Deployed at scale, using RFID technology in warehouse operations could deliver $100 (£73) billion to $160 (£117) billion in cost savings. Additionally, revenues of between $60 (£44) billion to $100 (£73) billion.
Whether it’s the distribution of essential PPE or the delivery of construction materials, logistic operations have proven to be a key part of saving the UK from further economic crisis to all sectors.
Because of this, it is extremely important now than ever before to have an efficient warehouse management system in place to reduce the risk of any errors which may occur.
Every warehouse operation can face mistakes and challenges, which can negatively affect the efficiency and productivity of a business operation. According to an article from February 2020 by McKinsey, “companies worldwide spend an estimated $350 billion a year on warehousing and that number rises each year…raising pressure on not just margins but also on service levels.”
In order to improve the overall efficiency of a warehouse to minimise risk, we have identified the three most common problems a warehouse faces that can be solved through Warehouse Management Systems and RFID.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology which uses radio waves to communicate between a tag and a reading device.
We see RFID being used every day, from using it to deter theft on high-level products in supermarkets to enabling a pallet load of items in warehouses to be checked simultaneously.
Using RFID technology is commonly chosen over another process such as barcode scanning due to: the tags being able to be read remotely, often at a long distance. Furthermore, several tags can be read at once and tags can be given unique identification codes, so that individual products can be tracked. Certain types of tag can also be overwritten, enabling information about items to be updated, for example when they are moved from one part of a warehouse to another.
Accidental redundancy is when an action is performed more than once which therefore increases labour costs and time.
An example of this could be if more than one person has gathered the parts together to fulfil an order. This means the package is more at risk to be wrong, as it may contain too many products than what was ordered.
As a business, it is crucial to reduce the risk of redundancy, labour costs and time.
How we can solve the problem – By creating a modern warehouse execution system that will automate processes.
With RFID technology, the products will be automatically read by a fixed position reader when they are going from one section to another, this means you can track each order and will be notified of any duplicate products added to the order before it’s too late.
If a business hasn’t maintained accurate records of their inventory, it can lead to a variety of issues.
For instance, you could accept an incoming order assuming you have enough stock ready to ship, this is only to later find out that due to the records not being updated, there isn’t any stock.
This then causes the hassle to both you as a business and your customer, as the overall order time will increase significantly.
How we can solve the problem – In order to minimise the risk of this human error, it would be beneficial to introduce an inventory management system in real-time. Graduating your software to a management app or system which has an automated process, leaves less risk of human error.
Both barcode scanning and RFID can be used for inventory management, however, many prefer RFID due to barcodes only being able to store a very small amount of data and you have to be very close to each product one by one to scan. Using barcodes is a much more time-consuming process as its manual, whereas RFID is automated.
One of the top priority processes of your business is your order management. This is the process from accepting your order, all the way to shipping the correct products to your customer and actioning after-sales procedures such as refunds and exchanges.
Any error made during this process can be very costly to a business and potentially could potentially fold the entire process. This could mean having to restart the order all over again, evidently, this is a huge inconvenience to both your business and customers as the order will arrive later than expected.
How we can solve the problem – To help manage your overall order fulfilment processes, it may be beneficial to invest in an order management system. This will take care of the entire process.
Using an RFID fixed-position reader, your inventory is automatically updated on the system when an item passes through each step of the fulfilment process, this means you, your employees, your customers and 3rd party logistics can accurately check the status of all your orders’ stages.
Finally, it will surface and forecast stock levels in order to avoid out of stock items.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can improve your warehouse efficiency by introducing an advanced Warehouse Management Software, don’t hesitate to contact us.