It seems that not a day goes by without a new piece of tech being labelled ‘the next big thing’.
For supply chain management, the ‘next big thing’ is already here, and you probably already have one, or use one regularly.
Over the last few years, tablets have made their way into our personal lives, and now tablets are forging their way into warehouses around the world.
Thanks to the advent of mobile technology, warehouses run by people carrying around pens, paper and clipboards will soon be a thing of the past. With wifi stronger, more reliable and more readily available than in the past, using mobile technology to successfully manage inventory is becoming more commonplace in retail and manufacturing businesses. Add the growth of innovative, cloud-based inventory management systems to the mix and you’ve got the perfect conditions to revolutionise the productivity of warehouses, large and small.
Tablets offer a range of key features that the old ways can no longer compete with. The best part is that these benefits can be reaped by businesses and organisations of all sizes and sectors, and include:
Once upon a time, a pick packer would have to return to a board or PC to manually input information, check or change an order. This way of operating consumes a significant amount of time and invites many opportunities for costly, time-consuming errors to creep in. iPads and other tablets are small and light enough to travel with a pick packer through aisles and across the warehouse floor, allowing them to track and manage inventory ‘on the go’, without having to double handle or waste time crossing the warehouse floor.
Accuracy & Adaptability
Tablets operating off cloud-based supply chain management systems typically reduce the amount of time employees spend tracking inventory. Accessing real-time data has proven to be a major productivity booster for many companies, with warehouse staff better able to change orders and react to consumer trends. By packing orders off real-time data, warehouse workers are using the most up-to-date, recent data, eliminating the potential for error and time-wasting that comes with using paper order forms.
Ease of Use
While many long term warehouse staff members may initially be reluctant to give up the comfort of using paper order forms and clipboards to pack orders, with a little training tablets will be embraced in no time. Tablets are among one of the most intuitive, easy-to-use pieces of tech on the market, with even three year olds accustomed to using tablets to play games. Thanks to a streamlined interface and simple operating system, tablets are not just for recreational use, they are actually ideal for business use also.
Due to the low price point of tablets (in comparison to other technology) small companies can get significantly big results from a relatively minor investment. Tablets are one of the most accessible pieces of technology for businesses to utilise, however many small businesses haven’t embraced mobile technology and the benefits it offers.