Mobile Solutions For Warehousing

Kirk Tanner shows how plugging wireless solutions into a business' warehouse management system makes a lot of sense.

Welcome to Whiteboard Wednesday. I’m Kirk Tanner, Chief Marketing Officer at Fishbowl. Today we’re gonna talk about mobile solutions relative to businesses that are involved in inventory management, specifically wholesale distribution and manufacturing.

When we talk about mobile solutions, we’re not talking about a cellphone. We’re actually talking about these handheld devices that are used in warehouses and anyplace where inventory might be.

What we’ve got here is these different processes or steps. There are some missing puzzle pieces here at the receive, the picking, the packing, and the shipping. And we’ve got a couple optional puzzle pieces that you can plug in here.

A lot of companies are plugging in this manual process where everything is done manually, where you are recording things on a piece of paper, you might then go and enter it into a computer, but then when you need to find it it’s a manual process to go search for it, regardless of where you store it. Some people are using whiteboards and spreadsheets and I’ve seen even yellow notes and Post-It Notes and things like that.

But the process here can actually be a much more efficient and faster process if you choose to use one of these handheld devices. It’s basically a handheld computer that allows you to tie wirelessly to your system that’s tracking all your inventory, which then means all of your UPC codes on things that are being received now have a live connection with your system.

So if you plug this in in each one of these, every time you do a receive, a pick, a pack, or a ship that live connection is updating all of your information in your system and you benefit, then, from being able to cross reference codes, having some real-time counting, and then all of these changes and things that you’re doing through this process are all reflected in your accounting system.

Now, one final word on this manual process: You can do it in a manual process and yes, it will space out this over more time and make it a little more complicated. You can do it. The problem here is anytime you’re recording something manually and then going to a computer and entering it in, you increase the chance of human error and mistakes. Oftentimes that results in inventory not being sold because you think you’re out when you actually have it and other problems.

So mobile solutions, or these handheld devices, are a great way to take your business, speed up your processes, have greater efficiency and more profitability down the road.

So that’s Whiteboard Wednesday. Thanks for joining us. Come back next week.

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