Driving towards efficiency
In warehousing, efficiency is everything. Every second shaved off your processes translates to productivity savings and bottom line gains. The explosion in online shopping has placed ever greater demands on the supply chain, and the drive to do more with less is top of the agenda for warehouse operators. For those who are still using older ‘brick-on-a-stick’ technology, there is a significant opportunity to drive productivity and ROI by switching up to newer devices. Far from simply a ‘nice to have’, today’s advanced warehouse technology is an investment that delivers a significant return.
The costs of legacy
Legacy, Windows-based mobile devices not only expose you to the security risks of an unsupported operating system (o/s), but their slower speeds, shorter battery life and lower memory put the brakes on supply chain operations, no matter how good your staff.
Changing up – the benefits of Android
Moving to enterprise mobility devices, such as Zebra Technologies rugged mobility platform, which run modern Android o/s, opens up a world of productivity gains for the supply chain and delivers impactful ROI.
- Fewer hardware devices – unlike ‘one device, one app’ legacy systems, Modern Android devices can run multiple apps on a single device. So alongside the Warehouse Management System (WMS), your staff can access, for example, email, leave requests, push to talk communication apps (like Zebra’s Workforce Connect), and safety checklists. This convergence of technology, reduces the need for separate devices, s, reducing cost, and reducing the number of devices users need to carry and access
- Productivity – the single device eliminates staff having to go backwards and forwards to check safety procedures or access email. They’re not having to switch between mobility device and radio. They spend more time on the warehouse floor doing their core job, increasing their productivity.
- Health and safety – by digitising, for example, a forklift safety checklist, and making it available on the same device that your operator uses for scanning, it’s more likely to be checked and mishaps avoided.
- Process efficiency – processes such as reporting damaged goods are time consuming with older tech. An Android device with a camera streamlines the process, means your staff can manage the entire process end to end from a single device, saving time and cost.
- Faster training/better operator experience – today’s warehouse workers, especially millennials, use touch screen tech every day. Giving them this familiar interface for their work device makes for faster training and a better operator experience.
- Future ready – warehouse technology is advancing at a rapid pace. But legacy mobility devices, simply can’t take advantage of today and tomorrow’s functionality – including 2D scanning, NFC, wearable devices and voice picking systems. Even if you’re not yet ready to implement these advances today, investing in a Modern Android platform is a sound future-positioning strategy. Your investment will be protected, and you’ll be able to simply and rapidly implement advance tech and gain benefits such as:
- 2D scanning – Enables data capture from any orientation, reducing body movement and the risk of injury.
- NFC – fast and easy ‘tap and pair’ functionality saves time when adding new devices such as mobile printers and accessories.
- Wearable scanners – Enable faster, safer scanning, with fewer, RSI-inducing repetitive movements and allowing for hands free picking functions
- Voice picking drives greater efficiency with staff not having to check written picking lists, and is particularly productive in small case picking and split picking operations.
So, you understand the benefits of stepping up to new warehouse tech, but how do you go about it? What are the next steps to ensure you make the right choices and implement a successful project? Here’s the three essential actions to take:
- Modernise your WMS app – if you’re still using green screen tech, the first step is to migrate your app to a touch interface, ready for Android. This process is made simpler if you use a Terminal Emulation (TE) program such as All Touch TE (ATTE) from Zebra. It will take your legacy apps and convert them to a modern, Android-ready interface.
- Select your devices – Zebra’s range of rugged, enterprise ready devices are certified by Google within the Android Enterprise Recommended program, providing you 100% confidence that your selected devices will drive productivity and lower risk.
- Select your partner – rolling out a mobile device upgrade requires experience and expertise, and you’ll need to have the right partner to help you design, deploy, manage and support your new fleet. Selecting an Android Enterprise Approved partner, such as Skywire, will ensure that your project is in safe hands.
Having the right partner to roll out your mobile device upgrade is essential. Typically, the pain point will be felt most by CIOs and CTOs from and IT perspective who have registered challenges with their warehouse operations.
With more than two decades experience, Skywire has the longevity and the experience to make such a transition as seamless as possible. We currently manage 30,000+ devices for organisations across Australia and New Zealand.
While we are premier partners to major mobility vendors such as Zebra Technologies – with direct access to the sales and engineering resources of those companies – we are staunchly independent and focus on providing the right solution for each unique customer. It doesn’t matter what WMS you use, Skywire has the experience, creativity and expertise to modernise your warehouse to the standards required in today’s competitive environment.