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Avoiding Large Inventory Blues with Intuitive Tablet-based Picking Solutions

Inventory-control practices throughout the distribution center or e-commerce warehouses are vital to the accuracy of overall inventory, which must be closely monitored. Mobile tablet-based picking solutions give workers the ability to conduct inventory in real-time, eliminating the costly efforts and errors of periodic manual counts. Eliminating time-consuming paper and data-entry processes is not an option; it’s a requirement to avoid the post-holiday inventory blues.

Customers want what they want, in colors, sizes, and flavors; the result is SKU proliferation where an online retailer now has tens of thousands of permutations to satisfy customer demand. The challenge with a big catalog is the picking speed goes down.

SKU proliferation skeptics suggest that it is costly to manage product variety. Forecasts are less accurate, more administration is required, and warehouse management becomes more complex. SKU proliferation can compromise operational performance. Operational performance using fill rates is measured as the percentage of product orders that are actually fulfilled (as opposed to stocking out of the product).

There is a real cost associated with managing more things and operational performance is one of those costs. Picking speed is a primary metric, and when your catalog is 5x larger, it simply takes longer to find and pick items. Enter the tablet, a recent fulfillment technology that is generating substantially faster picking times. Fill rates no longer have to fall as product variety increases.

Intuitive tablet-based picking solution speeds up the picking process

Order fulfilment – or picking – is one of the most critical processes in a distribution center or warehouse. Several picking systems are available, catering to different turnover rates and product characteristics. All solutions must be efficient, accurate, and paperless.

Picking is by far the most labor-intensive process in the distribution center as well as the most error prone; logically then, this also makes picking ideal for workflow operational improvements. As enterprises adopt multi-channel fulfillment practices, picking operations need the flexibility to ship individual items directly to consumers’ doorstep.

HOJ Innovations is committed to developing applications specifically for the warehouse and distribution center. WarehouseOS® is one such solution, built around an intuitive tablet-based picking system. The result is improved productivity with hands-free, paperless, fast, and an accurate fulfillment tool.

E-commerce organizations of all sizes must manage, control, and track inventory at any time and from anywhere. Inventory management is more crucial to success and sustainability, as business transactions take place on a global scale and cover multiple locations. Manually entering, tracking, and counting inventory is nearly impossible  in this environment. Relying on a desktop computer inventory management, control, and tracking system is no longer a viable option.

WarehouseOS was designed and developed as the leading inventory management app to make inventory data entry, search, and visualization possible from any location and at any time using tablets. The patented WarehouseOS app brings warehouses into the future. Warehouse management has been around for a long time and many take the position “don’t fix what isn’t broken.” Yet, data shows that firms still using the RF gun to conduct inventory, scan in new items, and pick orders, costs are double what modern solutions can offer.

Sitting on too much unsold holiday inventory ought to provoke action. Inventory control and management is not the glamorous part of a fast-growing exciting e-commerce business, but it may be the most important factor when it comes to maximizing profitability. When sales drop, or predicted SKU sales are inaccurate, the budget gets tight and cost-cutting begins. Cutting employees is usually the first line of attack, but a far less painful and much more beneficial choice is to maintain control of the budget…with inventory.

When considering assets tied up in inventory, consider the costs of inaccurate inventory management. Studies have proven that a tablet-based system is a faster and more accurate inventory management system.