Today, companies need every advantage they can find to stay competitive. Rising customer expectations force companies to look for innovative ways to improve productivity, especially when dealing with a mobile workforce with dedicated workers. Here are some ways that mobile devices are helping companies like yours stay ahead.

Real-time Visibility

Whether in a bricks and mortar retail shop or order from an online site, customers prefer to know that the item they seek is in stock. In the retail store, equipping floor personnel with mobile devices allows them to check inventory at the warehouse or other locations to find out of stock items to satisfy the customer.

In e-tail, equipping workers with mobile computers and handheld barcode scanners allow them to process inventory transactions in real-time, so on-hand balances are always up to date. This keeps customer satisfaction levels high and expectations realistic.

Increased On-Time Delivery

Whether it’s a B2C or B2B transaction, late deliveries and extended lead times compromise customer satisfaction and cost your company money. When warehouse personnel has mobile computing devices, they can pick orders and process transactions faster and more accurately than with a manual process. Automating the process can literally cut hours out of the order cycle time, resulting in faster delivery and more on-time deliveries.

Improved Order Quality

Many companies use DIFOT (Delivery in Full and On-Time) as a key metric for their distribution and warehousing operations. Barcode automation helps reduce errors by eliminating situations where workers pick incorrect items or the wrong quantity. When they scan an item label, the device provides immediate feedback if it’s the wrong item. The use of hands-free mobile devices like a barcode ring scanner help improve accuracy as items are picked and packed because the scan happens during the operation, and workers have complete hands-free mobility.

Scanning can also speed up shipping palletized orders. Adding a pallet label that links to all the items and quantities on the pallet—a process known as license plating—enables workers to transact an entire pallet worth of goods with a single scan. Even without license plating, using handheld devices provides enough mobility for the worker to scan every item on the pallet quickly and accurately.

For forklift operators, being mobile means a big boost in productivity. If a worker has to continually stop and get off the vehicle in order to scan items on the rack, the process slows down dramatically. A forklift-mounted mobile computer can easily direct workers to the right warehouse locations for picking and then process the transaction using a long-range scanner.

When you speed up your picking and increase your picking accuracy by using scanning devices, your DIFOT and productivity will both improve.

One Visit Repairs and Service

Equipping field service personnel with mobile devices offers a variety of process improvements that lead to increased productivity:

  • Order accuracy improves when manual data entry is eliminated
  • Inventory accuracy improves when tracking becomes automated
  • Delivery times improve when GPS and other features help drivers find their next stop
  • Customer satisfaction improves when delivery of the product is correct and on-time

For field service workers, insight into the problem the customer has can allow the worker to ensure they have the right tools, part and skills to complete a repair during the visit. Mobile devices can also be used to display schematics or repair instructions, ensuring the repair is done correctly. Increasing the number of one-visit repairs and service calls will reduce the cost or service while increasing customer satisfaction.

For more warehouse process improvement ideas and recommendations for a strategy to mobilize work teams, visit our website or contact us today.