Interlink Technologies has joined the 2017-2018 HOT Companies list with Parcel Magazine. What’s HOT at Interlink is web-based technology, mobile computing, e-commerce, reverse logistics, just-in-time processes, compliance labeling and real time information. As a Warehouse Management System (WMS) provider, Interlink’s Warehouse-LINK® plays a vital role in getting small packages out the door quickly and accurately.
Parcel Magazine focuses on small package solutions within the supply chain and logistics process. Interlink appreciates the opportunity to reach out to the Parcel audience to share solutions that specifically concern parcel shipping, such as rising e-commerce demands, shipping efficiently with pick and pack, managing order changes, and reducing returns to due to order error.
Gain visibility to what is happening in the warehouse in real-time. Real-time warehouse functions provides immediate visibility and allows Management to see what occurred, when it occurred, who performed the transaction, and how it affected inventory. Real-time information leads to better decision making for labor requirements, production and manufacturing planning, and inventory management and control.
There is no doubt that warehouse space is expensive and saving money is a powerful driver for utilizing warehouse space more efficiently. Many WMS (Warehouse Management Systems), such as Warehouse-LINK® from Interlink Technologies, include “built-in” efficiencies that make it easy to improve space utilization and gain space that you never knew you had available.
Before you begin to look at where you can save space, you need to know what you have in the warehouse. WMS is specifically designed to let you know what you have and where everything is located. Warehouse-LINK® provides the tools that allow you to gather specific information about the storage requirements for each product that is in inventory. For example, you can gather and retain information on product size (width, height, depth) that will help decide the best location for that product. You might have business rules that require storing certain products in specific areas of the warehouse (such as in a secured location or in a refrigerated/freezer location) or requirements that certain products cannot be stored next to each other
Physical inventory counts in the warehouse are labor-intensive, disruptive, and only accurate for that moment in time when the count occurs. The second that warehouse operations resume, the count is inaccurate and only has historical value. Adding to the agony of physical inventory counting is realizing that it is not just one and done; this process will be repeated 2, 3, 4 and possibly up to 12 times a year! The more time that goes by, the less confidence there is in the count accuracy. One of the main reasons for implementing a WMS (Warehouse Management System) like Warehouse-LINK® is to gain automated cycle count functionality for ongoing, frequent counts performed in real-time. Inventory counts can occur as frequently as needed and even on the fly, without disrupting operations. Automated cycle counting reliably confirms inventory levels by comparing the WMS system count to what is actually on the shelf with the use of mobile computing devices to aid in the count.
Every successful Warehouse Management System (WMS) implementation depends on successful labeling of the warehouse or distribution center. An understanding of labels, automatic data collection devices, facility layout, and operations before taking on the task of labeling will ease the pain of setting up the warehouse with barcodes.
Not all barcode labels are created equal. There is a wide range of variances in the type of barcode used, label adhesive, label durability and scan distance of the label or sign.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) provide warehouse supervisors with benefits that exceed the tangible, obvious benefits. It’s these “silent benefits” that eliminate frustrations which can often be the most valued benefits to workers and supervisors. For example, when the frustration of trying to find a product quickly and easily is resolved, workers are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
A recently published article, “Defining the Role of Warehouse Supervisor” by Ken Ackerman (http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/defining-the-role-of-warehouse-supervisor/distribution-warehousing), talks about frustrations such as high turn-over and lack of standards in the warehouse. Job frustration can certainly lead to high turnover. WMS communicates standards and directives that workers must follow. These standards are created
Warehousing continues to face tough challenges. Work lean, but work faster. Increase efficiency and accuracy. Those are lofty goals.
Meanwhile, the number of SKUs will keep growing at a rapid rate, along with the warehouse space and even the number of locations and employees in your enterprise.
The choice of your technology will enable you to achieve greater success. Reducing waste and increasing efficiency leads to satisfied customers and a better bottom line for your operation. When there’s no room for error, you need to choose wisely.
A warehouse is a tough environment. You can’t expect lightweight technology to perform up to the harsh conditions that are part of the daily routine.
Consumer smartphones, tablets, and mobile computers aren’t designed for commercial use. Yes, they can perform some of the functions, but at what cost?
On average, a consumer smartphone will last about a year in a commercial environment, like a warehouse. A rugged mobile computer, like Zebra’s TC70/75, looks like a smartphone, but will deliver about three years of constant use, including repeated drops on the concrete floor. While the initial purchase price of a consumer-grade smartphone might be less than its rugged counterpart, the replacement comes at a much higher price. When you have to replace the device twice, you’re actually spending more to get a less durable mobile device right from the start.