Lead Forensics

Software named key to warehouse productivity

Warehouse owners struggling to find staff to fill vacancies are considering using robots to replace human workers. There is a case being made for prioritising software over hardware.

A fundamental challenge in an order processing warehouse is how to coordinate multiple systems to get them to work together. These systems include receiving goods, order picking, packing, returns and dispatch. Software is ideal for controlling these systems to maximise order processing times, control inventory and track order deliveries to their destination.

According to a report by Modern Materials Handling, Rueben Scriven of Interact Analysis said:

“Software can add a lot of value by helping operations achieve a better flow of goods.”

There are several ways that warehouse execution systems (WES) help. They can monitor, in real time, all processes and systems and react quickly to problems causing delays. WES can maximise output in any area. Efficient software considers many variables, including the location of an item, whether a shelf or bin location is full or empty, assigns priorities by expiry dates and more. The data gathered informs management decisions, including when to increase the number of picking and packing stations.

The Chief Product and Technical Officer of Kuecker Pulse Integration, Michael Conrath, explained the aim of his company’s software:

“What we want to do is figure out how we can take data from multiple disparate sources and consume and view it in a unified manner that’s useful to our customers.”

To make the warehouse more productive, managers shouldn’t replace heavy duty trolleys and packing stations with robots. Instead, they should invest in software to improve efficiency.

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