7 reasons HHTs mean better warehouse management
Warehousing and the warehouse management system industry is ever-evolving. Businesses must pursue techniques or technologies that offer an edge. Especially when early investments provides advantages in short, medium, and long-term.
Handheld terminals – HHTs, are a clear example. These scanners allow for vastly improved logistics. Your WMS might be top-notch, and your team organisation might be stellar, but for next-level warehouse management, you need HHTs. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Improved accuracy
Operational accuracy is crucial for effective warehouse management. Improvement in this area will mean better order processing, more satisfied customers/clients, and an overall improved business.
When it comes to operational accuracy, HHTs are unbeatable. Whether the device uses barcode scanning, or contactless communication via RFID chips, this technology is radically less error-prone than voice or paper-based picking alternatives.
Written instructions can be misread. Spoken commands can be misheard. Both can be misinterpreted. But HHTs cannot misunderstand the barcodes or chips when scanning. If manual mistakes happen, they can be caught earlier and made far less impactful.
2. Better recording
Record-keeping clarifies many important questions. Which goods are being moved? Where are they being kept? How quickly do they arrive and leave? Which particular parts of the warehouse are seeing the most activity? How much does the average single order cost? How many items does it contain? How much might it weigh?
Theoretically, this data could be gathered manually, but the time and expense would be beyond prohibitive. You’d also need to train pickers in proper recording processes, and you’d likely need legions of staff to process written notes into something usable.
HHTs automate warehouse management data gathering. They deliver ongoing up-to-date information about your warehouse’s operations, a constant stream of business intelligence and insight.
3. Less paper
Paper-based processes in a warehouse setting are not only cumbersome but also environmentally unsustainable. The ever-expanding fractal nature of paper processes, with their endless sub-processes and tasks, leads to growing piles of paper that challenge sustainability goals.
Paper-based processes expand fractally. Sub-process after sub-process, task after task, job after job. Ever-growing piles of mundane details that someone must process.
With HHTs these challenges vanish. When properly integrated with your WMS, HHTs deliver all the information clearly, securely, and correctly. Your entire operation becomes much more streamlined, simple, and sophisticated. HHTs not only make the whole process of managing your warehouse a great deal easier, but also aligns with environmental sustainability by reducing paper usage and waste, making the whole process more efficient and eco-friendly.
4. Adaptable operations
Changing any warehouse management strategy while using manual picker direction is always challenging. New paper directives will need to be distributed. New labels will need to be installed. New routes and routines will need explaining, usually involving in-person meetings.
HHTs make this simpler. With wireless communication, pickers remain in constant WMS contact. They won’t need to be taken off task to learn new arrangements. If new warehouse practices must be deployed, HHTs tell them directly. Changing direction becomes easier when it is integrated into everyday practice.
5. Easier to integrate new tech
The change from paper to pixels may well be far larger than any other change to your warehouse management operations. But once it’s done, the next change after that will likely be far less substantive. The information delivered by HHTs can be received, recorded, and understood by a wide variety of different software and systems. This provides a spectrum of possible adaptations to new technology, fully future-proofing your warehouse management.
By conducting your warehousing picking and packing with the help of HHTs, your business is optimally positioned for new technological change. By contrast, lingering on manual processes will make everything slower and more difficult when next-generation equipment becomes unavoidably necessary.
6. Real-time responsiveness
Responsiveness is vital for every type of business. The ability to see change coming, understand its meaning, and take action accordingly. The more clear and rapid you responses, the better. HHTs apply this the functioning of your warehouse.
With HHTs you can receive an online order, process it into your WMS, and then send it out to the most available picker, all without manual intervention. Pickers aren’t waiting for updated paper sheets, or for radio counterparts to say something. Instructions arrive in the same breath as the online order, saving substantial time, effort, and money. That is what properly integrated HHTs have the power to do.
7. Improved equipment for pickers
Picking is monotonous, tedious, and repetitive, making staff motivation a difficult commodity. HHTs help with this area, by demonstrating faith and value in your staff. By delivering elite-tier equipment, you send clear signals about their importance.
Passing out paper suggests little value being placed in a picker’s energy and effort. Paper is disposable, plentiful, and cheap. When it is misplaced, stained or otherwise damaged it’s replaceable. Paper tools don’t signal especially valued work.
Sophisticated equipment says something different. It says pickers are important partners in the business’s processes. You give them a sophisticated tool, and they receive the underlying message that they are doing important work. This helps with motivation, improving effectiveness, accuracy, efficiency, and every other metric important to warehouse managers. This is yet another reason why your business needs HHTs as soon as you can manage.
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