07 April 2017
As a hub of sales, returns and supplies, your warehouse is a vital part of your business. Managing it effectively, though, is no easy feat – it likely moves faster than any other part of the organisation, with products and materials moving in and out constantly.
The task is even more daunting for companies that operate nationally and internationally; staying on top of everything from a distance requires immaculate organisation and a lot of hard work.
Or does it?
A wave of innovative new technologies is helping modern business owners and management teams run their warehouses confidently from any location, whether it’s a neighbouring building or a city on the other side of the world.
Control and optimisation
Computers are essential to businesses these days, but not only in the office. Rugged and fully capable handheld computers have been used for decades in warehouse environments across the world, helping pickers, management and business owners keep the closest of eyes on stock levels. The selection of devices and technologies has broadened in recent years to include voice recognition software and hardware, rugged tablet devices, augmented reality, wearables etc. These technologies allow you to know exactly when items arrive at or leave your warehouse, as well as the stock levels that remain. As a result, you have a chance to pre-empt out-of-stocks, ensuring your customers are never disappointed.
The technologies available can give you real insight into how your warehouse is working; that means the physical location of all shelved inventory, as well as the speed at which it’s being picked. With this kind of data, you’re able to optimise processes – whether that’s mapping different picking routes for your staff or rearranging the layout of your warehouse space.
The information generated is available to you wherever you are and in real-time, so you needn’t wait for reports to be generated before making your next crucial business decision.
Cloud-powered warehouse management
With most of today’s warehouse management systems (WMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms linked to the cloud, businesses of all sizes have access to huge computing power with minimal investment. The wave of innovative technologies now impacting the logistics sector fit perfectly with that.
These back-end systems work hand in hand with handheld computing equipment on the ground to provide a wide area capability – you’re free to operate effectively across different locations nationally and internationally, without being held back by your own internal infrastructure or budget.
A wide range of tools
All organisations are different, and so too are their warehouses. This means there’s no one-size-fits all approach to logistics technology, so the key to getting the results you expect lies in finding the perfect solution for your own needs.
Thankfully, the already sizeable market for warehousing computers and software is growing, with some fantastic products available.
Take the TouchStar TS8000 range, for example; these machines – offering either just numeric input or an alpha numeric interface - mix the ruggedness you need in a harsh warehouse environment with high-end specifications to give your team members the helping hand they need to get the job done quickly with no compromises.
For something smaller, and perhaps more familiar, consider the Honeywell Dolphin CT50 – a smartphone-like device that can support either Android or Windows operating systems. It offers anywhere, anytime connectivity to your business-critical applications, as well as robust data capture capabilities for use within the warehouse itself. All of this is offered behind an easy-to-use interface.
Technology to help you grow
It’s never been easier for businesses to grow beyond their original location. At first, it was the internet allowing companies to reach those elsewhere in the world; now, ground-breaking handheld logistics technologies like those offered by TouchStar are making expansion even easier. With total control of your warehouse from literally anywhere, you can continue serving customers with confidence.
If you think this kind of technology could help you and your business, get in touch with us today.