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Indicators of Wireless Problems in the Warehouse & How to Fix Them

Wireless Services for the Warehouse

RMS Omega understands the importance of optimizing wireless technology to effectively manage warehouse operations. Their specialists draw on more than 17 years of corporate experience to help business owners make the right decisions about optimizing their existing wireless infrastructure. They work through a step-by-step process that has proven its worth for many satisfied customers.

Indicators of Wireless Problems

A poor wireless connection in the warehouse leads to inefficiencies and decreased productivity. Common indicators of problems with connectivity include:
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  • Wireless Trouble
  • Inconsistencies in wireless service, depending on location within the warehouse or on the time of day
  • Scanners often lose signals and freeze when being used
  • Slowness of wireless transaction
  • Employees have to use workarounds to input data
  • Mobile devices often need rebooting
  • Wireless device batteries are not lasting an entire shift

Imagine the amount of downtime and the level of employee frustration in these situations. Such inefficiencies can also result in delays in supply chain processes which leads to dissatisfied customers. It is important to the company reputation and profitability that an efficient, cost-effective solution be implemented.

The Wireless Solution

The RMS Omega team has the expertise and technology to analyze the current situation, recommend and implement optimized solutions and test them to ensure success. They work with the company’s management, warehouse workers and IT personnel to follow a three step process:

1. Site Mapping

The first step in correcting inadequate wireless coverage is to understand all the features of the existing system. RMS Omega begins the process by having an RF engineer map the existing system. This step includes:

  • Producing a heat map that shows the signal strength throughout the facility
  • Identifying location and type of wireless access points, power outlets and antenna information
  • Identifying other wireless systems that might be interfering

Common problems affecting connectivity include:

  • Inadequate wireless capacity, probably not industrial strength technology
  • Physical barriers, both fixed and moving
  • Environmental conditions such as temperature fluctuations
  • Volume of wireless traffic
  • Poor quality or incorrectly installed hardware

RMS Omega also understands the importance of speaking with the managers and the employees who actually use the wireless devices to hear their perspective on operational problems. These workers might also describe workarounds they have developed in order to perform their tasks. Once RMS Omega has collected all pertinent information, it is time to analyze the situation.

2. Analysis and Recommendation

An RF engineer and his team take all the information and data collected and analyze it in terms of the job that needs to be done. They can identify what works well and the areas that need to be improved. Any plans the business has for expansion or changes to the current facility or operation will also be taken into consideration. Then they will create an efficient, cost effective plan that builds on the existing system as far as possible.

RMS Omega has learned over the years that a signal strength as close as possible to -65 dB throughout the facility is the most effective. Achieving this standard usually means analyzing the capacity of each access point and making recommendations about its location and configuration. There might even be fewer access points needed once they are properly positioned.

The RF specialists will also check the mobile devices used by warehouse workers. They should be enterprise grade devices with the capacity and functionalities to meet the expectations of the job once they connect to a robust wireless network.

The team recognizes that optimization is not just about hardware and software. At times, they recommend updating the sequence in which work is completed, as well as changing a location in the warehouse or the device operator based on environmental factors that may affect the network. The recommended solution will be comprehensive and strategic.

Optimization

When implementing the recommended solution, the RMS Omega team puts the plan into place to improve the performance of the wireless network. The usual steps are:
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  • Fixing Wireless
  • Install equipment such as strategically positioned access points and antennae that will improve coverage
  • Inform or train employees, as necessary, to incorporate any changes into their routines
  • Test the wireless system for coverage during normal operations which might include continual movement of inventory and equipment or changes to the environment
  • Request feedback from managers and employees who use the system
  • Address any lingering mechanical or operational issues
  • Remap to ensure complete coverage
  • Provide maintenance through various cycles

The actual installation might be phased over time, especially if operational changes are part of the plan. RMS Omega can oversee all or part of the installation, depending on the capacity of the business to do some of the work themselves. Many businesses also contract with RMS Omega for ongoing support to maintain their wireless network at peak performance.

Benefits of Wireless Solutions in the Warehouse

A robust wireless infrastructure delivers excellent results including:

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  • Wireless Fixed
  • Reliable, consistent wireless coverage when and where it is needed
  • Faster and strong connectivity
  • Less downtime
  • Increased productivity
  • Elimination of employee frustration
  • Scalability to accommodate future expansion or change of facility or product

RMS Omega’s team of RF Technicians recommend Motorola Solutions Wireless LAN Access Points, Security, and Management Solutions. As a premier level partner, RMS Omega is fully trained and certified on Motorola Wireless Platforms to support secure data, voice, video and more throughout your warehouse.

For further information on a full service solution for wireless infrastructure in the warehouse, contact RMS Omega to start the discussion.

Learn more about RMS Omega’s Wireless Services and Solutions.