The Role of Mobile Technology in Warehouse Operations Management
There are more and more warehouse management systems (WMS) on the market to meet the needs of enterprises to better manage their supply chains. To fully exploit the advantages of WMS, it is generally possible to digitize key supply chain operations and replace manual processes with mobile solutions.
The market size of WMS will continue to expand. Market research firm Grand View Research’s 2021 market analysis predicts that WMS will grow at an annual rate of 15.3% between 2021 and 2028, with healthcare, manufacturing and retail companies expected to drive the growth. These companies try to streamline their operating processes, build new warehouses to meet increased customer demand, change supply chain models, speed up product transportation, and automate processes to increase production and meet growing consumer demand.
The introduction of WMS can improve the visibility of inventory, orders and movement in the entire supply chain, but if the data is still manually entered into WMS, it cannot really improve efficiency and productivity. In addition, existing WMS solutions can also improve efficiency by integrating new technologies.
Every piece of inventory, every order received and every shipment must be accounted for and tracked through warehouse processes. End-to-end real-time data visibility across the entire supply chain is critical for businesses to process and deliver orders on time, every time.
Using manual processes or antiquated technology to complete steps in warehouse processes can lead to problems such as inventory variances, order errors, delivery delays and reduced operational performance. Transforming your supply chain with effective mobile solutions can immediately improve inventory accuracy, reduce handling times and increase productivity.
In addition to the advantages of inventory traceability, the conversion from desktop workstations to mobile device applications can greatly reduce the walking time of operators, and tasks can be automatically retrieved during the movement process, eliminating the need to enter and query information back and forth, further improving productivity.
Mobilize your warehouse
According to the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, only 26% of companies currently use some form of mobile technology in their supply chains, but it is expected that within five years 67% of companies will adopt mobile solutions with strong advantages.
Real-time insights: Whether it’s a tablet, handheld, in-vehicle, or headset, scan barcodes and labels to get product information quickly and easily. The specific processes performed by operators are recorded on mobile devices and updated to the ERP system in real time, realizing accurate and efficient tracking and processing of warehouse items.
It’s not just about the mobilization of a single process, smart mobility solutions can connect all supply chain processes to ensure end-to-end supply chain visibility anytime, anywhere. This real-time insight plays a key role in addressing demands in supply chain management and providing a smooth customer experience.
User interaction: Warehouse operators are already familiar with using mobile applications outside of the work environment, so transitioning to mobile technology is not complicated from an end-user perspective. And many end users welcome the introduction of smart mobility solutions because tasks can be completed faster and easier.
The intuitive user interface of the mobile solution also significantly reduces the onboarding process and training time for employees, and further simplifies the hiring process of temporary workers during periods of peak demand.
On-demand analysis: In warehouse operations, the analysis of data is changing. After the warehouse changes from daily or weekly data analysis to real-time information analysis, it can improve current operations and make correct decisions efficiently.
With anytime, anywhere access to real-time metrics, supply chain management managers can understand why data changes to increase or decrease inventory, redeploy resources and maximize asset utilization to ensure deliveries to customers are always on time and in volume.
Rapid Deployment: While the benefits are obvious, considerations of large-scale business changes, operational disruption and complex process migration, as well as user hesitation, often hinder the implementation of mobile solutions.
There are many options to consider that affect the deployment time, such as whether to use internal resources, whether to cooperate with mobile experts, whether to develop a solution from scratch, whether to use low-code platforms, whether to use off-the-shelf solutions, etc. . Sometimes it’s best to use a combination of these options.
Mike Kay is currently a channel account manager for The Config Team. The company is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in the Siemens Low-Code Solution Provider Program.
Founded in 1994, The Config Team has been solving SAP supply chain problems for some of the world’s largest enterprises for 28 years. They drive process optimization in the end-to-end supply chain by designing and implementing intelligent SAP supply chain solutions, including Siemens’ low-code mobile solutions that digitize everything in warehousing, manufacturing and distribution centers.
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