The year 2020, which was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, was also a year of contrasts for companies: While some companies drew a disastrous balance, others benefited greatly from the situation. Online retail in particular has never been in such good shape! But did all the winning companies manage to rise to the occasion? The explosion in demand revealed organizational weaknesses in many companies: The situation required a high degree of adaptability to cope with this unexpected demand. Due to a lack of preparation, shipping departments and customer service were often overwhelmed or even completely disorganized.
ACD Group offers tips and tools to improve your ability to adapt to fluctuations in demand and make the difference against your less prepared competitors. Discover our nine tips, divided into three types of organizational changes, for easy implementation in your warehouse:
Maintenance and disposal
The impact of warehousing on team efficiency and engagement is generally underestimated. The advice seems simple: systematic warehouse maintenance, including daily waste removal, is a real value-add for productivity. It’s not always necessary to invest in dedicated staff or equipment to do this: Making employees aware of the problem and including cleaning tasks and their control in their duties can be enough to establish a culture of cleanliness and order in the company. The goal:
Optimize your warehouse management units
To facilitate order preparation in the logistics warehouse, optimize picking efficiency by reviewing the storage of your goods: Packaging units with a larger volume than normal are ideally stored in a more accessible location or closer to the packing tables. Depending on the size, it may be necessary to adjust the containers.
Cross-docking is the solution when you receive many individual orders for the same packaging unit. It allows you to skip individual shipping steps: Goods from suppliers are pre-labeled to enable direct shipping to the end customer. So the products are not stored, but processed and forwarded directly when they arrive at the distribution platform.
Opt for perpetual inventory
The permanent inventory has many advantages over the annual inventory. It is easy to perform with adapted software and requires a periodic count of the stocks. For each item, the frequency of inventory is determined by the inventory turnover rate. The advantages of the rotating inventory for warehouse management are:
ACD Group offers the latest generation of mobile data capture and identification devices to help you manage your inventory and set up a rotating inventory system.
Optimize the goods receipt
The goods receiving process is crucial in the warehouse, as it is the starting point of logistics operations. With warehouse software, you can create efficient protocols to reduce the risk of errors and congestion at the receiving docks. It is possible to forecast incoming stock, register products, label items and manage the location of goods by optimizing space. WMS software is also a valuable aid in managing the receipt of non-conforming or non-ordered products, cross-docking or the return of goods. To identify incoming items and enter them into the WMS, ACD offers a wide range of solutions to automate and modernize the receiving process. For example, investing in a Mobile Workstation has a return on investment within six months, as the receiving process can be optimized and unnecessary hidden costs can be easily eliminated.
Deploy a fleet management solution for your devices
By deploying a mobile device management (MDM) solution, all mobile devices at the site can be managed through a single interface: Centralized management allows for app distribution, updates, and mass access permission management. This solution saves time and reduces risk for your IT help desk staff, who no longer need to travel to the warehouse to manage the various mobile devices. Learn more about ACD Group’s solutions to simplify the configuration and management of Mobile Handheld Computer.
The switch to Android
Modernizing your warehouse will inevitably result in a migration to Android: The announced end of Windows CE/Mobile means there will be no more software patches or security fixes for mobile solutions. It is important to plan for migration to the Android operating system in order to remain competitive and prepare for a peak in demand like 2020. ACD Group can help you migrate your data collection and identification devices to Android Industrial+, a next-generation operating system with enhanced enterprise security.
Restructuring of the organization
By the end of this extraordinary year, your usual routines may have changed permanently. It’s a good idea to look back and see if the functionality of your floor plan is still optimal. If there is a lack of space in certain logistics areas, it’s probably time to review your overall space organization. There are several parameters to consider:
The investment will be higher if you decide to rethink your vertical organization and these changes include the use of cranes and new elevators, or if you opt for mobile workstations to streamline your processes. But such a reform is justified by a high return on investment (ROI) ratio.