Whether you’re running a large fulfillment warehouse or simply managing back-of-store inventory for a busy retail operation, efficiency and accuracy are everything. But it’s getting harder to fulfill orders and keep the right inventory stocked with an ever-increasing number of SKUs and a shrinking workforce at the same time.
At the end of the day, warehouses have to figure out how to do more with less and without sacrificing speed, efficiency, or fulfillment and inventory accuracy.
Sometimes that can seem like an impossible task, but it gets a lot easier when you step back, take a look at your operations, and look for opportunities to digitize more of your processes, automate more tasks, and modernize your warehouse.
For example, by implementing more efficient mobile devices for scanning and managing inventory, you can increase warehouse worker productivity by 14% and save up to 1 hour per worker per shift. We have clients who are doing this with Zebra’s TC8300 touch mobile computer, which saves time at every step of warehouse processes by allowing workers to scan more barcodes in less time and with less effort, all thanks to a unique scanner and mobile computer design that puts the device screen on top of the scanner handle.
Instead of constantly having to scan items and then title a device to see the result, workers can see their scanning results and verify correct picks and inventory quantities right away. Using the TC8300’s touch screen and customizable on-screen digital keyboards, they can also enter data 40% faster with 60% fewer errors, which further streamlines workflows and inventory processes.
You can take things even further, particularly in busy warehouses with extensive picking activity, by implementing Zebra’s voice-directed and hands-free mobile picking solutions. These systems combine wearable mobile computing and barcode scanning technologies with a headset and software to provide audio and visual cues about the next orders and items to pick, and they guide workers along the most efficient paths to every pick and item.
Since the technologies and the process are hands-free, workers can handle and scan inventory without juggling mobile devices. Also, since they’re guided along the most efficient pathways and the whole process is automated, digitized and mobile, they can pick orders in less time and with better accuracy for every transaction.
This creates significant labor and cost savings for warehouses, and it saves workers miles per day of unnecessary or less efficient walking through the warehouse. It all happens by equipping workers with a lightweight Zebra WT6000 wrist-worn touch mobile computer, a ring-style Zebra RS6000 wearable Bluetooth barcode scanner, a Zebra headset, and a mobile software app that communicates with your warehouse management system and provides all the audio and visual cues for workers to follow.
Even if you’re not ready for a completely wearable system, you can still make major efficiency gains by implementing faster and more efficient touch screen mobile devices in many areas such as receiving and put-away, replenishment, picking, and shipping. One way to do this is with Zebra’s MC9300 ultra-rugged mobile touch computer.
It’s an extremely rugged warehouse device that’s built like a traditional gun-style scanner and mobile computer. But it’s equipped with both a touchscreen and a physical keypad, so you can streamline processes with touch mobile apps and workflows while still having the flexibility of keypad data entry.
The MC9300 is an Android mobile device loaded with enhancements and improved features to enable faster, more accurate, and less labor-intensive warehouse processes. For example, there is ultra-powerful 8-core computer processing on board for lightning-fast performance, especially with up to 8 times the RAM and 16 times the Flash memory of previous-generation devices.
You also get 2×2 MU-MIMO technology for increased Wi-Fi range and speed and near-instant app response times. And Zebra’s PowerPrecision+ battery technology delivers the most power in its class, with power for a full shift and beyond, plus fast charging and a wealth of battery statistics.
The MC9300 also includes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.0 for twice the speed and four times the range of previous-generation Bluetooth connections. And it’s available with multiple scanning engines that can capture virtually any barcode in any condition, from within 3 inches to as far away as 70 feet.
Also, it’s incredibly fast and easy to run your terminal emulation (TE) apps right out of the box, with integrated support for TE apps. No backend modification or user training is required. Zebra’s TE emulation and Mobility DNA tools provide wizards to convert your “green screen” apps into beautiful, touch-enabled mobile apps that are intuitive and easy to use.
Wherever you might be looking to boost automation, digitization and efficiency in your warehouse, devices like these can make a massive impact on your operations, which is something that our clients and our team have consistently seen in our recent implementations.
At a time when labor is scarce but orders and SKUs are increasing and customers aren’t going to wait, every minute and every second counts. So make sure to review your current processes, time how long it’s taking to complete your tasks, measure your accuracy and efficiency, and then take a look at solutions like these to see how you can make major gains and slash the time and labor needed to get more work done.
To learn more about proven ways you can do it, let’s talk about your warehouse and the best solutions to help you boost efficiency. Please call us now at 866-462-1005 or contact us to get started.