Why You Should Choose WLAN for Your Warehouses, Part 2 of 3

January 8, 2016

In our last blog Part 1, we spoke about a few of the efficiencies WLAN could bring to your warehouse. Let’s dive into a few more advantages of WLAN.

Inventory Management

All companies must periodically perform the task of inventorying the items that ‘live’ in their warehouses, store shelves, libraries, equipment rooms, etc. Wireless bar code scanners can bring significant time savings and improved accuracy to these endeavors. For example, if you were inventorying hundreds of items in a large department store, using paper and a clipboard would be extremely inaccurate and inefficient.

With such an old-school way of working, the clerk would need to read the stock or part number of each item and mark the presence of this item on his/her clipboard. Can you imagine how many errors he would make? Many companies have realized 200-300 percent time savings when they’ve switched from manual-based paper systems to wireless bar code-based systems to complete their inventory tasks.

Utilizing a wireless network instead, the same clerk could scan the item’s label or bar code to record the number of items present. This way to inventory items is much easier to perform and all but eliminates human error. It also allows for the quick creation of inventory reports to show the number of items and uncover any discrepancies.

Order Fulfillment

Before he ever ships items from the warehouse to the customer, a warehouse clerk must locate and physically collect that item—a process called picking.

Using the power of WLAN for picking enhances both accuracy and efficiency of the operation—benefits which are evident because a wireless handheld data collector can provide the clerk with instructions and lead him to the item’s correct location. It also allows the clerk to account for the physical picking of the item after its bar code is scanned.

Some wireless systems can even automatically generate an optimally ordered pick list based on the clerk’s location in the warehouse. Using this sort of location-based service significantly reduces the route and length of time to pick items.

WiNG 5 Wireless LAN from Zebra Technologies, as provided by Coridian, is your answer to greater efficiencies. Let Coridian help you make the most of your wireless tech and move your business forward. Contact us today.


Think outside the software box

January 21, 2014

Have you ever searched online for that perfect software to solve your data collection problem and found out that it doesn’t come packed up in a fancy boxed solution? We have good news for you, your search may be over. Did you know that Coridian writes custom software applications in house? We listen to your perfect solution and work hard to bring it to life.

Here is a true short story about Coridian bringing Lab A’s solution to life.

Once upon a time there thrived a large research laboratory named Lab A.  Lab A received many specimen samples from labs all over their city to store in their large freezers for medical studies, but when the time came for Lab A’s operators to locate the samples for use, it was difficult and time consuming to find them.

Lab A knew there had to be a better solution and so they began their search to find it.  Being a customer of Coridian, they felt that talking to their sales representative was a good start. They discussed the problem with Coridian and found a simple, yet effective, solution.

The solution was to create a system that would allow the samples to be received and put away into the freezers utilizing barcoded labels and scanners, a Sample Tracking Application.

Using VB.net with an Access back end database, Coridian’s application specialist was able to create a custom program ideally suited to meet Lab A’s requirements. The Sample Tracking Application allows the operators to import the initial spreadsheet of the samples into the system, generate the required labels and then put them away using barcode scanners. This application also allows the operator to perform multiple types of transactions such as Put Away, Check Out, Check In, Move, and Transfer. Each transaction is logged into a History table that can then be used for reporting.

A handheld terminal was also utilized to allow the operators to perform the move transactions at the freezer rather than bringing the sample back to a workstation. This handheld terminal communicates in batch mode to upload lookup tables for verification prior to moving the samples as well as downloading the transactions to the PC application.

Lab A will be running more efficiently and effectively thanks to their new Sample Tracking Application.

What new custom program could you benefit from having in your workplace?


Consumer vs. Rugged Devices

November 15, 2013

Have you ever thought about repurposing your consumer devices for business purposes because they are easy-to-use and often less expensive than their rugged counterparts? It’s smart to consider but many times neglecting to invest in a rugged device can be more costly in the long-term. Before investing in a handheld device, you should consider the following.

Your Environment

Consider where the device will be used and what the device may be exposed to. Will the device have to withstand extreme temperatures, water, dust, chemicals or shock?

Rugged handhelds must pass stringent standard tests and rating systems to verify their durability. The tests are designed to replicate some of the environmental stresses a handheld might encounter during deployment in a warehouse or manufacturing plant.

Consumer devices are created for the non-rugged, office environment and do not meet these certifications.

Features and Integration

There are a few important features and integration capabilities to consider. Consumer-grade devices cannot be updated, but some rugged devices are modular, enabling them to grow with your company’s needs. Rugged devices also offer software and hardware development tools that give you the ability to extend functionality and integrate new devices into your current infrastructure.

Also, many rugged devices offer  an extended battery life that can increase overall employee productivity. And if you’re doing real barcode scanning you need a real barcode scanner, the image recognition technology used in a  smartphone is only going to aggravate and slow users down.

Total Cost of Ownership

When comparing your costs you have to consider the intangible costs as well as the tangible costs. Intangible costs include, lost sales, customer service impact, data loss, employee down time, customer satisfaction impact, employee morale, and time wasted to diagnose issues.  Tangible costs to purchase consumer devices may be less in the beginning, but according to a study by VDC Research, it is not unusual for a consumer device to have to be replaced two or even three times before a rugged device would need to be replaced. On average, the lifespan of a commercial device is between 12 and 18 months compared to 7 plus years for good quality rugged devices.

Conclusion

Today’s device must be rugged enough to work around the clock, regardless of the user, the environment or extreme treatment. With businesses and organizations requiring absolute, real-time visibility to information from the field, true information mobility is jeopardized by any computer downtime. The devices ability to endure the rough and tumble environment should be of principal concern.


Companies find outsourcing can backfire as quality, customer service suffer

November 19, 2010

Here is an informative article on trends in outsourcing from the Milwaukee Journal. Companies find outsourcing can backfire as quality, customer service suffer – JSOnline


Save $700 to $1000 per employee per year with barcode technology

April 14, 2009

Save $700 to $1000 per employee per year with barcode technology According to government data, the average warehouse in America is just over 17,000 square feet. A warehouse of that size would conservatively employ between 50 and 80 workers. For warehouses that rely on manual inventory methods, however, that may mean a yearly productivity loss worth between $42,500 and $68,000 per year. Barcode technology can help eradicate this loss. The use of barcode technology can be traced back to the 1960s when early implementations were used to identify railway cars. Only 10 years later, common UPC barcodes made their commercial debut on grocery shelves. Barcoding offers optical, machine-readable representations of data, and is ideal for any business in need of accurately tracking merchandise. Depending on specific barcode types, or symbologies, data encoded in barcodes range from only numbers, to numbers and letters, to pictures, files, and other binary data. (We’ll blog more on barcoding symbologies soon.) When scanned, this combination of numbers, letters, and other data identifies the specific object and helps a company keep an accurate record of inventory sold and maintained. The bottom line is that barcoding reduces human error and offers drastically increased productivity from manual methods. Even if an employee spends only 10 minutes a day searching for and gathering misplaced items, he or she loses the equivalent of one full work week—or between $700 to $1,000 per year. For as little as $0.005 each, barcodes are an affordable investment in your warehouse’s productivity.


%d bloggers like this: