Optimize Warehouse Management System with Electronic Labels

Despite the evolution happening in the business world, brick and mortar enterprises are still relevant. A study confirms that about 82% of millennial shoppers still prefer going to physical shops to make purchases. Hence, the need for optimized retail operations with advanced warehouse systems.

Worker hands holding tablet on blurred warehouse as background
Source: iStock

There may have been a time when the warehouse management system of a business depends solely on a few staff who know the nook and cranny of the facility. But as the business grows, it’s mandatory that the warehouse inventory management system is improved through innovative technologies like electronic labels. This helps to organize the warehouse activities, including the location, racking, and picking of products.

In this article, we will explore how to have the best warehouse management system with electronic labels. First off, let’s get a definition of what an automated warehouse system is. 

What is an Automated Warehouse System

An automated warehouse system is basically a system that improves warehousing management by integrating technology into the daily processes. According to Statista, the warehouse automation technology market is forecasted to be over $30 billion globally by 2026.

Boxes making their way down the conveyor belt on their way to customers.
Source: iStock

This system involves the use of technology, which cuts down the use of manual labor which usually slows down the movement of goods. When products have to be assessed by humans constantly, there is an increase in the probability of the product or packaging losing its original look because of frequent touches. But with warehouse inventory systems, inspection, and periodic assessment can be conducted without human touch.

Benefits of Automated Warehouse Management System

Automated warehouse management offers varieties of captivating benefits that can solve many business problems. The possibilities are so numerous.

Let’s discuss the major benefits:

Minimize Human Error

In every operation where humans are involved, errors are prone to occur, but you can reduce them with the suitable automation system. These errors can result in delays and poor customer satisfaction. Cloud based warehouse management systems prevent human mistakes, and make best use of time and money to increase the business revenue.

Also, working for long hours will most likely lead to fatigue, which can delay warehouse operations and lead to errors. But with technological innovations like warehouse shelf labels that help in locating products and displaying their information, work will be easier.

Reduced Operational Cost

The initial cost of a fully automated warehouse system is quite expensive, but it usually pays off in the long run. One of the cogent advantages of this system is that it reduces the number of staff, resulting in less management and HR-related costs. Another is optimizing product handling and storage cost.

Also, with the click of a button, workflow can be performed. This allows for the automatic execution of a series of tasks, meaning that instead of performing tasks manually, they can be completed within seconds via a trigger. Such tasks could be sending emails to the warehouse management in supply chain management.

Enhanced Warehouse Productivity

Most warehouse tasks are usually repetitive and time-consuming. The automated storage systems in warehouses allows workers to have only a few tasks to do, allowing them to focus their energy on other tasks that contribute to the profitability of the business.

Also, this automation means there is no need to measure pallets or parcels for carrying heavy loads. The technology automatically measures the appropriate dimension and weight needed. This will allow you to enhance your staff retention rates and warehouse productivity.

Workers Safety

Effective warehouse management and smart shelving involves a wide range of risky activities, which includes working in a high-traffic environment, as well as sorting and handling heavy racks. Advanced warehouse management systems can automate these tasks, eliminating any form of risk for warehouse workers.

In fact, instead of the workers going to carry the products, the products come to the workers. This reduces traffic in the facility, minimizes product damage, and enhances overall safety. Also, the logistics and inventory management system can detect malfunctions in the equipment used in the warehouse and warn workers before an accident happens. This contributes to machine maintenance and repair efficiency.

Increased Speed

Another popular benefit of automated warehouse management operations is faster work rate. The speed, accuracy, and relentless nature of humans is no match to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Technology. Tasks done by humans in hours can be completed by AI in a few seconds.

Automated inventory control warehouse management saves time when there is a lot of work to be completed. This makes it a necessary and valuable asset for every business. Another interesting outcome is that this system doesn’t just increase warehouse operation speed, it also fastens order fulfillment.

Space Maximization

There are several elements of the warehouse management system that helps with the arrangement and picking of products. This ensures that available space can be optimized. With the use of equipment like drones, automated guided vehicles, automated storage, and retrieval systems, you can improve rack positioning and eliminate the need for wide aisles.

Using robots, various parcels and pallets, as well as heavy packages can be retrieved without scattering the orderliness of the facility.

What Role Can Electronic Tags Play in a Digital Warehouse

Electronic tags are small e-paper digital devices that improve the management of a facility by displaying important information that influences decisions. This includes displaying information like product prices, weight, nutritional facts, total number available, etc.

Worker hands holding tablet on blurred warehouse as background
Source: iStock

The roles performed by digital shelf labels used in warehouses are so numerous. Below, we will explore them:

Benefits of Using Electronic Tags in Warehouse Inventory Management

As an important part of modern business, it’s essential for warehouse managers to maintain efficient and reliable operations for the uninterrupted flow of raw materials and finished products. Hence, the use of electronic shelf labels (ESLs), is a dynamic and intuitive replacement of traditional paper-based methods.

Electronic shelf label technology in the warehouse contributes to the smooth operation of the business in many ways like:

  • Assets Location: ESLs have wireless connectivity, which makes them efficient, light, and easy to install on assets. They are thin and don’t take up space. Once electronic tags are attached to assets, no matter where they are located in a full-house facility, they will be easy to locate.
  • Data Gathering and Analysis: An advanced electronic inventory system has features that extend beyond mere product pricing function. They are equipped with sensors that alerts the warehouse manager and staff of the temperature and humidity of certain sections in the building. This is very crucial for temperature-sensitive products that are perishable.
  • Scheduling: Multi warehouse inventory management is easier with ESLs, as the wireless connectivity and intuitive feature of the devices enables scheduled and fast update of product information. Imagine having to modify hundreds or thousands of product information when you are still using stickers or paper prints. It will be so demanding and time-consuming.
  • Product Information Display: Warehouse label is also used to show cogent information about products, such as the expiry dates. Knowing this, the management will be able to take the products to the store and put discounts on them so that they will sell fast. This reduces the losses of the business.

How ESL Makes Warehouse Location Numbering Efficient

A warehouse location numbering scheme simply refers to a system of identifying the various parts and sections in the facility. Having a reliable warehouse tracking system saves you from looking for what isn’t lost. As you would know the various segments where every product type can be located.

While some people might claim it’s as simple as putting paper labels on each product category, they do not know that it’s more complicated. Below, we will shed more light on how ESL functions as a more efficient inventory numbering system.

  • Reliability: The dependability that electronic tags provide is unmatched when numbering the location of products. ESL warehouse numbering system is less prone to human error compared to traditional stickers or paper labels. Also, unlike the traditional methods that tend to have faded inks after some time, ESL inks are always legible and can be refilled.
  • Additional Cost: Traditional paper warehouse rack numbering system consumes a lot of resources, including paper, inks, and adhesives. This leads to extra cost and more waste, which contributes to the carbon footprint of the business. Electronic tags, on the other hand, don’t contribute to the business’ overhead and they are made of eco-friendly materials.
  • Real-time Information: Without going to the warehouse to count the number of parcels left, you can ascertain the total numbers of parcels available thanks to the electronic inventory system. This also cuts down on time wastage and less error.

How Electronic Labels Function in the Automated Warehouse Racking System

The efficiency of electronic labels in an automated warehouse racking system is dependent on how the facility is built. The layout of the warehouse can affect the productivity and effectiveness of ESLs. Also, you need to implement the following arrangement considerations:

  • According to your Stock Keeping Unit (SKU), determine docks and receiving spaces
  • For maximum utilization of space, use vertical storage system
  • Make room for forklifts to move around
  • Choose the optimized shape of your rack layout
  • Integrate loading and unloading sections together
  • Test your warehouse rack layout with a slotting analysis

Doing due diligence to these considerations will determine your digital warehouse effectiveness. To make the best use of electronic tags in this case, you can integrate automated tools like RFID tags, scanners, and robotic devices that will ensure that each rack detail can be accounted for without physically visiting the warehouse.

How Electronic Shelf Labels Improve Warehouse Picking Systems

One of the major cost contributors in warehouse labor is order picking. When paper labels are used, order pickers often fail to know the exact position products are located, hence they move around for long before locating the products. This reduces labor efficiency and contributes to the total hours spent by workers, which will tell on the business finances, especially if salary is based on working hours.

To ensure effective retail warehouse management, you have to go paperless. With the use of electronic shelf labels, the location of every product will be known on the digital system, allowing workers to achieve more in less time.

Additionally, when products are picked from the warehouse to the store, the prices and other related information can be immediately updated. This eliminates the need to use manual methods that consumes time and is prone to errors.

Automated Warehouse System Best Practices

Automated warehouse systems have improved the way storage facilities operate by increasing accuracy and productivity. To optimize warehouse functionalities, there are a number of best practices that can be implemented. They are:

Creating an Efficient Warehouse Location Numbering Scheme

A well-designed inventory numbering system is crucial for efficient warehouse operation, as it streamlines the movement of products, ensures easy navigation, and better management. With digital warehouse tags, the location of each product won’t be strenuous. This results in enhanced productivity for the business.

Advanced Warehouse Racking Design

A properly designed warehouse racking system is important for optimizing the available space and facilitating smooth operations. Importantly, you should analyze the stock profile and volume of orders for an ideal racking system. Having digital labels for warehouse racks ensures that the facility is not scattered when picking packages.

Invest in Equipment to Improve Warehouse Picking Productivity

Equipment like Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can help for a smooth inventory process in warehouses. They eliminate the time workers take to move around and also reduce the total number of staff needed.

Equip with Electronic Warehouse Shelf Labels to Improve the Tracking System

An unmatched electronic shelf label solution is its ability to handle real-time tracking and dynamic information updates. ESLs integrate seamlessly with the warehouse management system. They can track and display the conditions and information of products.

Invest in Warehouse Software

For an effective warehouse and inventory control, you will need to invest in some management software like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Transportation Management Software (TMS) to ensure all-round supply chain visibility and control.

Source Electronic Labels to Optimize Warehouse Management from ZhSunyco

ZhSunyco is a world leading electronic shelf label manufacturer that provides one-stop digital tags solutions, which help to regulate warehouse activities. With the goal of propelling the retail IoT revolution and helping businesses gain more profit, we produce state-of-the-art electronic labels that can be integrated easily to your management system.

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Source: Zhsunyco

Over the years, we’ve provided more than 180 countries with our services, and their businesses have since continually experienced fast-paced growth. Do you want to optimize your warehouse management system and achieve more with less labor? Contact us to get started!

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