Digitalize your warehouse operations and ride the tech revolution

Small businesses, distributors and retailers are interested in building automation that allows for functions like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics heatmaps, intelligent routing, and robotics. It looks like you are playing catchup. It’s time to make a change.

The time of the foreman walking around the warehouse with a clipboard in hand, cigarette in mouth shouting out orders are long gone. Before you start putting up your hand to say “we don’t allow smoking in the workplace anymore”, let’s talk about the foreman with the clipboard.

This was the warehouse operator’s everyday scene at least a decade ago. It was even considered “romantic” for those who miss it.

Is there anything wrong with this image? It’s the almost-dirty word “manual” if you haven’t already guessed. It may not be four letters but it is a dreaded swear word in today’s warehouse and fulfilment world. Customers complain about missing items, clients go elsewhere, or worse, the swear word can be used to describe your facility.

Coming back to the (less romantic) reality of today, we are seeing many retailers and brands equipping themselves with artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and the like. Science fiction? No, nightmare for those not moving in the same direction.

My friends in the warehousing industry and fulfilment business are talking about automation. We don’t mean the drinks vending machines.

If you’re not automated, this is the time to consider it seriously. You should catch up fast, just like your customers, such as distributors, retailers, and brands, who are moving up in the technology chain.

Customer portal

First, let’s look at keeping your customers updated; in real-time, anytime. This means setting up what is called a customer portal. They will pay a lot to have your space, and they look forward to receiving the next shipment when they arrive. As organizations running a living, breathing business, they need to know how much inventory they have and where it’s stored. So, knowing all this with accuracy and in real-time is crucial. It is crucial to be accurate and fast with consumer trends constantly changing.

Mobile barcode scanning

Using an electronic device that registers a whole range of data by merely scanning the SKU is infinitely useful. It is immediately stored in the system, unlike old-school paper recording where errors by the person recording it and losing the sheets of paper is a real thing. Imagine being able to pull out data on demand or sharing it with customers instantly – the machine helps you do that.

Billing automation

Have you ever heard someone say, “Have you billed company X?” A bill not made is not charging for services rendered. Time cost added to not receiving payment equals to losing money. When billing is automated, the machine never forgets and it even sends reminders if payments are not received.

Be prepared for a flood of orders

Your customers are swiftly moving into omnichannel or multi-channel distribution. When business is good, a rise in order processing will have stretched your limited resources. Orders that rise by more than two hundred percent will cause chaos.

Prepare for the huge volumes, inventory allocation by letting WMS help you. WMS will help you to smile from ear to ear as the money comes in, rather than trying desperately to keep up.

Like the Dutch building levees in anticipation of the big floods, you too should get digital help to prevent being drowned by the “big event”.

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