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The last two years have drastically altered supply chain efficiency. The effects of nationwide lockdowns, global shortages, and international tensions have deepened a shared reliance on automated systems to stay ahead of mounting consumer demands and fulfillment challenges. However, amid recurrent and new obstacles, many businesses have shared positive workplace changes such as:

  • Improved worker conditions – Automated systems and enterprise robotics alleviate the stress placed on human workers while also requiring less muscle effort to meet demands.
  • Implemented easy technology – To truly be considered successful, a modernization solution should value user-friendliness to diminish training expenses.
  • Increased wages and bonuses – Around 45% of workers noted an increase in wages as warehouses and distribution centers sought to retain long-term employees.

Changes such as these can help foster more seamless workflows and satisfied employees. As new technologies are developed and integrated into the fast-moving supply chain, it is imperative to maintain realistic yet optimistic goals in the warehouse to correctly track KPIs overtime. Zebra’s newest 2027 Warehouse Vision Study showcases four of the most common goals today’s warehouse managers:

  1. Improving individual worker productivity – It has been estimated that nearly a quarter of warehouse operations were managed through paper-based systems. This means that workers had to spend a bulk of time updating reports, verifying stock counts, and imputing updates manually at the risk of entering the wrong data.
  2. Streamlining workflows in a standardized fashion – As fulfillment tasks became more complex with same-day shipping, higher return rates, and direct-to-customer transactions, businesses needed a way to ensure workflows were accurately tracked from door to dock. Consequently, 41% of companies began to optimize mobility in 2022 to ensure new and permanent workers stay organized through one trackable workflow managed through their handheld device.
  3. Maximizing asset visibility – From mobile devices to centralized printing stations, your warehouse assets play an intricate role in sustaining productivity across the warehouse. Consequently, maintaining device availability through real-time asset tracking systems has become a goal of nearly 70% of warehouses worldwide. Clear operational visibility further empowers warehouses to prepare for challenging demands since decision-makers have a better picture of the resources available to them at a moment’s notice.
  4. Collecting and leveraging data via intelligent automation – The prevalence of sudden changes has created a need for multiple data capturing systems to ensure nothing is ever missed. Therefore, systems featuring technologies like autonomous robots, fixed industrial scanners, and even RFID portals have proven beneficial to drive automated decision making based on real-time insights. This means warehouses can ensure the correct orders and reaching the correct customers, stock quantities are current, and workers receive the assistance they need when and where they need it.

How to make sure these goals are met

E-commerce transactions continues to be one of the largest forces behind modernization, impacting nine out of 10 warehouses by increasing shipping volume. To meet expectations within a dynamic omnichannel ecosystem, experts recommend…

  • Assessing warehouse space to target challenges in the RFID implementation process such as high ceilings, dense walls, etc.
  • Supporting migration plans to adaptable operating systems like Android to make sure new updates and patches are accommodated into current workflows
  • Consolidating workflows into wearable devices to alleviate weight and pressures from your workers while cutting back on management plans for multiple devices.

Navigating through several modernization challenges becomes simpler with a team at your side. To get a closer look into how supply challenges are continuing to affect modernizing warehouses, reach out to our modernization specialists and approach optimization with a confident yet adaptable strategy.

Automation currently leads most modernization efforts, coming in the form of Android handheld devices, versatile rugged tablets, tap-and-pair mobile printers. In conjunction with these efforts, automated mobile robots (AMRs) have seized public interest. Current labor shortages and spikes in demand for faster and more accurate service have further fueled the need for flexible automation and digitization. Recent studies have shown that more than half of warehouses have cited hiring and retaining long-term workers among one of the biggest obstacles faced today, with 85% currently prioritizing labor optimization. Replacing the need for extraneous labor efforts, AMRs are able to empower workers by automating pallet movement, diminish travel time by 60%, and eliminate repetitive tasks without burdening the human workforce.

 

As decision-makers move towards integrating AMRs into their operations, experts recommend considering the following questions:

     1. How will you measure ROI?

Most specialists estimate AMRs should yield measurable results within 2 years at max, with order fulfillment speed being the first change to be recorded. While there are many ways to calculate ROI, a few indicators to look for include…

  • Increasing fulfillment speed – Since travel time is diminished, there should be less replenishment delays and bottlenecks impacting throughput rates.
  • Improved worker safety – AMRs are made to carry heavier loads and may sport a sensitive motion scanner to prevent collisions. This spares workers from straining themselves or running into machinery.
  • Lowered operating costs – As delivery timeframes are met and stock is quickly moved to the appropriate space, there should be less costs associated with inaccurate orders, mis-shipments, and sudden out-of-stocks.

      2. Do you have sufficient space?

While AMRs may not require a complete warehouse redesign, some solutions may require dedicated space within your operations for…

  • Navigation – Tight spaces and sharp corners can limit the AMRs’ ability to move freely around the warehouse.
  • Battery charging – Appropriate space may be required for charging different fleets when they’re not in use.
  • Maintenance – While enterprise devices are designed to withstand harsh environments, AMRs still need to be updated and serviced.

      3. Are other methods of automation already in place?

In addition to AMRs, support systems such as automated data capture and mobile computing further eliminate errors and speed up processes by enabling workers to accomplish more in less time. Before implementing robotics, set a digitized foundation with:

  • Android’s enterprise OS – Familiar and adaptable, Android enables you to add your preferred applications within its open ecosystem for easy adaptability. Its recurrent OS updates and security patches also further protect your operations from cyberattacks.
  • Real-time stock updates – By streamlining data capture and computing through one handheld terminal like Zebra’s handheld computers, your workers can update counts and communicate with each other digitally.
  • Push-to-talk capabilities – Speaking of communication, team communication goes a long way in keeping the workforce updated of any changes and emergencies across the facility.

      4. What fleet control system will you use?

Selecting hardware is only half the battle when it comes to modernization. To maintain complete efficiency, your fleet management system should be able to connect to your WMS system to receive directions and real-time inventory updates.

      5. Is your solution scalable?

The propensity for change in the supply chain is the only constant warehouses can continue to expect in the years to come. As material shortages challenge efficiency alongside labor shortages, it’s crucial to maintain integration and update simplicity to facilitate solution growth. If AMRs are unable to connect with the rest of your mobile devices, they may not be the most suitable option for your business.

 

Once these questions are answered, businesses can create a more realistic and proactive solution plan to minimize implementation hurdles. This can also help narrow down which kinds of AMRs to integrate. To explore your options or for more assistance on how to evaluate your warehouse, talk to one of our modernization experts and explore a broad portfolio of technologies to create customized and scalable solutions.

 

 

Zebra’s newest wearable computer has gained much attention for being the world’s smallest wrist-mounted computer. Lightweight and fully ergonomic, the device replicates many functions currently conducted by larger handheld computers, yet it brings unique benefits to specific applications. To best harness its features, businesses seeking to implement the WS50 should consider its top use cases. Developed to simplify data capture and sharing, the WS50 has seen the most proficiency in:

  • Retail markdowns – Shifts in demands can cause rapid price changes over shorter periods of time. Team members equipped with unbreakable data accessibility through wearable devices can quickly scan and verify inventory information without extra bulky devices or paper stock counts.
  • Task management – Operating with smaller workforces under constant labor turnover, warehouse teams require real-time task management that can prioritize in-need operations in real-time based on current workforce size. The WS50’s flexible connectivity features allows teams to update task assignments on the go for less unbroken productivity.
  • Warehouse order fulfillment – Encompassing over 50% of labor efforts, order fulfillment is the foundation of successful distribution. With customers demanding consistent accuracy rates within smaller delivery timeframes, automated picking, sorting, and loading hastens the fulfillment process while increasing throughput without overburdening your workforce. Mobile computing also curbs unnecessary travel since workers no longer need to check in with a centralized desktop to update reports.
  • Accuracy verification – Lastly, whether in the warehouse, in a storefront, or even in non-traditional settings such as food service and hospitality, the WS50’s intelligent scan engine provides higher accuracy rates by verifying product data without paper-based systems.

 

How is this different from a traditional handheld computer?

While the WS50 shares many similarities with leading mobile devices, its small size and wearable capabilities increase responsiveness since workers can be expected to be wearing their devices. Wearable technologies have consistently shown to be easier to adopt since they leverage natural human movement, ultimately empowering teams to…

  1. Cut down device management costs since the device already fulfills the role of a ring scanner
  2. Further connect teams through embedded push-to-talk features on a wearable band
  3. Customize mounting and applications to create a tailored wearable solution that’s easy to grasp by new hires.

 

The road to effective modernization can take many forms. While a hardware upgrade can be essential, sustainable efficiency is developed with tested expertise and solution support. To translate the benefits of the WS50 into your workflows, consider meeting up with one of our automation experts to pinpoint bottlenecks and optimization opportunities in your workflows.

Warehouse robotics has long been pinpointed as a disruptive force to reshape the face of modernized warehousing. Now seen as an indispensable support for the changing workforce, robotics investments have surpassed $22 million worldwide, illustrating the digital transformation in today’s supply chains. While e-commerce and shortages have been responsible for most supply chain shifts, AMR adoption can be traced back to a few common factors such as:

  1. Rise in SKU numbers – As more e-commerce stores open, more products flood supply chains, increasing order throughput rates within smaller workforce pools.
  2. Steady increase in labor expenses – Studies show that labor expenses account for over 60% of total operating costs, surpassing rent, utility, and technology expenses. As labor shortages continue to affect industries, these expenses are only set to continue.
  3. Higher likelihood of worker injuries – Around five in a hundred workers are expected to get injured while on the job per year per warehouse. While that may seem like a small probability, one injury can cost companies up to $38,000 in direct costs alone.
  4. Higher likelihood of mixed pallets – With warehouse spaces also increasing in rental price, facilities are more likely to store mixed pallets and split cases to ensure greater product variety. This may create future complications as workers must travel farther throughout the facility to assemble orders.
How do AMRs fit into new warehouse challenges

As customer expectations continue to shift over time, new challenges are only expected to rise. Consequently, intelligent AMR fleets such as the ones built by Zebra’s Fetch Robotics improve modernization strategies by working alongside other future-forward technologies to…

  • Automatically differentiate similar products with RFID scanning during the pick process. Because tags store multiple codes at once, RFID data capture empowers teams by directing AMRs fleets to the correct location based on captured and shared data via the WMS.
  • Reduce employee travel time around the warehouse with roller-top AMRs that meet picking teams in designated locations. In doing so, teams no longer need to move between aisles since AMRs can just bring the order to them for picking and then move the pallet to the next step of the order fulfillment process.
  • Prevent worker injuries that stem from carrying heavy loads or traveling down the same routes as forklifts and other heavy machinery. Next-generation AMRs are equipped with sensitive motion sensors to spot workers and avoid collisions.
  • Track split cases for streamlined picking via your preferred handheld device. Since AMRs can carry up to 600 pounds per device, multiple orders can be transported at once, increasing order throughput while navigating through different pallets with less errors.

An efficient robotics solution is often accompanied by several supporting technologies to simplify deployment and streamline workflows for less bottlenecks. The first step to modernization is a careful in-depth workflow assessment to outline needed technologies and goals within your solution. To learn more about how to get started, contact Avalon’s modernization experts.

Studies show that today’s consumers are far more conscious of a brand’s environmental impact, placing a demand for complete traceability, especially in the food and beverage industry. A mere 20% of consumers truly trust brands to ensure food safety, fueling further skepticism regarding sustainable practices in food distribution. With Earth Day (April 22, 2022), being a few weeks away, companies are encouraged to revisit sustainability plans and ensure proper tracking visibility. As a matter of fact, around 96% of supply chain decision-makers agree that operational visibility provides a clear advantage. Therefore, optimizing sustainable tracking proves to be both beneficial to your brand and your customers. 

How to get started:

While there are several tools available today for sustainable distribution, very few systems prioritize ease-of-use in and out of the four walls. Though indispensable in any automation solution, hardware alone cannot carry to sole weight in securing sustainable traceability. When adding an eco-friendly layer to your visibility solution, consider the following…

1. How are GS1 standards being tracked?

Developed with the sole purpose of facilitating system communication and visibility, GSI standards help ensure products are ready for purchase by aggregating identifiers in a common language. From organic meat to processed candy, products are expected to be identified by markers readable through any system. GS1’s simplicity and compatibility have led nearly 90% of small and growing businesses to adopt its system, also confirming its cost-effectiveness. 

To best leverage GS1 standards, companies are encouraged to verify raw materials, completed products, and shipments display unique GS1 identifiers and any other necessary variable information. Production status should also be easily identifiable, so field teams and retailers know when to expect shipments. These identifiers can be recorded digitally with the help of barcoding or RFID technologies for reduced manual errors. 

2. Can the number of deployed devices be minimized?

More deployed devices per worker maximizes the risks of increased electronic waste. Although several next-generation devices have been optimized to consolidate workflows, food distribution provides additional challenges as devices must be rugged enough to survive drastic temperature changes within one facility. When it comes to field delivery teams, solutions must factor in long distances to verify connectivity is maintained. 

In addition to consolidating workflows through one rugged device, a push-to-talk communication solution may also be beneficial to eliminate two-way radios while connecting field teams and distribution centers without more devices. For example, Zebra’s Workforce Connect app provides instant communication and secured text messaging independent of cellular connectivity, so transportation teams can update ETAs and optimize routes for less wasted fuel.  

3. Are legacy/outdated devices being properly recycled?

Although e-waste composes only 2% of American landfills, it’s responsible for 70% of overall toxic waste. Every effort to minimize toxic waste empowers future generations to live on a cleaner planet. That’s why companies are encouraged to verify decommissioned devices are properly recycled according to local and federal compliance standards. Currently, 25 states are actively targeting electronic waste through mandated recycling initiatives.

As a Zebra Premier Solution’s Partner, Avalon strives to pair proper recycling with enterprise-ready upgrades through the GO-Zebra Trade-In Program. Outdated devices from any manufacturer may be traded in for cash rebates to be used on newer Zebra upgrades. Outdated devices are properly disposed of without compromising the environment or data security through our trusted recyclers. 

If you are unsure on how to answer any of the questions above, it may be time to rethink your tracking system to ensure it meets compliance standards and consumer expectations. Reach out to Avalon’s optimization experts to get step-by-step assistance in assessing your tracking system to best target optimization opportunities. 

Technology developers are constantly raising the bar in intelligent automation, which is why it’s no surprise that Zebra Technologies has once again revolutionized mobile computing with the world’s smallest enterprise computer – the WS50 Android Wearable Computer

Developed with worker connectivity in mind, the new WS50 gathers several tools such as push-to-talk capabilities, intelligent scanning, and swappable batteries all within a 2-inch touchscreen frame that can be adjusted for either wrist, back of hand, or two-finger mounting. Combined with Zebra’s Mobility DNA apps and Android’s versatile interface, the device ultimately empowers…

  1. Lightweight streamlined inventory updates since data can be scanned and stored in real-time through one device.
  2. Flexible usage across the supply chain from the production line to the loading dock to the retail storefront.
  3. Around-the-clock task management via a low-power-consumption touchscreen.
  4. Dependable data security delivered through Mobility Extensions and LifeGuard for Android.
  5. Instant detailed documentation realized through one 13MP embedded camera.

With so many similar and new benefits integrated in one device, the question still stands: why would operations need a smaller computer?

Why pick a smaller device in place of a standard mobile computer?

Traditional handheld and touch computers still play a vital role in connecting workers and digitizing inventory management. However, as workspaces adapt, future-forward technologies must also evolve to maintain these functionalities in new challenging spaces. For example, the increase in micro-fulfillment centers has fueled a need for accurate real-time connectivity between customers and delivery teams simultaneously. Labor shortages have created a demand for simplistic technologies that are easily adoptable by younger generations seeking employment. With all these considerations in mind, the WS50 may be a more beneficial option for companies seeking to…

  • Simplify battery management for lower TCO since the wearable device consolidates several tasks onto one terminal. 
  • Unify teams without deploying and tracking two-way radios through embedded push-to-talk and dependable WiFi connectivity.  
  • Lower onboarding and training costs with Android’s future-proof and familiar operating system.

New challenges empower innovation. As customer demands and shortages continue to reshape supply chains, solution providers can keep counting on new and improved tools to enhance workflow efficiency. Explore the latest technology optimizations and see how they can fit in your operations when you contact Avalon for more information.

Gone are the days where single-use products are the norm. Standing amongst several customer demands, sustainability has been an initiative driving changes across the supply chain. While there are many reasons behind this, a few notable factors fueling change in warehouses are:

  • Shared belief among decision-makers – Recent studies show that over 90% of chief executives see sustainability as a top priority to ensure future success.
  • Warehouse packaging contributes to a great deal of waste in landfills – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that container and packaging have continued to as much as 82.2 million tons in solid waste, of which 37% was landfilled.  
  • Customers believe brands should take corporate responsibility – Over 75% of today’s consumers are seeking brands that focus on taking better care of the planet in addition to more personalized and meaningful experiences.
  • Material shortages leave little room for unnecessary waste – Supply shortages for raw materials have impacted manufacturers by lowering production rates, making reverse logistics crucial to expand product availability since returned items could be resold to help prevent out-of-stocks. 

3 Ways to Prioritize Sustainable Warehousing 

As technology continues to advance, more sustainable solutions continue to develop. While there are many large-scale changes available, Avalon continues to push small-scale changes alongside bigger implementations for greater savings in a smaller carbon footprint. A few of these changes involve:

  1. Maximizing the use of reusable containers – To reduce the number of disposed packaging and pallets, distribution centers have turned to reusable containers and removable labels such as the 8000D Dissolvable Labels to properly identify products without slowing operations as containers need to be re-identified. 
  2. Streamlining inventory control through a shareable WMS – Studies show that a properly functioning WMS can increase inventory by upwards to 30%, minimizing risks of out-of-stocks and overstocking. Moreover, a digitized WMS removes the need for paper-based reporting, further reducing waste while maximizing data accuracy and accelerating easy data sharing across the supply chain.   
  3. Choosing an upgrade path that integrates recycling – When outlining a modernization strategy, the fate of your legacy and decommissioned devices should be a crucial factor to avoid contributing to more e-waste.  As a Zebra Premier Solution Partner, Avalon works alongside businesses to facilitate eco-friendly modernization with the GO Zebra Trade-In Program. By accepting devices from any manufacturer, Zebra upgrades ensure traded devices are properly recycled and destroyed without adding to landfills.  

Sustainable modernization is not a contradiction. Reach out to our team to explore further steps your warehouse can take in creating an eco-friendly optimization strategy that still embraces the latest edge in innovation.

Today’s warehouses are navigating a multitude of challenges; however, two obstacles stand in attention-worthy contrast: high order volume and crippling labor shortages. While order fulfillment rates skyrocket from year to year, employee shortages have created an obstacle in accurately fulfilling the surplus of orders within a smaller timeframe. The Bureau of Labor reported that 45% of warehouse jobs remained unfilled by December of 2021. Meanwhile, labor turnover rates across industries has increased by 8%, costing up to 33% of an employee’s annual earnings to remediate. 

It is no surprise then that automation has become indispensable for warehouse survival. To alleviate pressures on fluctuating workforces while maintaining high order throughput, automated solutions must prioritize versatility, mobility, and ease-of-use. Combining these three factors in one solution, mobile workstations like Newcastle’s Power Carts empower distribution centers by delivering seven game-changing benefits:

  1. Rapid return of investment – By accelerating ROI, companies have more available resources to implement more automated and/or predictive measures. This protects business flexibility in the event of future disruptions. 
  2. 63% increase in ordering volume – By streamlining scanning and label printing through one mobile station, warehouse teams can label and verify orders in strategic places throughout the warehouse. Increased speed results in more orders being processed within smaller time frames since workers no longer need to wait in bottlenecks to print and label orders. 
  3. 50% productivity increase – Equipped with industrial printers like Zebra’s thermal printers, power carts also cut down wait time with faster printing speeds and higher label resolution. Moreover, because they are mobile, printing stations can also cut travel time, keeping workers productive instead of idle. 
  4. 5 to 10 hours of extra work saved – In addition to faster printing, automated data capture via Zebra’s ultra-rugged scanners connects workers to inventory data without losing a second. Real-time order and inventory updates eliminate the need for excessive end-of-shift reporting, further lowering labor costs. 
  5. 90% reduction in labeling errors – Unlike manual data entry, which is both error-prone and time-consuming, automated data capture and sharing reduces the likelihood of errors progressing down the supply chain. Fewer labeling errors also protect orders from mis-shipments and delays, increasing overall customer satisfaction. 
  6. Less bottlenecks for easier social distancing practices – New concerns regarding employee health and social distancing should discourage high employee density. By leveraging high-speed automated solutions, power carts reduce the time employees spend gathered around centralized printing stations, protecting them from unnecessary germ exposure.   
  7. 75% reduction in overtime – Fast-acting technologies are developed to streamline and simplify complex workflows, which means businesses can also expect to save money allocated to overtime. 

Learn more about all-in-one mobile workstations in our brochure, here

Depending on the nature of your facility, mobile workstations may bring additional benefits to your workflows. For a full overview of your opportunities, contact Avalon’s modernization specialists to schedule your workflow assessment.

From first responders to field technicians to manufacturers, today’s workflows depend on agile performance from workers and technologies alike. Fast real-time updates prevent communication breakdowns, expand inventory control, and facilitate employee tracking, all culminating into maximized uptime and lowered operational costs. To accomplish this in a myriad of environments, Zebra’s newest 2-in-1 Windows Tablet was developed with flexibility in mind. Joining the versatility of an enterprise Windows platform with dependable security and high durability standards, the rugged tablet is expected to redefine enterprise flexibility as noted in our Product Knowledge video below:

The Delay is Over: Transform your Workflows with one Future-Forward Solution.

As supply chains and crucial operations become ever more connected, next generation technologies must aim at expanding accessibility to diffuse vital data safely and efficiently across the entire workforce. This allows workers to cultivate teamwork in any environment by:

  • Enabling remote workflow monitoring – Windows 10 delivers real-time visibility to connected devices. Moreover, the tablet’s detachable keyboard provides a laptop functionality suitable for administrators, thus standardizing device selection across the whole operation.  
  • Preventing data breaches – Multiple authentication layers, credential validation, and Windows Hello facial recognition allow users to have tiered security levels, preventing accidental sharing or cyberattacks. 
  • Unifying entire teams in and out the four walls – Connectivity is indispensable to ensure smooth workflows. That’s why the ET80/85 leverages several connectivity options such as 5G, Bluetooth, and even WiFi 6 to help teams plan and update routes based on real-time information. Further sustain team communication with Zebra’s Workforce Connect for push-to-talk capabilities and secured text messaging, all deployed through your tablet. 
  • Facilitating on-the-spot quality control – Continuing the legacy of purpose-built technologies, the ET80/85 integrates a handheld scanner along with high resolution cameras for on-the-spot data capture. For manufacturers, this means quality control can happen in multiple locations within workflows to prevent recalls and ascertain traceability. 

In addition to these benefits, expected high durability and ergonomic factors are still in place, safeguarding ease of use and device longevity. Download the ET80/85 fact sheet to see more new benefits. 

How to make it yours:

As a Zebra Premier Solutions’ Partner, Avalon facilitates modernization by removing the obstacles of device procurement, software integration, staging and kitting, and more. To see how and where Zebra’s new tablet benefits your workflows, schedule a preliminary modernization assessment with our specialists and carefully evaluate optimization areas in your facility.

As more omnichannel businesses compete to surpass customer demands, an expectation for faster and cheaper shipping has risen in today’s online shoppers. Over half of consumers expect both fast and trackable shipping from the warehouse to their doorstep. Evolving warehouses and distribution centers have now cited the following four top issues they face when attempting to shorten delivery times:

  1. Implementing direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipping – Last year’s spike in online orders resulted in a 70% increase in DTC shipping, further establishing expectations for faster delivery. Larger-scale warehouses have struggled with DTC as they must now open pallets to complete multiple smaller, yet unique orders as opposed to multiple identical orders. If done improperly, DTC order fulfillment can result in misplaced inventory and wrong shipments, ultimately impairing customer satisfaction and retention rates.  
  2. Connecting delivery and loading dock teams – Order verification is one of the last touchpoints that can cause delays within the warehouse, yet it is crucial for accuracy. Delays in verification can result in missed delivery timeframes, which is why loading dock and T&L teams must proactively coordinate truck loading with order data readily available.
  3. Accelerating order picking without risking inaccuracies – Order picking accounts for nearly 50% of total operational expenses, which is why inefficient processes not only cause delays but also significant financial loss. Implementing optimized picking technologies has often been seen as a risk since even a slight decrease in productivity or downtime can halt operations.  
  4. Maintaining real-time inventory updates for the whole supply chain – The more updated an inventory management system is, the less likely out-of-stocks will appear. However, for warehouses still relying on manual data entry, real-time visibility is a struggle since it would slow down fulfillment.

Overcoming the challenge with Zebra’s purpose-built solutions

Simply put, to operate within smaller delivery timeframes, warehouses must maximize both accuracy and speed simultaneously. Although there are many mobility solutions currently available for this, simplistic workflow changes and applications can also help eliminate unnecessary steps in the fulfillment process such as:

  • Multiple barcode scanning – Going beyond traditional data capture, new applications like Zebra’s SimulScan and DataWedge allow workers to populate entire reports and forms with one trigger-pull by capturing multiple codes at one. This eliminates the need for individual scans and manual data entry, thus also preventing manual errors.  
  • Integrated push-to-talk and secured text messaging – Communication breakdowns prevent T&L teams from gaining the vital insight they need for efficient routing and delivery. That’s why push-to-talk applications like Zebra Workforce Connect continue to benefit modern delivery teams by streamlining communication channels and mobile computing through one device, giving both warehouse and T&L teams access to the critical data they need.
  • Hands-free data capture – As mentioned before, manual data entry is time consuming and error-prone, which is why long-range and omnidirectional scanners have become so popular in today’s order fulfillment operations. Hands-free data capture takes these benefits a step farther by eliminating extensive training times since it merely builds on natural muscle movement, securing higher ergonomics for faster order processing.
  • Visibility applications installed on your handheld device – Lastly, to keep inventory status visibility for everyone, tracking solutions like Zebra MotionWorks allows warehouses to monitor in-motion inventory, eliminating guesswork when it comes time to locate products in the warehouse. Furthermore, data can be shared between departments and steps within the supply chain to maximize visibility during inbound and outbound operations.  

As technologies continue to mature, new demands are sure to take center stage. Consequently, Avalon continues to encourage warehouses and distribution centers to stay ahead of demands with a scalable modernization solution. To learn about how you can accelerate order fulfillment, contact Avalon’s modernization experts for more information.