Smartphone-Based Inventory Management: Streamlining Business Operations

November 30, 2023

Smartphone-Based Inventory Management: Streamlining Operations

Do you know that having access to one-day delivery would make 69% of consumers more likely to buy products online? Moreover, about 80% of customers are willing to pay extra for same-day delivery services. However, 77% of warehouses require assistance in achieving their same-day shipping objectives. Enhancing supply chain speed, accuracy, and efficiency is a top priority, and 80% of decision-makers acknowledge that labour optimisation is key to achieving these objectives.

By implementing a smart warehouse management system, you can maximise operational efficiency, meet dynamic customer expectations, and stay competitive. You can have smartphone-based inventory management at your disposal.

Key Takeaways on Smartphone-based Inventory Management

  • Emerging Need for Rapid Delivery: With 69% of consumers favouring one-day delivery and 80% willing to pay extra for same-day services, businesses face growing pressure to expedite their supply chain processes.
  • Labour Optimisation as a Key Factor: 80% of decision-makers in the supply chain industry recognise labour optimisation as crucial for enhancing speed, accuracy, and efficiency in warehouse operations.
  • Smartphone-Based Inventory Management Benefits: These systems offer real-time data access, operational efficiency through automated data entry, and scalability to suit business growth.
  • Essential Mobile Tools for Warehouses: Automated picking tools like voice-automated and robotic order picking, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), RFID technology for efficient stock management, and integration with ERP software for seamless information flow are vital.
  • The Role of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS): A robust WMS is foundational for implementing smart warehouse technologies, automating stock rotation, and optimising inventory management.
  • RFID Technology for Efficient Stock Management: RFID uses radio waves for efficient stock arrangement and management, enhancing speed and accuracy in inventory tracking.
  • ERP and WMS Integration: Integrating ERP with WMS ensures a seamless flow of information, where ERP handles broader activities and WMS focuses on specific warehouse operations like receiving and shipping products.
  • Complementing Traditional Tools with Smartphone Apps: While traditional tools remain important, integrating them with smartphone-based apps can significantly enhance inventory management efficiency and adaptability.
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Benefits of Inventory Management Based on Smartphone Apps

While smartphone apps can offer several benefits, they also require resources to operate. For any phone app to work stably, the smartphone must have enough memory and RAM. You can clear memory using Cleaner, here is the link to the App Store. You need to run a search and select unnecessary files from those that it finds. To free up RAM, just close background processes.

1. Real-Time Data

You gain real-time visibility into warehouse operations. You can actively monitor inventory levels, track goods in transit, and instantly identify slow-moving items. This real-time data helps you maintain optimal inventory levels, preventing overstocking or understocking situations.

2. Operational Efficiency

They eliminate the need for manual data entry, saving you time and reducing the likelihood of errors. You can use these apps to scan barcodes, update inventory records, and even generate reports, all from your mobile device. This not only speeds up the process but also allows for more accurate inventory tracking.

3. Scalable

As your business grows, you can easily upgrade your app to handle more data and users. This flexibility makes mobile inventory management apps a sustainable solution for businesses of all sizes.

Mobile Tools to Improve Warehouse Business Operations

1. Automated Picking Tools

You can enhance your picking processes by utilising various tools, such as voice-automated order picking, robotic order picking, and pick-to-light. Automated picking tools are renowned for their ability to reduce picking time. For instance, pick-to-light solutions aid workers in locating goods swiftly. First, you scan the barcode attached to the transport box. Then, the system illuminates the path, guiding you to the specified storage location. Once you retrieve the required products and load them into the container, simply press the confirm picking button.

Another example of smart warehouse technology is voice-picking. These tools direct warehouse operators to the designated areas and provide them with picking tasks. Each manager carries a headset with a microphone, a mobile device, and, in some cases, a barcode scanner.

2. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) are systems controlled by software that automatically place and retrieve stock within your warehouse with accuracy and speed. These systems increase your throughput, minimise waste, and can be used for various warehouse activities like knitting, order picking, storage, assembly, and production.

For example, Unit Load AS/RS Systems are machines that are 100 feet tall and store and retrieve large loads weighing over a thousand pounds. Vertical lift modules consist of a column of trays with an automatic insert or extractor to retrieve items stacked vertically.

3. RFID Technology

Why should you use RFID for stock management? RFID helps you arrange and manage stocks efficiently. It uses radio waves to transmit data between digital tags and an automated scanning system, recording the information of goods. The process is fast and accurate as tags can be read at a distance, eliminating the need to bring scanners to the packages.

4. ERP

To obtain a smart warehouse management system that is focused on warehouses and flexible, you need to integrate it with your own Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. When talking about integrating ERP and WMS, it's important to note that they operate on different platforms and have different functions. However, both systems work together to ensure a seamless flow of information.

Therefore, ERP surpasses WMS in these types of activities. However, when it comes to tasks like product receiving and order shipping, WMS plays a leading role by informing ERP and updating stock data. Hence, WMS is not an ERP module but rather software designed specifically for warehouse operations.

5. WMS

Smartphone Inventory Management

You need a reliable warehouse management system (WMS) as the foundation for implementing your innovative technology. The WMS optimises daily operations in your warehouse, providing a centralised location for managing tasks such as receiving goods, organising inventory, selecting picking routes, and more. Smart WMS solutions automate stock rotation, picking processes, and efficient positioning of goods in receiving, assembly, packing, and dispatch areas. Furthermore, these solutions collect real-time data, generate custom reports, and enable dynamic data analysis.

Conclusion

A smartphone is a compact computer that can manage inventory with you. There are enough applications that control the receipt of goods, systematise data and allow you to plan deliveries. Does this mean you should give up other kinds of tools? No, but it would be smart to complement your existing software with mobile apps.

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