Ask any e-commerce business owner what the toughest
warehouse management challenges are and you’ll hear a list of similar
complaints. Many of these challenges are process issues that can be solved
through automation. Barcode scanning software, and other inventory management
automation tools, can resolve these and other issues and make your warehouse
more productive and efficient.
Three Common Warehouse Challenges
Some challenges common to many e-commerce business
Problem 1: Receiving
Merchandise arrives in the receiving area, where it stays
until you can’t move because boxes are piled up so high. Meanwhile, bins are
showing as empty in the warehouse, yet you’ve got product waiting on the
loading dock to be moved into receiving and inventory.
Solution: Staff needs
to be reassigned quickly when shipments arrive. It’s critical to process
materials in the receiving area so that you have plenty of items to ship out
and fulfill orders. Barcode scanners such as the inventory system provided
through topShelf can make it much easier to scan orders into your warehouse
management system. Then the items can be moved quickly from receiving into
inventory, where they can be used to fulfill customer orders.
Problem 2: Picking
Takes Too Long
Your pickers are slow, and the backlog of orders is starting
to worry you. Staff insists they’re working as quickly as they can.
solution lies in organizing your warehouse differently. Over time, warehouses
tend to become messier as new products arrive and aren’t shelves logically.
This acts like dominoes, making other areas of the warehouse messier until
pickers can’t find what they need quickly and easily. Take time at the end of
the quarter to inspect your warehouse and make sure that it’s set up logically
for your pickers. Ask for their input. Arrange items so that the most popular
items, and the ones most frequently picked, are nearest the packing station.
These little changes can streamline warehouse operations and speed fulfillment.
Problem 3: Misplaced Barcode Scanners
Someone keeps misplacing the barcode scanners. You’re down
to two when you know you had six last week. Productivity suffers.
topShelf from Scout Software uses smartphones or tablets as barcode scanners.
They’re harder to misplace – just call the smartphone if you set it down and
forgot it and listen to the ring tone! If you do need to replace them, you’re
not locked into one particular vendor for replacements. You can shop around for
the best price.
topShelf from Scout Software for Better Inventory
topShelf from Scout Software offers mobile inventory
management for your e-commerce business. topShelf is compatible with many
popular e-commerce platforms including Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify and others,
and it’s easy to install and use. For more information, visit our online library or call Scout
Software at 651.964.3259.