- Pandemic-related disruptions and delays have put a new spotlight on the global supply chain.
- Digitization and automation initiatives increase efficiency for the warehouse, shop floor and the entire supply chain.
- Automating data collection through barcode software, mobile apps and mobile barcoding can drive urgently needed efficiency increases.
The unprecedented impacts of the pandemic have placed a harsh spotlight on the supply chain. With disruptions of key supplies and cross-industry shipping delays, consumers and businesses are suddenly critically aware of the supply chain’s essential role in our everyday life.
While these areas have importantly gained greater visibility, the current strain is also greater than ever before, creating an urgent need for efficient processes.
By replacing outdated manual processes with automated data collection, mobile barcoding and mobile barcode apps, you can create mobile data collection efficiency in your warehouse, on the shop floor and throughout the entire supply chain.
When Finding Inventory Becomes an Efficiency Problem
The Amazon Effect has caused all end users to expect fast delivery, accurate order fulfillment and complete transparency and oversight over the entire process. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the need for digital automation.
If you’re using manual data collection processes to track inventory, you’re not getting the kind of granular oversight needed for today’s modern requirements—nor can you do so efficiently.
Inaccuracy is Inefficient
Each time you record inventory movements on paper tickets and by typing transactions into your computer spreadsheets, you create a chance for miscommunication and transcription errors. Plus, there will always be an embedded lag time between when a transaction takes place and when it is recorded in your ERP. This means your workers can’t trust if inventory levels are actually correct. They also can’t verify orders prior to fulfillment and shipping.
Also Read: Why Accuracy Matters More Than Ever »
Inefficiency of Insufficient Labor
Manual processes also aren’t scalable. Meeting increased demand means increasing labor. However, this also simultaneously increases the chance for error. And with today’s skilled labor shortages, finding and retaining the talent you need may be a challenge enough.
Read More: Other Reasons Why Outdated Manual Processes are so Inefficient »
No Efficient Social Distancing
By now, you’ve also had to make considerable adjustments to your workflows to meet COVID-19 challenges. Hand-to-hand paper transfer and typing into a computer workstation – all parts of manual data collection – may lead to higher virus transfer.
With these methods, workers also can’t effectively maintain social distancing. Essential workers want to know you’re doing all you can to keep them safe during this uncertain time. Manual data collection can’t provide this peace of mind.
Related: Adjusting to the Supply Chain’s New Normal »
Enhancing Inventory Efficiency with Barcode Software
To drive greater inventory efficiency, companies are turning to warehouse automation technology like mobile barcoding.
Just by making this one change, companies are realizing a 25% or greater increase in efficiency.
Mobile barcoding includes a combination of barcodes, barcode scanners and mobile devices, and industry-best mobile apps for supply chain transactions. Together, they equip workers to transact against your ERP in real time, wherever they work.
Not only does this eliminate the lag time between a transaction occurring and it being recorded in your ERP, it also helps reduce errors while boosting worker efficiency and productivity – without any additional labor added. In fact, the smaller workforces of today’s pandemic era can accomplish as much, if not more, than the larger workforce of yesterday.
Mobile data collection also drives efficiency by facilitating:
- 365/24/7 inventory and asset visibility
- 99.9% data accuracy or more
- 25%+ greater efficiency
- 30%+ increase in productivity
- Real-time information
- 80% faster trainer time
- Sustainable social distancing
Read More: Key Benefits of Using Mobile Barcoding in Your Warehouse »
IT Company Modernizes Their Supply Chain with Mobile Barcode Data Collection
Even prior to the pandemic, modern supply chain companies have found success using mobile barcoding and automated data collection to increase warehouse data collection efficiency.
A Maryland-based IT company was experiencing serious bottlenecks in their materials management process. Using a barcode scanner plugged directly into a computer running their ERP, one worker would have to scan inventory barcodes while the other hit tab on the computer to go to the next field.
Their logistics manager replaced this system with RFgen Mobile Foundations to streamline all shipping, receiving and inventory transactions. This improved productivity and efficiency by 450% in receiving and shipping alone.
Though not all companies can expect this kind of massive increase, they can expect substantial increases in efficiency. A construction equipment manufacturer and distributer, for example, replaced its aging and ineffective inventory tracking system with mobile barcoding. This led to a world-class picking accuracy of 99.8% and improved picking efficiency by 42%.
Read More: How Schwing America Improved Workflows for Increased Efficiency »
Solving global supply chain challenges starts with mobile data collection.
You’ve seen how companies like yours realized these benefits prior to the pandemic. Now, the effects of COVID-19 have only compounded these prior inefficiencies, making the need for warehouse automation technologies like mobile barcoding even more necessary, and urgent.
The successful modern supply chain company cannot thrive using manual processes. Modern barcode software with mobile data collection that incorporates barcode scanning and mobile apps is a must. A cutting-edge mobile barcoding solution can help you drive calculable efficiency increases throughout your facilities.