Supply chain managers can no longer be retroactive about meeting inventory and delivery needs. With new technology, warehouses should focus more on directing merchandise to its next location instead of storing it. According to Handy Shipping Guide, just-in-time planning is a necessity for the profit-minded supply chain manager.
Ramping up production or stock in hopes of getting ahead of demand down the line is a serious gamble. The best method is to rely on current customer demand to set production and distribution goals. In the supply chain, a surplus is always costly. However, the ability to set production goals based on real-time demand requires special solutions.
Improving Warehouse Efficiency With Advanced Data Collection
Having a better understanding and ability to collect data about raw materials, shipments, receiving and stock is the only way to meet demand without relying heavily on forecasts built around historical information. Automated and mobile data collection can provide managers with more information in real-time so the enterprise is responding to the current needs of its customers.
Removing manual paper-based data collection should be the first step for any warehouse manager trying to improving efficiency. According to RFgen's white paper, "Eight Signs You Need An Automated Data Collection Solution," these old methods are inherently flawed:
- High Error Rates: With paper-intensive systems, human error is rampant and difficult to mitigate. When workers make mistakes, they trickle down through the entire supply chain, increasing costs and degrading efficiency. It can also take time to realize an error has occurred, compounding the problem if decisions are made off of faulty data.
- Wasted Time: Not only are employees more likely to make a mistake, but they are also doing it while performing a time-consuming and redundant task. With automated data collection, employees can be utilized more effectively.
Solving Multiple Problems With One Solution
Data collection allows fewer employees to complete more work in less time, which translates to lower costs and higher profits. Companies are far more prepared for a sudden increase in demand and better suited for growth. Automated data collection can cut down on training so when demand for employees rises, they can be trained on the difficult tasks of the job sooner. It is also important that these new systems integrate with existing ERP software so the entire company is benefiting from the improved method of data collection.