Warehouse management and inventory management are the basic processes for every successful retail brand. The process of organising and managing anything and everything at your warehouse is known as warehouse management.
Today, most of the big retailers make use of automation tools and RFID technology to simplify this process. Inventory management includes the controlling and overseeing of inventories from suppliers and customers. This process also includes maintaining the stocks and controlling the products for sale. Warehouse management also includes the initial stock count and sorting. Now, let’s dive in more about warehouse management, its difficulties, and how RFID technology can improve the efficiency of warehouses.
Challenges in warehouse management
The six basic pillars of warehouse management are accuracy, cost control, efficiency, cleanliness, safety, and security. To fulfil these six principles, the underlying processes of warehouse management become much more complex and tedious. Most retailers and distributors have to face these challenges while managing warehouses. Here, we examine some of the top challenges in warehouse management.
- Time-consuming and redundant process: In warehouse management, employees have to do things all the time in the same format to keep things moving smoothly. In a warehouse, distributors handle the same product several times, and this is the nature of the warehousing. These redundant processes consume more time, and also, the retailers may have more expense. Today, there are different technologies to simplify these time-consuming tasks.
- Expectations of customers: Customers expect or demand more than ever before. They have certain conditions or criteria while ordering products, including shorter shipping duration, the accuracy of the order, and excellent customer service and experience. That is, you have to deliver what your customers demand. Otherwise, it will become a disaster. So if your warehouse management is not accurate, then it will delay the shipping processes, you may have a shortage in inventories, and all this leads to poor customer service.
- Damage of products while handling: Damage of products while handling them may cause a lot of expenses for the dealers. So proper warehouse management is necessary to reduce the damage of products while handling them. An ideal warehouse should not include any overloaded racks or almirahs because it increases the risk of product damage. Also, a warehouse should include column protectors and steel guarding for shelves and racks.
- The volatility of demand for products: Demand fluctuations of products is a great challenge for warehouse management and its retailers. Demand in the industrial sector may frequently rise and fall sharply. This may be in response to changing economic conditions, patterns of spending by the customers, or maybe any environmental factors. Change in any of these factors will determine the quality and quantity of the product that people are willing to buy. This also causes a shift in demand for the product.
How RFID technology helps to manage these challenges?
RFID technology is the most accurate technology among the existing ones to improve warehouse efficiency. As mentioned above in this article, the basic principle behind warehouse management is planning and controlling the inventories. Also, these are the most complex processes in warehouse management. In the case of warehouse management, RFID technology acts as a real-time business tool. This business tool can be used for managing inventories in warehouses, for the entry of goods into the warehouse, controlling shipping processes, and thus you can deliver excellent customer service. Also, RFID technology helps to decrease unwanted expenses in the warehouse management system.
The microchip included in the RFID tag will be attached to a radio antenna placed on the substrate. So it can connect the inventories to the computer device connected with it and can track the products. This helps to share the data with the retailer or person controlling the business. Among passive and active RFID tags, an active RFID system is used for this purpose. Because in the case of a passive RFID system, it transmits back the radio waves reflected from the RFID reader. But in the case of an active RFID system, they access the information from the product, track the recordings and pass it to the computing device connected with it.
Tips to improve warehouse management efficiency with RFID technology
This article provides you with some easy tips on using RFID technology to improve the efficiency of warehouse management.
- By using RFID technology in your warehouse, you can optimise your workflow. This can be done by placing a reader in your door that detects RFID tags. So that, when your workers or employees move the inventories in and out of the warehouse, the sensor will scan the RFID tag placed on the product automatically. It will also update the data into your computer device. Thus, RFID technology optimises the most tedious task in warehouse management.
- Data analysis, managing products and stock, and tracking them are very difficult tasks when performed manually. RFID technology has a solution for this too. It will track and record the exact location of your product. So it reduces the errors and difficulties caused due to the loss or theft of the inventories. By tracking and managing assets, RFID technology improves the security and accuracy of warehouse management.
- RFID technology not only provides you with a smoother running business environment and facility. It also helps you to reduce labour costs. It makes most of the difficult tasks automatic and also simplifies the other procedures. Thus, you can decrease the number of labourers working in your warehouse. Also, it reduces the manual effort as fewer or no human interventions are required in many processes. So you can reduce the labour cost too.
- With RFID technology and real-time access to information included in the database, you can deliver excellent service for your customers. By analysing the database, you can easily detect the most demanding product and if any product is out of stock. So you can make them in stock at the correct time. Thus, it will not become out of stock at the time of placing an order by your customers.
The adoption of RFID in warehouses has eased the management to a great extent. The tasks like stock count, stock tracking, and safekeeping of commodities are now completely automated. This helps in increasing the productivity as well as revenue of the firms. It also reduced the need for a large number of employees to perform these tasks manually. RFID also helps in reducing errors caused during manual stock counting and tracking. As a result, you can eliminate the financial losses for the warehouses due to shortage caused by stock counting errors.
Technowave is a market leader in warehouse management automation technology. easyTRACK Warehouse Management System is Technowave’s flagship product which helps warehouses to completely automate redundant tasks. It leverages the capabilities of the RFID system to automate every activity from the entry of stock in warehouses to its final departure. The easyTRACK warehouse management system is cost-efficient and requires only less investment. easyTRACK also provides complete accuracy with zero errors due to less human intervention. So, choosing the right technology and technology provider is important for efficient warehouse management.