Efficient order fulfillment is the centerpiece of successful warehousing. Consequently, it’s no surprise that the e-commerce boom has presented great challenges and opportunities for small and medium businesses. Acceptable delivery timeframes have drastically shortened while the demand for order accuracy has only increased. Studies show that as much as 85% of small businesses are discovered through word-of-mouth, which means that when customers have a negative order fulfillment experience, they are less likely to return or recommend brands to potential customers, thus impacting growing businesses. To prevent this from happening, small and medium warehouses have turned to scalable digitization to accomplish the following goals:
- Eliminate manual data entry – Paper-based reporting and data capture can leave room for errors which can result in improper storage, longer pick paths, delayed shipments, and mis-shipments. By replacing error-prone data entry systems, smaller operations can empower their teams to increase accurate throughput to meet tighter timeframes.
- Share inventory data in real-time – Changes are bound to happen at any point of the supply chain. Real-time inventory visibility shared across all crucial teams can help the warehouse prevent shortages, overstocking, and bottlenecks, ultimately protecting the customer experience as products are able to move smoothly from door to dock.
- Quickly verify orders at the loading dock – Lengthy verification procedures can delay shipments, but rapid manual order checking can miss details. Newer order verification systems leveraging future-forward technologies like Zebra’s RFID can help accelerate verification by checking order composition with one trigger pull.
- Connect with teams outside the warehouse – From the production floor to the last mile, your products pass through many hands before reaching the customer. To facilitate real-time order tracking, Supply Chain Services recommends unifying teams through user-friendly communication channels. Systems like Zebra’s Workforce Connect transform mobile computers into communication devices to connect field and warehouse teams without additional devices or cellular services.
- Facilitate employee onboarding – Lastly, to combat high labor turnover rates, warehouses of all sizes and leading technology manufacturers have chosen Android’s intuitive OS to simplify onboarding since it provides a familiar platform that employees recognize from their consumer-grade smartphones. Another way to simplify onboarding involves deploying hands-free technologies that leverage natural human movement. Devices like Zebra wearable computers best exemplify this by streamlining operability through regular wrist and hand movements for faster data capture and seamless digitization.
Every business is unique, which is why Supply Chain Services specializes in customized optimization strategies. To see how any of these initiatives can enhance your operations, contact our teams for a free consultation into exploring your options.