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While printing supplies cost less than ten percent of a business’ total expenses, enterprise labels play a key role in securing smooth product movement down the supply chain. Carrying several identification codes, such as shipping address, storage instructions, and SKU number, crisp barcodes are part of your inventory’s first defense against misplacements. Fading, peeling, and smudged barcodes are among the principal causes of preventable setbacks such as:

  1. Product shrinkage – Two years ago, product shrinkage cost retailers over $40 billion due to misplacements, spoilage, and theft. When labels aren’t optimized to withstand extreme temperatures between multiple locations, adhesives may lose strength and peel, thus falling away with the crucial information your teams need to accurately fulfill orders. 
  2. Delivery delays – New studies show that over a fifth of deliveries were late within the first quarter of 2021. That number is expected to rise dramatically by the end of the holiday season for all major parcel delivery services. Worsening the labor shortage crisis, underperforming labels stall productivity as they must be rescanned or even re-labeled, setting distributors at a disadvantage in today’s fast-paced market. 
  3. Missed audits and compliances – Lack of label legibility may require teams to record inventory counts manually, thus enabling manual data entry errors. Missed errors and inaccurate counts provide a skewed view of total operational expenses and storage, resulting in further costs and fees. Moreover, without storage instructions, temperature-sensitive inventory can spoil, further increasing risks of recalls and compliance fees. 
  4. Printer downtime – Lastly, poorly-made labels are often tightly wound, leading to adhesive leaks that damage printer feeders. Sandpaper-like label surfaces also scratch [printheads causing premature failure and downtime. Without functioning printers, warehouses face costly bottlenecks and downtime costing as much as $100,000 per hour. 

To support manageable operational costs, underperforming labels should be readily replaced by an enterprise-ready alternative. While there are several labeling options available nowadays, customized printing supplies, like Zebra’s Certified Consumables, continue to stand as one your best options for the following reasons:

  • Compatibility with your exact application requirements – Labels can be tailored to survive extreme temperatures, condensation, humidity, abrasion, and any other unique challenges in your environment. 
  • Built from pre-tested materials for consistent quality – Zebra’s certified labels are only built from materials passing through their 23-point performance test, thus ensuring dependable functionality in a myriad of use cases. 
  • Selected perforation and folding preferences – New label technology has given way to linerless, dissolvable, and even metal-friendly RFID labels, expanding the range of efficient labeling beyond the four walls. 
  • Faster label replenishment – With four label convertor facilities scattered across North America, Zebra labels can be quickly replenished to avoid downtime. 

To learn more about how you can customize your enterprise labels, contact our labeling experts here.

Thanks to omnichannel fulfillment and globalization, today’s products pass through several hands between the factory production and the checkout lane. Amongst the many systems in place to ensure smooth production flows, workforce communication across the supply chain continues to be a struggle for most companies. Without proper communication channels between warehouses and retailers, costly out-of-stocks threaten customer satisfaction and profitability. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that out-of-stocks will increase by 172% this year due to labor and supply chain shortages, and communication breakdowns are only expected to worsen the situation. Despite the outlook, studies suggest digital sales between November 1st and December 31st will amount to at least $207 billion in the U.S. alone. Poor supply chain communication is often caused by:

  • SKU proliferation – Many different variants of the same kind of product may be difficult to track once they leave the warehouse.
  • Various shipping options – Companies offering direct-to-customer and buy-online-pickup-in-store shipping options may open pallets, leaving more room for error and incorrect storage.
  • Inexperienced workforce – As new hires take time to adapt to workflows, delays may result during inventory counting.

On the flipside, companies actively integrating dependable communication channels between the storefront and suppliers have seen up to 25% productivity increases since delays and inaccuracies are mitigated before they progress through the supply chain. As the 2021 Holiday Peak Season draws near, the following solutions have grown in popularity among retailers and distributors to breakdown communication barriers:

  1. Wireless networking – Wall-to-wall connectivity enables warehouse workers to update stock counts from anywhere, but connectivity across the supply chain allows all teams to update and alert each other of stock shortages, production delays, and delivery times before surprises affect customer loyalty. For example, push-to-talk applications like Zebra’s Workforce Connect unites drivers and warehouse administrators, enabling real-time routing, voice-based texting, and task adjustments all without an additional device. This lowers operation costs while making sure transportation teams have access to the most current updates wherever they are.
  2. Streamlined mobile computing – Multiple SKU numbers are difficult to track when using legacy-based systems and manual data processing. To eliminate error-prone repetitive tasks such as inventory logging and cycle counting, next-generation mobile computers are now equipped with intelligent scanning engines to transmit barcode data straight to the WMS, bypassing paper tracking. Rugged mobile devices can also be taken outside of the warehouse, ensuring one durable, simple, and standard digital experience for both warehouse, delivery, and retailers.
  3. RFID verification – Lastly, with shipping timeframes shrinking to mere days, fast and accurate order verification is essential to prevent errors from leaving the warehouse. Consequently, RFID tracking and traceability has proven valuable in quickly verifying orders as they move down the supply chain. Real-time locationing solutions within the storefront also assist busy associates in tracking high-demand items, providing fast customer service during peak hours.

While the solutions above provide a safe place to start enhancing supply chain communication, unique applications may require a more tailored solution to adapt to your workflow’s demand and capacity. To explore more optimization choices, contact us for a step-by-step assessment of the current obstacles in your workflows.

Currently, the industrial sector is responsible for about 32% of the nation’s total energy consumption. Between compliance fees, utility charges, and labor expenses, manufacturing plants expect high costs when it comes to storing inventory on-site. However, to keep up with surges in demand, manufacturers must keep necessary materials always in hand lest they risk sudden stockouts that lead to delays in production, lost sales, and product shortages. To circumvent these issues, inventory management strategies like just-in-time (JIT) material reordering have become more prominent as a way to alleviate storage expenses, yet while cost-effective, JIT leaves little room for error.

When operating in a JIT inventory management system, facilities strive to keep less inventory on site to avoid stockpiling materials that may not get used. This means that operators must quickly reorder materials as soon as they dip below an established threshold point to avoid shortages. Failure to reorder on time can pause operations since the production line has to wait for incoming materials. When done correctly, JIT enables:

  • Minimized storage costs
  • Greater visibility on products assembled
  • Mitigated depreciation risks
  • Maximized storage space for finished goods
  • Seamless adaptability to sudden increases in demand

Establishing Effective Tracking for Just-in-Time Reordering

To prevent the risks of inefficient JIT inventory management, a viable system should integrate the following three factors.

  1. Real-time data visibility – Preventing out-of-stocks requires fast insight into dwindling inventory. That’s why real-time visibility stemming from technologies such as RFID locationing and digitization have become essential in securing JIT efficiency since they allow workers to target decreasing inventory counts before they fall below the established threshold level. 
  2. Unbroken workforce communication – In addition to timely visibility, workers should be able to communicate with each other immediately to notify of any impending shortages or stockouts. Solutions like Zebra’s Workforce Connect transforms current handheld devices into two-way radios for manufacturer and delivery teams, closing the gaps between delivery and receiving docks, so workers know when and where incoming shipments will arrive.
  3. Scalable automation – One of the perks of JIT reordering is that it facilitates adaptability in the event of sudden surges in demand, yet this flexibility can only be capitalized if the correct data processing tools are in place. Versatile enterprise devices such as Zebra’s rugged tablets provide adaptable functionality with flexible connectivity options, built-in scanning capabilities, longer battery life, and higher data security parameters to streamline data capture, processing, and sharing on one platform. Therefore, workers can simply add an additional layer of functionality to their versatile devices instead of having to deploy an entire new device to keep up with changes.   

While JIT inventory management has gripped the attention of most manufacturers, it is only one of the many ways supply chains are adapting to meet demands and overcome shortages challenges. To get a better idea of how you can optimize your inventory management system, schedule a workflow assessment and explore the modernized solutions reshaping supply chains today

Among the myriad of changes brought on by last year’s health crisis, the increase in e-commerce transactions has continued to reshape supply chains throughout the post-pandemic landscape. Accounting for over a fifth of sales in the grocery industry alone, e-commerce remains as one of the top preferred transactions due to its convenience and speed. However, between workforce shortages and snowballing last-mile costs, supply chains have yet to successfully meet high customer demands continuously. As a matter of fact, researchers from the National Retail Federation show that over 40% of businesses still cite fast fulfillment as their top concern. To meet demands without overspending, businesses are now combining warehouse technologies in the retail landscape through micro fulfillment centers (MFC’s).

Leveraging maximized automation solutions, MFC’s concentrate high-demand inventory within one section of the storefront for quick seamless picking. Leading warehouse devices such as long-range scanners and ultra-rugged handheld computers are then employed to safeguard fulfillment efficiency as orders are received. This ultimately results in:

  • Higher order accuracy – Modernized scanning capabilities similar to Zebra’s intelligent PRZM scanning engines eliminate the need to manually verify orders by ensuring more successful first-time scans. Applications like SimulScan can further enhance this process by capturing multiple barcodes at once in one trigger pull.
  • Lower labor costs – Automated solutions have been proven to diminish operational costs since they streamline vital workflows through one platform. For example, Zebra’s enterprise tablets secure unbroken communication channels, enterprise data capture, and user-friendly visibility into cycle counts and incoming orders all on one touchscreen interface.
  • Faster contactless services – Services like click-and collect, curbside pickup, and buy-online-pickup-in-store are only expected to keep thriving. That means store associates may now share in the same challenges that often plague warehouses struggling to stay ahead of incoming orders without compromising accuracy. To further protect communication channels within the workforce, Zebra’s Workforce Connect transforms handheld devices into 2-way radios, thus eliminating the need for additional devices while adding a dependable layer of teamwork and workflow visibility.     

Are your operations suitable for micro fulfillment?

This is the question many large-scale businesses have begun to ask themselves, and while the answer may be different for everyone, one thing is sure: automation continues to hold the key to business success in the modern market. Start the modernization journey by assessing workflows with a specialized optimization team to see how you can leverage purpose-built technologies to establish greater customer satisfaction without overburdening the workforce.

How Rugged Should Your Handheld Scanners Be?

Automated data capture is a business’ ticket to maximized accuracy and labor efficiency; however, to deliver realized benefits, your scanning device must be appropriately paired with your workflow. Under-performing scanners halt productivity with lower battery lifecycles and short-range scanning, but misused ultra-rugged scanners can be too complicated and bulky for mobile workers to use. Therefore, it is important for operations to first assess the ruggedness features in your desired scanner to enable:

  • Accurate asset tracking
  • Real-time inventory updates
  • Seamless order verification
  • Minimized data errors in your WMS
  • Connected field services

“What should I be looking for in my scanner upgrade?”

Coming from a long legacy of tested durability, Zebra’s enterprise-grade scanners have been constantly redefining the standards of modernized data capture. Whether you are looking for a general-purpose imager or a high-performing rugged scanner, consider the following:

  1. Data capture mechanism – Scanners can be categorized by whether they use a laser or imager to read barcodes. A laser scanner like Zebra’s L14278 is generally more cost-effective since it utilizes a red laser to read 1D black-and-white barcodes. Omnidirectional laser scanners eliminate the need for precise aiming, speeding up the scanning process. On the other hand, imaging technologies can capture the entire barcode in a digital image and decipher the information from both 1D and 2D barcodes. Intelligent PRZM scanners such as the DS4600 are more suitable for 2-D barcode applications in frontline operations.
  2.  IP rating and other durability measures – Outdoor and unique applications such as cold storage will require more than a higher IP rating. For example, Zebra’s DS3600 is equipped with an 8ft. drop spec, waterproof and dust-proof design, and 23% more durability than competing devices. For a more lightweight option that still survives in tougher industrial environments, the DS8100 is a viable option as it provides similar benefits in a more simplistic design.
  3. Connectivity options (hand-free or fixed-mount) – Hands-free scanners have overtaken the modern warehouse due to their ability to leverage natural muscle movement in the workflow to faster employee onboarding and data capture. Easy tap-and-pair in devices like the RS6000 facilitate total wearable solutions for increased productivity and picking accuracy. As for corded/fixed-mount images similar to Zebra’s DS457, these eliminate Bluetooth interference and possible battery depletion issues.
  4. Scanning speeds and distances – Fast-paced operations such as fulfilment for e-commerce count on quicker scanning speeds to avoid shipment delays. That’s where intelligent scanning applications such as SimulScan come handy with multiple barcode capture. As for scanning range, standard-range devices successfully grab information nearby without confusing devices. In contrast, intelligent long-range readers are designed to target barcodes up to 70ft, enabling safe scanning of products located on high racks and shelves.
  5. Battery performance – Lastly, enterprise-ready scanners should last beyond the standard 8-hour shift to prevent downtime from uncharged batteries. While individual scanners may come equipped with long-lasting batteries, Zebra’s PowerPrecision mitigates surprise downtime by enabling clear battery management for all deployed devices. That means your workers can verify devices were properly charged and are fit for a full shift before the day begins. 

To explore Zebra’s entire scanner portfolio, click here.

Make the upgrade with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program

Avalon facilitates your upgrade with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. Simply purchase your upgraded scanner and submit your claim form within 90 days of the invoice date to trade-in devices from any manufacturer for cash rebates towards your upgrade.

No two mobility solutions are the same. That’s why we encourage meeting up with a modernization specialist to better pinpoint the data capture needs of your operations to best select a scanner fit for your goals.

Intelligent Data Capture Just Got Smarter: Meet Zebra’s Newest Barcode Scanner

When facing pressing deadlines with a smaller workforce in a high-speed warehouse, technology must deliver unbroken efficiency around the clock. While the world readjusts to life after COVID-19, the demands for fast and accurate order fulfillment has not relented. In fact, online sales skyrocketed by 34% in 2020. As a result, nearly eight out of ten companies seek mass digitization in order to keep up with demands. With the 2021 Peak Season due to reflect even more growth, the time to optimize order fulfillment is now. Intelligent data capture technologies have been crucial in accomplishing this by enabling faster, omni-directional scanning that transcribes barcode data directly onto your inventory management system, eliminating manual processing. With these benefits in mind, Zebra has once again raised the bar in data capture intelligence with the new DS3600-KD Ultra-Rugged Scanner.

What happens when you put a keypad on a barcode scanner?

Built on a long history of rugged enterprise scanners, the DS3600 sports the highest degree of durability with 50% more battery power and 40% more read range. Now, to conquer new customer demands, Zebra’s new scanner equips you with:

  • Customized data entry independent of pen and paper – Make changes on the go to scanned data via the integrated keypad.
  • Pre-built applications – Streamline several crucial workflows such as picking, cycle counting, and order verification through one scanning device.
  • Trusted durability in any environment – Despite its new keypad, the DS3600-KD can still sustain up to 10ft drops, 7,500 tumbles, and extreme temperatures, allowing you to use it in rugged environments like cold storage.
  • Color display for easy viewing – Quite similar to a mobile computer but on a much smaller scale, the DS3600-KD facilitates app usage with a high-resolution display that modernizes the user experience.
  • Over 16 hours of non-stop scanning – Equipped with PowerPrecision+ batteries, the DS3600-KD delivers over 60,000 scans per charge while notifying administrators when batteries need to recharge, thus eliminating downtime from battery failure.

To see the DS3600-KD’s full capabilities, download the fact sheet here.  

From increased inventory visibility to trackable work-in-progress, meet high demand with high performance when you deploy technologies designed to turn trials to triumph. For more information on Zebra’s newest rugged scanner, contact an Avalon expert.


In the modernized supply chain, value should outweigh cost. Although cheaper modernization routes can initially diminish expenses, inadequate solutions usually end up being more costly than their expensive counterparts. In no place is this more accurate than inventory labeling. Cheaper enterprise labels can save operations a great deal of money at face value, yet they also impact:

  • Scan speed – If operators take more than 5 seconds per order, they can spend over 3 hours per day scanning barcodes. Fading and peeling labels increase scan time since employees must rescan, increasing wait time and risks of delays.
  • Printing speed – Quality labels with smooth surfaces tend to leave less build-up on the printhead, mitigating future jams and slow printing speeds. On the flipside, poorly made labels often sport a sandpaper-like surface and tightly wound rolls that slow down printing speeds with more leftover debris.
  • Printer performance – Not only do sandpaper-like printers slow production, they can also directly contribute to premature printhead failure, resulting in downtime averaging $10,000 lost per hour.
  • Media loading time – Labels rolled outwardly create slack, which impacts printer performance if not installed correctly. As labels require more time to be properly installed, they take away from assembly time, further contributing to inefficient workflows.
  • Order accuracy – Incorrect shipments are the second most cited reason customers return products, adding to the increasing return costs that already surpass $350 billion since 2017 in the U.S. alone.
  • Inventory tracking – When inventory isn’t accurately accounted for, warehouses risk out-of-stocks, which drive customers to seek services elsewhere. Inaccurate inventory counts also lead to overstocking, which has led many retailers to markdown over 70% of their products.

Whether in the warehouse or in the storefront, inferior printing supplies dramatically impact productivity and profitability. To prevent these issues and more, Avalon recommends feeding your printer quality consumables such as Zebra’s Certified Printing Supplies.

How Zebra’s Certified Supplies Eliminate the Costs of Inferior Enterprise Labels

Developed to secure maximum uptime, Zebra’s certified consumables are subjected to a stringent 23-point inspection to certify dependable performance in a myriad of application and storage environments. As a result, every label is built to…

  • Secure printhead performance with smooth surface that prevents printhead scratches and adhesive build-up.
  • Survive in extreme environments such as high heat, condensation, and cold storage without peeling or fading, ultimately reducing the need for rescans.
  • Easily fit into your printer with loading complications for minimized wait times.
  • Meet compliance requirements to ensure your inventory moves smoothly from the warehouse to the retail shelf to the checkout lane.

Contact Avalon’s labeling experts today to discover a Zebra label that best matches your application and storage requirements to see how you can integrate the best value into your operations for the best return of investment.

 

 

Given the constant waves of changes gripping supply chains across the nation, Avalon Integration has continuously researched and studied inventory management optimization to help clients best prepare for changes. A lot goes into creating a dependable system, yet without it, businesses run the risk of:

  • Out-of-stock fees
  • Overworked employees
  • Higher production fees
  • Increased carrying costs and travel times
  • Negative brand identity 
  • Missed sales

Consequently, we called the experts to help pinpoint some of the crucial components to consider when developing a modernized inventory management system.

What to expect from a modernized inventory management system:

As previously stated, because every business is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all inventory management solution available. However, it’s safe to assume that your system must aim at maximizing visibility, agility, and accuracy to remain competitive in today’s now-economy. While it’s impossible to categorize one component as the most important factor in your inventory management system, we can help you identify your system’s goals to better specify your system’s needs. Below are a few goals modernized inventory management systems should strive to achieve:

Modernized Inventory Management Systems

Goals your modernized inventory management systems should strive to achieve

  1. Expanding the availability of actionable insight – One of the top benefits of a modernized inventory management system is the actionable insight it can provide regarding purchase patterns and areas of optimization. Actionable insight can help you reduce costs, provide customer-centered service, and mitigate product loss/theft. Avalon can help expand insight availability with Zebra’s mobile computers, built to secure maximum connectivity, so your workforce can stay up to date on any supply chain changes when and where they occur.
  2. Optimizing storage for lower costs – If left unchecked, deadstock can begin to drain your budget in increased carrying costs and depreciated values. When seeking to lower storage costs, Avalon recommends boosting end-to-end visibility with real-time locationing services such as Zebra MotionWorks. Adaptable to change, real-time visibility allows you to monitor moving inventory, giving you an overview of hidden opportunities in the warehouse, in the yard, and anywhere else you need it.
  3. Accelerating order fulfillment without promoting inaccuracies – Late and inaccurate orders affect customer loyalty. With average order fulfillment times getting shorter, it’s no surprise more warehouses have made speed their goal. To reduce data entry time and shorten travel paths, RFID-powered solutions and tracking can save time by capturing multiple codes without a line of sight. By implementing readers at the loading dock, you can accelerate order verification before shipment, eliminating wasted time and labor.
  4. Facilitating customer tracking and order changes – According to Zebra’s 2020 Shopper Study, over 80% of retailers either provide or plan to provide mobile ordering by 2021. Because customers expect to be able to track their online orders, the visibility that connects to your customers becomes a vital necessity. To preserve identification, we recommend investing in durable labels and accurate scanners that work both in the warehouse and on the field. Zebra’s Certified Consumables still stand as your best option in protecting inventory identification due to their strong adhesives and surface coating.
  5. Maximizing worker performance without increasing training times – As more orders come in, your workforce must find a way to continue meeting deadlines while increasing pick rates. High labor turnover rates make this difficult as companies can spend as much as $7,000 in merely training expenses alone. If your goal is to simplify onboarding while increasing performance, simplicity becomes your crucial component since user-friendly systems can diminish the likelihood of human errors. Equipping your workforce with easy-to-learn technologies such as Android’s familiar OS can help lower training times by as much as 90% to make sure employees can access and navigate inventory management systems as early as possible.

Didn’t see your goal listed? Contact our specialists for a free evaluation of your enterprise objectives and see how you can tailor your inventory management system to meet goals and exceed expectations.

Compared to ten years ago, today’s warehouse operations are starkly different. Not only did 5,000 new warehouses appear in a span of 5 years, but e-commerce sales have skyrocketed over 300% way before the global health crisis. Thanks to globalization and the internet, the high demand for specific products and fast order fulfillment has revolutionized operations, leading to one of the biggest business trends helping and hindering operations: SKU proliferation. 

As companies adapt to cater to customer preferences, they create new product varieties, giving way to new SKU numbers to identify different types of the same kind of product. This is a natural progression for any growing business, yet without crucial visibility, SKU proliferation can lead to:

  • Increased carrying costs as you’ll need more shelf space and labor to accommodate more products
  • Increased manufacturing/production costs for slow-moving inventory
  • Added order cycle times since workers take more time to compile orders
  • Missed predictive analytics since collected data does not apply to larger segments of your operations

However, when done correctly, SKU proliferation sharpens your competitive advantage by allowing your business to fulfill a customer’s immediate and secondary needs. Therefore, Avalon Integration outlines three ways your distribution plan can leverage intelligent visibility solutions to best manage varying SKUs.

Bringing Insight to Where it’s Needed Most

When modernizing inventory management, Avalon suggests the following areas to start:

Analyze purchase patterns in conjunction with customer interactions

Zebra L10 Tablet to Analyze Purchase Patterns

Zebra’s L10 tablets provide ample screen space, processing power, and integrated scanning capabilities

Obviously, one of the most common causes of SKU proliferation is customer demand. For example, a shoe company selling back shoes may notice the sudden popularity of red shoes and decide to sell them as well. While this may be competitively smart, one must not forget to continue monitoring current stock performance. In our shoe example, that would mean managers would still need to accurately track the number of black shoes in stock, how often they sell, and where they’re located in addition to trends in demand.

To properly analyze stock performance without increasing cycle count times, Avalon recommends streamlining data capture and mobile computing to eliminate data entry. Mobile devices such as Zebra’s L10 tablets provide ample screen space, processing power, and integrated scanning capabilities to empower workers to manage data on the go, creating an undisrupted inventory management system.

Connect workers to real-time stock updates

MC3390R RFID Real-Time Stock Updates

Integrate real-time visibility with RFID tracking solutions

Customer preferences can change within a day, sometimes in a matter of minutes. Moreover, research shows that customers are more likely to abandon carts if they’re unable to fulfill 100% of their needs in one place. That means every decision your workforce takes matters.  To avoid wasting labor efforts, integrate real-time visibility with RFID tracking solutions, such as Zebra MotionWorks, to manage multiple inventory identifiers all once. Inventory counts and location can then be shared with your workforce via their mobile device to accelerate picking by guiding them to the correct location faster.

Protect communication channels across the whole supply chain

Zebra TC77 Touch Computer Communication

Zebra’s TC77 touch-computer for high-speed and long-range connectivity

Disruptive communication channels such as Blockchain Technology are already redefining the way supply chains communicate by allowing enterprises to monitor inventory before it reaches the receiving dock. That means connectivity has now become a driving factor in enhancing competitiveness since it also allows customers to track their orders, a benefit sought by 97% of online shoppers. While there are many ways to establish communication channels between teams, Avalon continues to prioritize streamlined productivity and flexibility by recommending Zebra’s TC77 touch-computer for high-speed and long-range connectivity that keeps field teams and warehouses connected while also providing mobile computing and data capture capabilities.

As a Zebra Premier Solutions’ Partner, Avalon Integration makes sure to connect you with durable enterprise-ready solutions. Contact us today to discover new ways you can get a better handle on SKU proliferation with solutions tailored to your workflow.

Your inventory management system plays a key role in maintaining an undisrupted supply chain. The more efficient your system is, the less complicated your workflows will be. With so many technological advancements available, there are many ways to enhance inventory management. However, building efficiency doesn’t have to depend solely on hardware. As leading providers of warehouse optimization solutions, Avalon Integration brings you five simple ways to start enhancing your inventory system and how you can implement them in your operations for maximized profitability at a lower TCO.

1. Set Threshold Values

Set Threshold Values

A quality inventory system should be able to establish minimum stock requirements to avoid surprise out-of-stocks

At the very minimum, a quality inventory system should be able to establish minimum stock requirements to avoid surprise out-of-stocks. A step ahead would be to monitor incoming and leaving stock to keep it from dropping below your set threshold. Furthermore, threshold levels can also be applied to your supplies to root out downtime before it happens.

2. Prepare for Triumphs and Trials

Zebra Motionworks for Triumphs and Trials

Your supply chain may be disrupted by outside/uncontrollable factors

2020’s global pandemic has gone a long way to prove there is no such thing as over-preparing. Living within a globalized world, it’s only expected that your supply chain may be disrupted by outside/uncontrollable factors, good and bad, such as:

  • Sudden demand of any particular product
  • Shrinking workforces and rising labor costs
  • Running out of storage space
  • Miscalculations in inventory counting
  • Discontinuing materials

By tracking your inventory’s movement concerning demand, you can better prepare for chaotic moments. Zebra’s MotionWorks software helps deliver a birds-eye view of your moving inventory onto your handheld, so you have everything you need to make informed decisions on the fly.

3. Cycle Counting and Spot Checking

MC2200 Cycle Counting

Zebra’s all-new MC2200/MC2700 mobile computer as the next evolution of streamlined data capture

Regular inventory audits provide dependable certainty that your reported stocks match what’s logged in your WMS; however, this manual process takes a long time when done all at once. Automated cycle counting procedures such as the ones supported by Zebra’s TC52 help you conduct accurate audits without stalling productivity. Another option to consider is Zebra’s all-new MC2200/MC2700 mobile computer as the next evolution of streamlined data capture and intelligent ergonomics.

4. Standardize Your Identification Process

RFID Labels Standardize your Identification Process

When inventory arrives at the warehouse, it must be readily verified and labeled

When inventory arrives at the warehouse, it must be readily verified and labeled; however, as the stock moves around the warehouse, it may need to be relabeled and information may be lost from label to label. By simplifying your labeling process, you can prevent data entry errors and constant reprinting, which wears down printheads and wastes printing supplies.

To streamline label information while diminishing supply costs, RFID labels aggregate as much as 40 identifiers in one tag, simplifying data capture from receiving to shipping.

Another way to simplify standardization is to make sure your operating system is up to date and user-friendly. To accomplish this, Avalon recommends Android’s intuitive platform as it’s been shown to accelerate onboarding and protect data from unauthorized access.

Listen to our newest podcast to learn more about the benefits of Android.

5. Prioritize Inventory

Prioritize Inventory

Labeling is crucial in this factor since barcodes house essential information

This is perhaps the most important of all initiatives you can take. By tracking incoming inventory and current shelved stock, you are able to line up inventory and sell older products first before it loses its value or is no longer sellable.

Accurate labeling is crucial in this factor since barcodes house essential information -such as expiration dates, storage requirements, and delivery dates- throughout your stock’s journey. Quality labels can help make sure you always know which product is on your priority list. To boost labeling efficiency, Avalon has continuously recommended Zebra Certified Consumables due to its rugged adhesive and coating strength.

When it comes to enhancing your inventory management system, every small detail counts. For more simple cost-effective ways to maximize operational efficiency, contact our automation experts here.