By and large, it is always better to have an expanding organization. Opening a new warehouse is a sign of profit and investment, a move that gives confidence to executives and security to employees. Every company wants to be in a position to develop into a new location.
However, growing pains are real in this industry. Maintaining numerous self-sufficient warehouse locations is an expensive challenge. It requires not only the base workers and robotics but at least one team of IT support staff. Multiplying profits is the goal here, not doubling the staff.
Remote warehouse management becomes a vital part of keeping branches operational and profitable at all times. Choosing the right mobile data collection software as well as hardware can have a large impact in how quickly the difficulties of expansion resolve themselves.
Be Prepared for Network Interruptions
For starters, any company that demands a 24/7 constant internet connection is setting themselves up for failure. While connectivity improvements are still happening, it is a reality that parts of the world have less than stellar internet access. When the web goes down, the warehouse cannot afford to grind to a total halt.
Here is where choosing a partner like RFgen has its advantages. RFgen understands the less-than-perfect realities of broadband business. As such, we have designed our solutions to work in a variety of offline and high availability modes. For smaller interruptions, data can be stored directly on the mobile devices and uploaded to the ERP system once Wi-Fi or internet connection is restored.
Download the white paper Solving the Remote Warehouse Dilemma with High Availability Distributed Solutions and learn how a high availability distributed solution can keep core warehouse operations functioning even if connections to remote enterprise systems are down.
In a larger network outage, however, the RFgen server has the capability to store data until connection with the ERP system can be re-established. Our high availability distributed solutions store data collected in the event that network disruption occurs. This will allow the remote warehouse to keep functioning. While online connectivity may not be 24/7, our high availability solution is virtually guaranteed to safeguard important data.
Use Industrial-Grade Equipment When Possible
While Wi-Fi is cheaper, laying wired network equipment is a better way to maintain a stable and consistent network connection. However, not all Ethernet and fiber hardware is ideally suited to an extreme environment.
Industrial-grade network hardware is built to handle factors like temperature shifts, vibrations and shocks. Amplicon also listed versatility as an advantage of industrial-grade equipment. Serial connections can be limited in the variety of data medium possible per cable, whereas an industrial link can transmit voice and video simultaneously.
The bottom line is that choosing inadequate network hardware to support a remote warehouse increases the likelihood of problems arising after installation. Implementing the right equipment right away will reduce costs and boost productivity.
The Importance of Remote Warehouse Management Software
As stated before, software plays a vital role in effective remote management. RFgen's solution has the ability to be tailored to best fit the needs of each client. In addition, it is important to keep real-time data collection happening at each remote location. Without this, the central office would have an imperfect picture of how well operations are being handled. Problems could last hours before being discovered.