, and even floors equipped with durable warehouse floor labels, staff can quickly locate the right areas in seconds instead of hours.
All that valuable time can be spent on more important tasks, such as verifying inventory (another process made simpler by warehouse label solutions) and ensuring the accuracy of orders. Instead of eliminating staff positions, warehouses are able to operate at maximum efficiency, attract more lucrative clients and even conduct more business with the ability to re-organize facility layouts to maximize space utilization.
If you’ve been giving some thought to how to move your facility into the future while still staying within those tight financial constraints most organizations find themselves in today—think about how warehouse management systems using bar code labels can transition your company into the future. It’s possible to retain your workforce—your loyal staff who have provided years of service to your company—while simultaneously advancing your company’s technology infrastructure and boosting the bottom line.