6 Revolutionary Ways Automation Improves Warehouse Efficiency and Boosts Revenue Margins
Warehouse management is an essential aspect of making sure your business not only operates smoothly but also generates needed revenue. The more efficiently your warehouse runs, the higher your profit margins become.
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The challenge many warehouse owners and managers encounter is knowing how to take their current operation and streamline the process. The only problem is, they can’t decide if an automation solution such as a Bluetooth-based RTLS, or Real-Time Location System, is something that will benefit their warehouse.
The answer is yes. This system is easy to set up and use and will benefit your warehouse in these six key areas:
1. Improve Your Inventory Knowledge
Knowing precisely what is in your warehouse is a huge factor in long-term success. An RTLS with asset tracking and management capabilities that allows you to use your smartphone, computer, or tablet is one of the best ways to keep an eye on your inventory. This single feature not only ensures that you never run out of something your business needs to function smoothly, but it also allows you to:
- See what assets are frequently used and which simply take up valuable space,
- Decide if you should take advantage of special offers/sales/promotions, and
- Prevent overstocking in your warehouse.
The University of Arkansas conducted a detailed study which showed that it didn’t take long for warehouse businesses to notice an improvement in their inventory knowledge. Data collected during the research program revealed that, once Bluetooth-based RTLS technology was incorporated into the warehouse management solution, knowledge of inventory accuracy increased by 27% in just 13 weeks. Before incorporating the RTLS system, inventory chains experienced inventory inaccuracy rates that reached as high as 65%. Experts believed that solving this discrepancy resulted in a 10% revenue reduction.
Not only does RTLS lead to improved inventory accuracy, but the same solution can be used to help manage equipment, tools, and other supplies. Bluetooth-based RTLS solutions have been extremely beneficial to warehouse managers. This holds true in a broad array of industries that include retail, commercial storage, transportation, agriculture, and imports and exports.
2. Profit from Fewer Lost Assets
It’s surprising how easily and how frequently assets are lost. Most of these assets are lost through a simple mistake. But, in some cases, they’re stolen. In either situation, Bluetooth-based RTLS prevents costly lost asset issues from hurting your warehouse business.
As soon as a tag is affixed to one of your important assets, you gain the ability to track its exact whereabouts. The information appears right on your screen, so you don’t have to pull all your employees away from important tasks to participate in a warehouse-wide search for missing forklifts and toolkits. Being able to fetch the asset yourself saves you a great deal of money.
3. Fence in Your Assets
In warehouse management circles, there are always new stories about how much expensive damage was done when a careless employee drove a forklift into an area the forklift shouldn’t ever be. Our Bluetooth-based RTLS solutions prevents this from happening to you. All you must do is decide which areas equipment and inventory is allowed and set up a geofence. If the asset or inventory breaks through the geofence, you’ll be alerted instantly so you can investigate the situation. This capability has drastically decreased the number of thefts warehouse managers dealt with during the course of an average year.
4. Improve Workforce Efficiency
Workforce efficiency is a major component in successful warehouse management. In most warehouses, the staff is scattered all over the warehouse. In warehouses that don’t use an RTLS system, employees are required to travel to and from their workstations to pick up new assignments. The lack of automation leads to overlapping tasks or tasks getting overlooked, overworked employees, confusion, and an unhappy workforce.
An automated RTLS system allows you and your employees to streamline the entire process. The system will enable you to create easy, well-managed work plans. Also, you can use it to:
- Identify work patterns,
- Assign employees to tasks that best suit their qualifications, talents, and interests, and
- Avoid having too many or too few employees working during a shift.
Not only will you notice improved work efficiency, but the smoother management style also increases employee satisfaction while decreasing costly employee turnover.
5. Enjoy Fewer Security Worries
Security is a constant concern for warehouse owners. Without a reliable RTLS, it’s difficult to know who is and isn’t in the warehouse. The RTLS allows you to stop spending all your energy worrying about potential security threats and focus on other aspects of your business. The way this works is with Bluetooth and LE-enabled card tags. Each card tag is personalized so you can set them up in such a way that only certain people can enter the warehouse or the property. They can even help you restrict access to certain parts of the warehouse.
The LE-enabled card tags are also helpful when you have visitors at the warehouse. Each visitor is assigned a tag which they wear the entire time they’re at the warehouse and return when it’s time for them to leave. This allows for easy monitoring and more comprehensive security.
Also, many warehouse owners have found that they’re able to use the card tags to improve the accuracy of when the employees’ clock in and out.
6. Keep Your Staff Safe
No matter how many safety measures you have in place, there is always the risk of an accident. Warehouses are big, and cell phones don’t always get good reception. If someone is working by themselves when they get hurt, hours might pass before anyone finds them, and their health could be in serious jeopardy. But Bluetooth-enabled Card Tags CT18-3 connected to an automated RTLS system have a built-in panic alarm. If one of your employees is in trouble, the card sends a signal, and you can send help their way. Getting to the injured parties and making sure they get the medical help they need decreases the number of injury-related incidents on your site. Knowing that they’ll be found as soon as they’re in trouble can also improve employee loyalty.
The sooner you download our whitepaper, “Value of Location Based IoT Data in Warehouse Operations” and schedule a demo of Simon Analytics Platform for warehouses, the sooner you’ll realize the value of location data in your warehouse.