As a transport logistics company, you have many different operations to take care of. Handling warehouse operations on their own is a massive task because one small error can affect efficiency and productivity. You need to continually implement measures to optimise the various warehouse processes and today technology is helping that with the development of mobile devices and apps.
One of the things that you can do is to reduce travel time in the warehouse which is simply the amount of time spent walking or moving between the different stations. Overall productivity is affected by time taken for picking tickets, packaging, and shipping, and you can reduce travel time by optimising the in-warehouse routes.
Use technology to provide real-time visibility of your inventory. Real-time tracking covers averages and variations in orders, and if there are sudden changes in throughput you will be better placed to handle them. Regular maintenance of your machinery is also an essential. This keeps your equipment running with peak performance, and regular servicing will also enable you to detect any potential problems before they become major and costly to repair.
Mobile technology is continuing to expand, and software companies are developing mobile apps which are being designed to streamline working practices and improve customer service, and such apps turn your ordinary smartphone or tablet into tools that you can use to improve efficiency and save a lot of man hours while reducing errors. In turn, this saves money, which goes back on to the bottom line.
Mobile apps that provide proof of delivery are being used more widely all the time. Amazon, for instance, is using them to confirm delivery of parcels which have been left with a neighbour or a receptionist, and they then immediately send an email to the customer advising that the package has been delivered and to whom.
Such apps not only provide POD but also have geo-location tracking ability and can monitor driver performance. A transport logistics company can now confirm a delivery with GPS tracking and photo proof, and delivery drivers can now obtain a signature and collect payments directly on their mobile devices.
In a similar way to POD apps, route sales apps can now automate the whole shipment process from confirmation of loading on to the van, tracking the status of products via GPS process orders, confirm the item has been delivered, collect payments, and print off or email delivery receipt and invoice. This improves transparency and accuracy as a manufacturer can now trace the product all the way from the shop floor into the customers hands.
The warehousing and distribution industries have a lot of complex moving parts that need to be watched and traced in order to ensure timely delivery of the product. Mobile warehouse management apps provide a means of tracing what is going on at all times, and the status of a product or shipment. These apps now replace RF technology with mobile devices that the employee understands because he uses them all the time. You can use touchscreen displays on a smartphone or tablet and present data in a clear and easily readable format which speeds up the workflow because you now have seamless communication wherever you are in the warehouse.
These mobile apps can also access larger warehouse software management systems which gives employees a view of inventory in real time, and warehouse processes can be speeded up by scanning items direct into the system instead of doing it manually later on. The apps can verify picking and shipment, cycle and physical counting, receiving and put-away, and product enquiry, and are becoming an essential tool in 21st century warehouse management.
Indeed, mobile technology is only going to continue to grow as businesses and employees become ever more accustomed to using mobile devices. Today, it is fact that more than 50% of all orders for goods and services online are placed on smartphones or tablets. You have only to look out of the window to see people walking down the street with their eyes glued to their phone, oblivious of what is happening in the real world to realise that mobile technology is not only here to stay but is ever-expanding as more and more apps are developed.