What is the Best Mobile Device for Warehouse Inventory Management?
What is a Warehouse Management System?
Within Wikipedia, a warehouse management system (WMS) is described as, “a key part of the supply chain and primarily aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and process the associated transactions, including shipping, receiving, putaway and picking. The systems also direct and optimize stock putaway based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. A WMS monitors the progress of products through the warehouse. It involves the physical warehouse infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations.
More precisely, warehouse management involves the receipt, storage and movement of goods, (normally finished goods), to intermediate storage locations or to a final customer. In the multi-echelon model for distribution, there may be multiple levels of warehouses. This includes a central warehouse, a regional warehouses (serviced by the central warehouse) and potentially retail warehouses (serviced by the regional warehouses).
Warehouse management systems often utilize automatic identification and data capture technology, such as bar code scanners, mobile computers, wireless LANs and potentially radio-frequency identification (RFID) to efficiently monitor the flow of products. Once data has been collected, there is either a batch synchronization with, or a real-time wireless transmission to a central database. The database can then provide useful reports about the status of goods in the warehouse.
Warehouse design and process design within the warehouse (e.g. wave picking) is also part of warehouse management. Warehouse management is an aspect of logistics and supply chain management.”
What are the Benefits of Using Mobile Devices and Related Software Solutions for Inventory Management?
As many logistics directors know, there are numerous benefits of using a mobile solution for warehouse inventory management. When mobile solutions are utilized in conjunction with bar code scanners, inventory data can be more accurately captured and manual workflows can be automated. As a direct result of decreasing inefficiencies by improving data accuracy and streamlining workflow processes you can increase profits. By improving overall warehouse workforce efficiency and automating inventory management workflows you can quickly reduce costs.
In the technologically advanced marketplace, there are numerous bar code readers available. Selecting the right bar code reader from such a wide variety of options (mobile computers and hand-held scanners to tablets and smartphones) which may also need to be adapted with add-ons and peripherals, can be overwhelming. With so many choices available to a small and midsize company, it can be difficult to determine the best mobile warehouse inventory solution.
Are you Currently Running an Inventory Management Software System?
If you plan to have your inventory management system seamlessly integrate with a new warehouse management solution, ask your inventory management software consultant if they have any recommendations for barcode readers. Your current inventory management software might be designed for a specific type of bar code system. Many bar code systems can now read 1D and 2D codes and even RFID tags. It is also important to ask if any additional customization will be required for successful integration of your current software system with bar code readers. Simply stated, consulting with your software vendor concerning bar code readers is a wise thing to do.
Mobile Application Integration
In general, the bar code scanners which connect to tablets and smartphones are (typically) considered a better choice than hand-held scanners and mobile computers. Hand-held scanners and mobile computers often require specific integration to work well with the mobile apps (and newer technology) currently available on the market.
Designated Information Technology (IT) Manager
If you do not currently have an IT director on staff, you may want to consider using smartphones and tablets as options for the type of bar code readers you will consider. If you do have an IT department and/or manager, and you opt for using mobile computers or hand-held scanners, that technology often requires hands-on management for bug fixes, patches, and upgrades. Further, for the mobile computers and hand-held scanners to operate well, the client/server-based software should be installed and hosted on a local network.
Security and Control
If you have security concerns, smartphones and tablets may not be the right solutions for you. As mobile computers can be integrated into private networks, they might be the best solution for more control.
Managing Large Volume of Inventory Transactions
If you’d like to scan items quickly, hand-held scanners and mobile computers allow for extremely fast scanning. Also, they typically have a long battery life.
If you store your items in a large warehouse, connecting a bar code scanner with a compatible smartphone or tablet can provide you with a scanning range of up to thirty feet.
Helping Small and Midsize Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution Enterprises Manage Their Warehouse Inventory Better
Based in Tampa, FL, Cornerstone Consulting, Inc. is a business consulting and information technology (IT) company. Not only is Cornerstone an award-winning value added reseller (VAR) of extremely efficient and integrated business (accounting, customer and sales management (CRM), inventory tracking-control-management, warehouse management, materials requirement planning (MRP), light manufacturing, accurate real-time analytical reports, and more) software systems, our highly-skilled team specializes in cutting-edge solutions and tech support for:
- SAP Business One ERP
- Electronic and Mobile Commerce
- Enterprise Mobility
- Bar codes and Scanning
- Business Intelligence (BI)
- Business Analytics
- Databases (SAP HANA)
- Cloud Computing
- Custom Programming
- Web Development
Mobile Warehouse Inventory Tracking, Control and Management Solutions and Technology for Your Growing Small or Midsize Business | Cornerstone Consulting Provides SAP Business One (SAP B1) Software, Tech Support and Related Services
Cornerstone provides software products, tech services and business process outsourcing which support all areas of a small or medium sized business, such as: financial accounting, operations, customer relationship management, sales, inventory control-tracking-management, warehouse management, e-commerce, and more. Cornerstone’s “dream team” of programmers, trainers and consultants specialize in providing our Manufacturing, Wholesale Distribution, Medical Device, Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, and Online Retail clients with optimal business process configuration, integration and automation.
If you’d like your small or medium enterprise (SME) to run better, streamline warehouse inventory management with the use of mobile solutions, out-maneuver competitors, improve interactions with each customer, have better solutions for finding new customers, and transform your business with the latest in technology, you’ve definitely found the right team to collaborate with and make it happen.
SAP B1 Software, Services and Tech Support
For answers to your SAP software sales, support, and service questions, Contact Cornerstone Consulting at 813-321-1300. Looking forward to connecting with you!