How ERP Software Creates an Atmosphere of Trust in a Warehouse

Dustin Caudell
Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Warehouse automation enables manager to trust the data they receive.

Warehouse employees have a lot of responsibility. Inventory storage and product distribution are key factors to the success of a manufacturer or retailer. The workers in charge of receiving supplies, shipping goods and tracking inventory must provide accurate information and be held accountable for valuable resources.

Managers need to ensure warehouse workers are performing their duties without discrepancies or fraudulent activities. At the same time, employees who feel overly monitored and untrusted are discontent and seek other opportunities.

Performing Tasks Without Mistakes
Distribution flow is an important data stream. Customers often inquire about the progress of their purchase shipments and materials must be ordered based on inventory needs.

Mistakes made in the warehouse will cost a company time, money and customers. If errors in warehouse processing are not caught they could cause immediate detriments or affect future procedures. The Supply House Times stated mistakes made in receiving may go unnoticed until merchandise is picked for shipment or delivered to the customer.

Supervisors breathing down necks can provide oversight but it creates a tense environment. Having multiple physical bodies working on a single task costs the company money and wasted labor hours.

Accurate Time Reporting
Employees want to receive a fair paycheck for their efforts. Companies who have employees clock their own hours don't always trust the data provided by self-reported time cards.

A worker may overreport his or her hours if there is not enough company oversight. CIO magazine suggested there are reasons for inaccurate time reporting besides dishonesty. Warehouse employees who wait until the end of the week to log schedules may not remember exactly how long each task took. Some workers feel the need to round their time down to meet company standards.

Mobile data collection solutions give workers the ability to clock their own hours and submit them directly to supervisors. Information submitted can be instantly checked and approved. The timecard technology is simple and can be utilized on the employee's personal device.

ERP software facilitates flexibility. Companies can abandon a strict 40-hour work week and let employees report accurate time information as soon as a task is completed. Manufacturers can then bill clients accurately for order completion and project future schedules based on data generated by past projects. Accurate reporting means employees are always receiving compensation for their time.

Preventing Employee Theft
An unfortunate reality of business is that employees steal. A company can conduct thorough background checks and vetting during hiring, but when working with valuable inventory, theft is always going to be a problem.

However, employees don't want to be treated like criminals. Most warehouse workers expect some form of merchandise monitoring but they want to be treated as part of the team, not a potential liability. CNN reported lack of teamwork is one of the primary reasons people leave companies.

Software tools can provide the warehouse visibility to foster an atmosphere of trust and accountability. ERP technology makes data reporting simple and it can be implemented as part of a warehouse's daily routine.

Allied Inventory recommended making inventory counting part of a warehouse's daily routine to avoid theft. Making constant, cyclic counts of products and supplies means missing resources don't go unnoticed.

Software tools and data capture devices make routine audits simple. Making inventory counts part of the daily routine means employees are responsible for the tracking of merchandise. If there is a problem with the count, they know it will be discovered quickly.

Stolen merchandise is given a data trail. A full history narrows down which workers could be responsible and eliminates others from needless accusations.

Data Tools
Removing paper procedures from a warehouse decreases errors and makes employees' lives easier. Constantly writing down information could lead to mistakes caused by misreading, bad handwriting, damage to forms or missing documentation. Devices that capture data to a single source eliminate needless steps.

According to the RFgen white paper titled "8 Signs You Need an Automated Data Collection Solution," data capture tools like barcode systems; RFID and voice drastically increases the performance of inventory management. The white paper detailed how a company warehouse implemented a voice-control solution and achieved an accuracy rate of 99 percent.

Every member of the company who is utilizing the technology can be on the lookout for discrepancies in the information streaming from the warehouse without making physical visits. If a mistake is detected, the processes can be backtracked.

Empowering Employees with Automation
Removing paper procedures from a warehouse decreases errors and makes employees' lives easier. Constantly writing down information could lead to mistakes caused by misreading, bad handwriting, damage to forms or missing documentation. Devices that capture data to a single source eliminate needless steps.

According to the RFgen white paper titled "8 Signs You Need an Automated Data Collection Solution," data capture tools like barcode scanners, mobile computers and voice-directed technology drastically increases the performance of inventory management. The white paper detailed how a company warehouse implemented a voice-control solution and achieved an accuracy rate of 99 percent.

Every member of the company who is utilizing the technology can be on the lookout for discrepancies in the information streaming from the warehouse without making physical visits. If a mistake is detected, the processes can be backtracked.

READ MORE: Learn how to go from paper to barcode scanner to tablet with mobile  apps >>

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