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5 Ways Mobile Barcode Scanning Can Benefit Your Business
Inventory management has always been a critical operation, but a number of factors have put even more pressure on manufacturers to do a better job of tracking their inventory in real-time. E-commerce initiatives rely on accurate inventory to increase sales and keep customers coming back to the online store. Customers now demand faster, lower-cost shipping that is only possible through more efficient inventory handling. Customers also check inventory online before placing an order or visiting a physical location to purchase an item. If you can’t show them what’s in stock, they will take their business elsewhere.
Companies are opening more warehouses in order to place inventory closer to customers, and those facilities are often larger, creating a need for faster mobile communications. Warehouses have to manage higher numbers of low-volume
Picking and replenishment processes account for as much as 70 percent of operational costs in a typical warehouse, according to a Motorola Solutions warehouse vision report. And they are often rife with inefficiencies.
How ERP Makes a D
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can provide some of the visibility required to address these challenges but without real-time
Implementing a real-time data collection solution that uses barcode labeling, mobile computers
According to Stevens, a higher percentage of clients are now deploying ERP software, barcoding equipment, and solutions like GS Mobile at the same time.
The more education a customer receives about the benefits of mobile barcode scanning and printing, the more likely they are to invest in it.– Brady Stevens, Project Manager, Global Shop Solutions
Most inventory is already barcoded – a recent Zebra Technologies study found that inbound inventory barcoding and the use of barcoding at the pallet or case level has a penetration rate of more than 80 percent. Your competitors are likely already leveraging barcodes in the
How can a mobile barcoding
solution improve your business?
Here are five benefits that will have a direct impact on your bottom line:
1. Inventory optimization: With an accurate view of inventory on hand, companies can avoid over-purchasing, reduce safety stock, re-allocate existing inventory, and identify slow-moving or obsolete inventory that should be discounted or scrapped. This reduces the cost of holding inventory, while also helping avoid the additional cost of unnecessary purchasing. It also frees up cash to invest in product development, hiring, new facilities, and other strategic investments, in addition to clearing space in the warehouse.
2. Eliminate or reduce the need for physical inventory counts: Once they provide the ERP system with real-time data on what goods are moving in and out of a facility, companies can eliminate costly and time-consuming physical inventories that shut down operations and can often lead to further mistakes. Barcode scanning gives you more accurate data, allowing warehouses to conduct periodic cycle counts without disrupting their workflow.
When physical inventories are necessary, barcode scanning makes it much easier. According to Stevens, “One Global Shop Solutions customer was able to reduce the time required for manual inventory counts from two full days to less than half a day.”
3. Better operational visibility: As the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Barcoding solutions can generate accurate data that help you measure your performance against critical metrics and KPIs — fill rates, inventory turns, productivity, picking accuracy, etc. Companies can better evaluate how they are performing relative to customer requirements or service level agreements, improve compliance, and identify and correct operational bottlenecks.
Real-time inventory data also helps companies identify inventory trends as they emerge. If sales of certain SKUs appear to be increasing or decreasing rapidly, companies can order more stock or adjust pricing accordingly. Barcode data also helps measure the effectiveness of promotions and sales, and it can improve the performance of forecasting software.
4. Labor savings: By eliminating manual inventory processes, companies can reduce the labor required for picking, packing, shipping, and other activities. Companies across multiple industries face a shortage of skilled workers. By reducing the amount of non-value-added labor, warehouse operators can help mitigate the effects of that labor shortage and meet increasing demand with additional hiring.
“Companies can typically save a couple of hours a day,” Stevens says, “with four to six workers each saving 15 to 20 minutes. That works out to a savings of $60 per day — or as much as $21,600 per year.”
5. Improved customer satisfaction: By reducing shipping errors, providing accurate inventory availability data, and accelerating cycle times, you can improve service to your customers. Barcode scanning also enables customer-facing improvements like providing real-time order status and tracking capabilities.
Mobile barcode solutions can enhance
Check out the landing page for Global Shop Solutions customers, where you can see several examples of products that are certified to work with your Global Shop Solutions ERP application and you can learn more about the ways EMS can help you optimize your barcode scanning and printer investment and make the best use of the one limited resource we all need to optimize, which is time.
Eric Sutter is a business development professional with more than 20 years of experience in barcoding, building solutions for asset tracking and warehouse management across a wide range of vertical markets. Sutter founded EMS Barcode Solutions on the premise that customers need more than data collection devices and software— they need solutions. By combining and integrating components such as mobile computers, software, labels, and ribbons with professional services, EMS delivers solutions that provide its customers with a tangible return on their investments.