RMS Omega provides total enterprise solutions to solve the challenges of an expanding warehouse or distribution center. The professionals at RMS Omega work with trusted partners such as Honeywell to bring together the most appropriate hardware, software and support service solutions for managing inventory.
Successful warehouse operations make excellent use of wireless mobile technology and warehouse printers to support the product as it makes its way through the warehouse. Inventory can be tracked from the information on barcodes on the item, package or pallet and on the locations in the warehouse area. Even small to mid-sized warehouses and distribution centers can benefit from mobile technologies to capture and share product data through a warehouse management software (WMS) system.
An overview of the product path highlights some of the common challenges for warehouse management. For each challenge RMS Omega is able to recommend an integrated mobile solution that will ensure all data about the inventory in the warehouse/distribution center is complete, accurate and up-to-date.
The main concern is the need for immediate, accurate labeling of the product when it is received. If there is already a barcode label attached to the unit, package, case or pallet, it is scanned and entered into the WMS. If there is no label, one has to be printed. Attaching the barcode label to the item and scanning the information into the WMS system is the beginning of a successful tracking system in the warehouse/distribution center.
It is most efficient to print the label when and where the product is received. The advantages of using a mobile printer include:
- Reduced time spent labeling an item, thus increasing overall productivity
- Increased accuracy as the product is right in front of the employee who is printing and affixing the label
Mobile warehouse printers such as the PB22, PB32 or PB50 from Intermec by Honeywell is an ideal solution. These barcode printers are rugged, fast, industrial strength products, well suited to a busy receiving dock.
Storage or Movement in the Warehouse
Whether the product is replenishment stock going directly into the warehouse or it is being cross docked for shipment, it has to be trackable. When the putaway location is identified and the item or pallet is moved there, the worker needs a reliable device to scan and confirm the transaction in real time. Any subsequent moves within the warehouse/distribution center or between warehouses are also scanned into the WMS system.
Once again, wireless mobile devices are the most efficient technology for the employees to use. They come with a wide range of functionalities from choice of scanning distance to bright lasers and loud beeps for alerts in noisy environments. There are standalone scanners, either handheld or hands free, and mobile computers with a scanning function.
Most warehouses/distribution centers require rugged, durable scanners. RMS Omega partners with Honeywell in offering three kinds of scanners fitting the description:
- Honeywell Xenon series of handheld scanners with high resolution, editing function, and even Bluetooth connectivity
- Honeywell Granit 1911i built to function in the harshest environments including extreme temperatures; it can tolerate motion and provide enhanced reading of poor quality barcodes
- Honeywell Voyager 1200g linear device which can accurately scan even poor quality or damaged linear barcodes
The primary characteristics of a successful warehouse picking process are speed, accuracy and flexibility.
Today’s warehouses and distribution centers often accommodate orders both from other businesses and from individual consumers. B2B orders are usually in bulk on pallets and consumer orders are usually for single items or several different items making up one package. Mobile wireless devices are critical in making sure there is no unmanageable backlog.
The most efficient operation begins with the actual picking order printed in the warehouse so no information is lost in transit from a back office and there is no delay in beginning the job. All the information stored in the WMS is reflected in the picking plan from number of items available to expiry dates and current location in the facility. The goal is to organize shipments so the picking process is as seamless as possible.
The best scanner for picking is hands free so the worker can move continuously without having to put down and pick up a device. Such a device also eliminates the risk of repetitive stress injury to the worker.
RMS Omega is pleased that Honeywell is able to offer several hands free options all of which address the challenges of speed, accuracy and flexibility, including:
- Rugged but light HX3 which can be worn on the waist or wrist with keypad options all specially designed for high speed picking
- Unique 8650 Bluetooth ring scanner which has a lightweight ring scanner for a finger and the Bluetooth module on the wrist
These examples are just two of the durable, reliable hands free units RMS Omega can access through Honeywell. They are worth checking out as such mobile, wireless scanners have been proven to improve pick rates by more than 60%.
Mobile scanning delivery whether a packing desk or an area where pallets are built, the packing and shipping space is where the process really picks up speed. There are also challenges:
- Tight timelines, often a 24-hour turnaround
- Accuracy of order being packed
- Accuracy in shipping label
- Integration with shipping/delivery service
- Reports to customers on order status
Mobile computer technology moves from the scanning function for picking to the shipping department, verifying the order, and printing bills of lading with all the customer shipping information. These wireless devices can also accommodate coordination with shipping companies such as UPS and FedEx.
RMS Omega’s partnership with Honeywell shows its value in such situations with the Dolphin series of enterprise mobile computer, including the:
- Popular Dolphin 7800 Enterprise Digital Assistant, a multipurpose computer with capacity for rapid data collection and communication; it is rugged, lightweight and reliable with powerful network connections
- New Dolphin 70e Black Enterprise Hybrid Device that looks and acts like a smartphone but is robust enough to handle enterprise apps; it can be taken from scanning in the warehouse to the shipping department and out into the field
An important backroom function is managing all the mobile devices used in a warehouse operation. From mobile computers to printers and scanners and even smartphones, there might be hundreds of devices used across several sites. It is essential to know where the devices are located, keep the software up to date, coordinate various operating systems and monitor performance
RMS Omega recommends software such as Honeywell’s Remote Mastermind 4.0 to manage all the devices effectively.
RMS Omega understands the need for accurate information and durable equipment in warehousing/distribution center operations. Our team of professionals is committed to providing the most efficient, cost effective technology solutions to meet the unique challenges of each operation. RMS Omega will continue to work with partners such as Honeywell to deliver excellent results with best of class mobile technology.