Over the past thirty years, the world of warehousing and distribution has evolved to rely on nothing less than accurate, precise inventory information. Implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) that utilizes barcodes and RF mobile devices to capture the information that the WMS controls is the best solution. The software and hardware are equally important to manage information – “you can’t have one without the other.” Typically, the software selection occurs first with the hardware selection close behind.

If you are at the beginning of your journey to explore the opportunities that exist with WMS, be prepared to spend some time educating yourself about WMS software and hardware - the mobile computing devices. Genuine WMS systems are designed to support all distribution activities; from receiving through shipping and beyond to provide the details of what is happening in the warehouse in real time. Information is a valuable commodity that can be taken for granted and overlooked. As Gordon Gekko from the movie Wall Street stated: “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” Making decisions with accessible, accurate, and precise information results in efficiency and growth. Employees are more productive, warehouse space is better utilized, and customers are happier when you can provide better service and detailed information.

Supporting all distribution activities with WMS includes things like Managing Multiple Warehouses, ASNs, Dynamic Slotting, ABC velocity, FIFO, Cycle Counts, Wave Picking, Shuttle Transfers, Work Order Processing, Kitting, and the list goes on. For more information refer to http://thinkinterlink.com/2016-03-24-19-28-12/warehousing-management.html.

Interlink’s Warehouse-LINK® WMS is a business system designed to support all distribution industries and activities. Capturing the information for the WMS is achieved by using mobile computer devices: handheld computers, wearable computers, and vehicle-mounted computers. Warehouse environment, temperature, and ruggedness are a few of the first things to consider with hardware selection. Spec sheets are available for all devices which include information such as best use of the device, ruggedness, battery life, weight of the device, keyboard, wireless communication requirements and accessories that are available. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer published an article that might be helpful: http://ruggedpcreview.com/2_handhelds.html. The experienced professionals at Interlink can help with determining and recommending the best device for the job.

In the past few years, there have been many acquisitions in the mobile computing sector which may make identifying the major vendors a little confusing. The major vendors are Zebra Technologies (who acquired Symbol and Motorola’s Mobility Enterprise Business, which acquired Psion), Honeywell (who acquired LXE and Intermec), Datalogic, Glacier, and Denso. Warehouse-LINK® is device neutral and Interlink provides a turn-key solution so that as a customer, you do not have to add “oversee hardware purchase and installation” on your to-do list.

The article “Hardware that Helps Facilitate Hard Work” published in the March 2016 edition of Supply & Demand Chain Executive provides information about Honeywell devices and benefits of automated data capture. https://issuu.com/supplydemandchainfoodlogistics/docs/sdc0316?e=16809490/34220485. The Chicago Tribune printed an article about boosting worker productivity using Zebra devices: http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-zebra-touchscreen-tc8000-bsi-20160106-story.html

There is plenty of information available to help discover the right solution for your company. To learn more about Interlink Technologies and Warehouse-LINK® WMS, visit Interlink at www.thinkinterlink.com, call 800-655-5465 or sign up for a confidential webinar http://thinkinterlink.com/warehouse-management-system-educational-webinar.html.

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