Using a barcode-based software system, such as the Granite Warehouse Management System (GraniteWMS), creates an end-to-end solution for efficient and effective warehouse management, says GraniteWMS marketing manager Caryn Mather.
“While barcodes are an old technology, the ever-changing evolution of technology and our environment creates a constant drive for greater efficiency.”
By implementing digital systems, such as GraniteWMS, warehouses ensure that they keep up with demand and remain competitive, she adds.
It also ensures process optimisation, which allows for orders to be picked quickly using the system while guaranteeing accuracy – saving time and money.
To manage a warehouse efficiently using GraniteWMS, one needs to identify the way in which the warehouse is working and what is being done manually, says Mather.
GraniteWMS then implements a structure to ensure that the process can be shifted to a digital format based around barcode scanning, to ensure accuracy for every action taken.
She explains that GraniteWMS allows for every transaction of an item –its origin, location, and intended destination –in a warehouse to be tracked using barcode technology.
“It gives a full overview so that you always know exactly what’s happening in your warehouse, the product it holds and in what quantities,” adds Mather.
Further, GraniteWMS aims to mitigate common warehouse problems, with the most common problem, according to Mather, being inaccuracy.
Using the barcode-based system highlights picking and packing accuracy and optimises warehouse management because the system provides a digital pick-list of the items that need to be selected and, once scanned, it checks them off the list.
“This eliminates the need for manual checklists and paperwork, and optimises the process through the clear step-by-step instructions of what needs to be selected when picking and packing orders,” says Mather.
She highlights that, ultimately, GraniteWMS assists in eliminating “admin slog” through data capture and increases throughput.
It also manages the performance of the individuals working at the warehouse, and allows for flexibility and adaptability in terms of the specific requirements of a warehouse.
Moreover, the system does not require a lot of training, allowing for a reduction in labour costs, and provides simple instructions so existing labour can manage orders quickly.
While this product has been on the market for a while, it is constantly evolving, says Mather.
“The system is adapted with every new warehouse we take on,” she notes.
The Granite Warehouse Management System is, therefore, compatible with all industry warehouses, making it a flexible solution for any industry.
Mather says two key aspects need to be considered when determining the type of technology and software required for a specific type of warehouse.
Firstly, the type of stock that is being managed and its specific requirements, as well as the type of industry into which the product falls, needs to be considered.
For example, clothes can be kept in a warehouse without complex storage requirements, but frozen food requires much stricter control because factors such as expiry dates and cold chain play a role, resulting in such products having to be managed in a particular way.
All these factors are taken into consideration when implementing GraniteWMS, and can be managed through unique item barcodes, adds Mather.
Secondly, the size of the warehouse needs to be taken into account. GraniteWMS can be used to track and manage products in a variety of warehouse sizes.
Mather highlights that if a complex list of locations needs to be tracked across a warehouse, all the processes that need to be tracked can be managed using GraniteWMS.
“It gives you a clear view of what is happening in your warehouse, where to find certain stock or determine if stock is running low, and it can eliminate any inefficiencies within your warehouse,” she adds.
Mather emphasises the need for warehouses to “step into the digital age” to ensure warehouse optimisation. “The new digital consumer expects more from the entire supply chain in terms of communication, availability and traceability. Warehouses need to evolve to meet these needs or be left behind.”