Are you longing for a high-tech, state-of-the-art storage and warehousing system? We often read about the high-powered inventory and storage systems as the latest and greatest in technology, but how much technology is really necessary in your warehouse? Being state-of-the-art doesn’t necessarily mean having the best RF system on the block, it means working the most efficient way possible. The fact is, RF systems are not permeating the everyday small to mid-sized warehouse. Most companies still use a basic locating system to fulfill orders. Workers print out the order, the computer identifies row, shelf and space numbers, then the merchandise is hand-picked or forklifted from its location.
Unless you’re running thousands of SKUs every day and are a huge operation, a high-grade technology system may not be for you. If you have money to invest, there’s nothing wrong with looking at an updated inventory system. In doing so, however, you should take a good long look at your process and your product. Determine where you will get the best return on your investment. RF systems are expensive and ROI may be a long time coming. If you’re not doing the volume, you may be better off using that money for upgrading your shrink wrapping capabilities or concentrating on new forklifts and racking devices.
If you can store a higher quantity of product or a bigger variety, you can be more efficient. Narrow your aisles. Cultivate your current customers. Tidy your shelves. Train your employees on safety. Keeping it simple often reaps the most rewards.
Steve Koss, regional sales manager at Everything Warehouse, has 28 years of experience in the material handling industry. He is an expert in parts, service, customer service and sales.