Mobile Barcoding in Warehousing
Meet the Experts
⇨ The disconnect between system inventory and on-the-floor inventory has been a classic and one of the persistent warehouse operations challenges.
⇨ Mobile barcoding technology with barcode digitization can transform warehouse operations and should be foundational for building smart warehouses.
⇨ Mobile barcodes are cost-effective and can track fixed physical assets for inventory control or lifecycle management tracking purposes.
Digital tracking in warehousing has always been imperative for most organizations. SAPinsider published a focused report on this topic “Modernizing Logistics and Inventory Tracking” in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic created a “new normal” for businesses and magnified the challenges of warehouse operations. Warehouse executives now need to innovate and design scalable systems to accommodate unanticipated demand and manage associated challenges. Computing and technology advancement, specifically edge computing, has enabled organizations to tactically leverage smart devices and mobile solutions. Miniaturization, increased performance and energy efficiency, and lowered smart device production costs have contributed to intelligent mobile devices adoption on warehouse floors. Smart sensor computing capabilities have improved significantly, allowing data processing and analysis at or near the source (“edge computing”) and minimizing the data transferred between the device and the platform. All these elements create a fertile ground for mobility solutions proliferation. Mobile barcode technology has taken center stage with increased adoption of mobility solutions.
What Is Mobile Barcoding?
A mobile barcode is an electronic version of a barcode that can be delivered, stored, and displayed on a mobile device. Both 1D and 2D barcodes can be electronically used on mobile devices. Typically, 2D barcodes offer the most value in mobile barcoding. These are smaller, have larger data capacity, and have the capability to leverage information for customer personalization.
Mobile Barcoding in Warehouse Operations
Mobile barcoding technology with barcode digitization can transform warehouse operations in many ways and should be looked at as a foundational step toward building smart warehouses. The technology can help automate manual warehouse operations and create a digital landscape for key warehouse processes. Data generated from this can help address many warehouse operations pain-points. The benefits of mobile barcoding can enhance most segments of warehouse operations, whether it is reducing cycle count times or consolidating inventory data from multiple warehouses into a single ERP system. This article discusses the key areas of mobile barcoding applications.
Improving Inventory Management Processes
The disconnect between system inventory and on-the-floor inventory has been a classic and one of the most persistent warehouse operations challenges. This can be managed by mobile barcoding technology, which records real-time transactions, ensuring timeliness and accuracy. Mobile barcodes allow inventory visibility that can alleviate challenges like stock-outs, back orders, duplicate orders, and raw material shortages. An effective inventory management process relies on efficient and accurate data capture. Mobile barcode software instantly captures precise inventory transactions for end-to-end warehouse processes like receiving, put-away, inventory counts, warehouse transfers, reordering, picking, packing, shipping, and delivery. The benefits of transforming inventory management with mobile barcoding go beyond accuracy, as it also increases worker productivity and better quality outcomes in less time.
Optimizing Order Picking
Minimizing the time for order picking is one of the key drivers of building efficient warehouse operations, which starts at the warehouse-designing stage. The other way to minimize order picking time is to enhance pickers’ productivity. Pick route optimization and batch-picking strategies can be leveraged to enhance productivity. Improving order-picking accuracy with mobile barcoding technology can facilitate this. Mobile barcoding solutions are equipped with built-in best practices features like procedure standardization, quality control, and data validation and can maximize barcoding accuracy up to 99.9%.
Fixed Asset Tracking
While the use of IoT to monitor the health of fixed assets like plant equipment is widely discussed, mobile barcodes play an independent role. These are cost-effective and can track fixed physical assets for inventory control or lifecycle management tracking purposes. In barcode-based fixed asset tracking, a unique barcode to the asset is assigned, which can host useful data that goes beyond mere location and includes an asset’s maintenance history. Asset tracking with a mobile barcoding technology can generate immediate, real-time, and accurate data that adds to the warehouse digital landscape.