Flawless Fulfillment Through Technology – Part 1: Improve Warehouse Receiving and Putaway


For the next few weeks, we will be focusing on the 6 major processes that most typical warehouse inventory systems are built on. If done right, each process will enable you to reach what we like to call "flawless fulfillment". 


A busy warehouse can result from workers darting from task to task—searching for products that have been misplaced, tracking down paperwork, doing inventory counts—or from the steady hum of organized progress. The difference is in the quality of the warehouse mobility.

Today’s mobile technology gives warehouse management a comprehensive toolkit that drives efficiency, accuracy, and real-time visibility. In this series, we’re going to look at the key areas in your warehouse operation, where there could be room for achieving flawless fulfillment through technology:

  • Receiving
  • Putaway
  • Picking
  • Replenishment
  • Cycle Counting
  • Reporting

Let’s start at the front end: Receiving and Putaway.

Receiving and Sortation

   Image by DaraKero_F  - Used & edited with permission under  Creative Commons (Attribution 2.0 Generic)

The shipments come in. How does your receiving team handle it? Are they running a paper chase, checking it all in manually? This dock-to-stock process is not only slow, but inaccurate. There’s simply too much room for human error: wrong counts, missed items, illegible handwriting, numbers incorrectly written. When processing returns, the delays and errors can lead to some unhappy customers, too.

By deploying a mobile solution, you expedite receiving and sortation and dramatically improve the accuracy. At the receiving dock, an industrial-grade barcode scanner quickly reads the barcodes, RFID tag, or RMA label on the incoming cartons. The data transmits directly to the backend system, creating real-time updates and reducing data entry. The Zebra LS3578-ER barcode scanner, MC9190-Z handheld RFID reader, and RS507 hands-free cordless imager deliver the quality, reliability, and scanning range that are necessary on a busy receiving dock.

A barcode label printer is another time-saver at the receiving dock. If a barcode is damaged or unreadable, the worker can instantly print a new one. Zebra’s industrial and mobile printers are designed to handle the rugged environment of a warehouse and produce clear, crisp barcodes that last.

This automated process enables faster processing of inventory and returns, and more efficient cross-docking, accurate shipment staging. Putaway can occur faster, making product more available for shipping.

Putaway

Knowing where the product is located is a key component in efficient picking, and this starts with accurate putaway. Using a mobile technology solution, the warehouse worker can scan the barcode on the carton and the shelf to make sure they match. The data then transmits directly to the backend system, providing detailed information on the precise location, so that picking is faster as well.

A vehicle-mounted computer, like the Zebra VH10, gives the operator easy access to information, saving the time of making unnecessary trips and calls.

DDSi works closely with Zebra because we respect the quality of the mobility solutions—from the rugged design that withstands the rigors of a harsh environment to the user-friendly operation and the enterprise-grade features. 

To learn more about warehouse mobility solutions, please contact us today.