February 20th 2024 11:00:00 AM
Wireless Inventory Scanning Systems are a Means to Business Success in the Pandemic. Find Out How.
February 2nd 2021 16:00:00 PM
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past several months, there is no way you could have missed hearing or reading about COVID-19 and the global pandemic. This situation has affected the way we live and work. In the case of modern warehouses, it has created an entire layer of new challenges on top of the ones that were already in place.
What’s a business owner or manager to do? Your inventory scanning systems play a key role in:
- Keeping your workers safe and healthy
- Picking and processing a high volume of orders
- Keeping the supply chain moving efficiently
Are you interested in introducing an automated inventory barcode system into your business or upgrading your current system immediately? No problem! Simply contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.
COVID-19 Means New Rules in the Warehouse
The current environment certainly has created its own challenges for warehouse workers.
- Physical distancing is the “new normal.”
Employees must be mindful of how close they are to their co-workers and their manager during shifts. Workers are limited in how closely they can come into contact with each other during a shift, while taking their breaks, and when using the company restroom facilities. They must also take care when entering and leaving the warehouse to avoid “bunching.”
- The warehouse labor shortage continues as online sales rise.
The warehouse and storage industry is one of the few bright spots in the US employment sector. The employment rate is higher than before the pandemic started, with 1.25 million people working in the industry as of September 2020. This figure represents an increase of 46,000 workers since February of the same year.
However, online sales are growing exponentially. According to bigcommerce.com, e-commerce will be responsible for 22% of retail sales worldwide by 2023. In 2019, just over 14% of retail sales were made online.
Warehouse workers are being challenged to fill orders quickly (and accurately) for customers who have come to expect next-day delivery (or sooner in some cases). The popularity of online shopping is going to continue, especially if stay-at-home orders continue to be issued to combat the pandemic.
- Wireless technology is in demand as a way to increase productivity.
Getting rid of wired technology in the warehouse may never make more sense than right now. For one thing, wired-in equipment creates a potential hazard that could cause a trip-and-fall accident. It also creates a limit to the physical distancing that team members can maintain between each other while on the warehouse floor.
In contrast, going wireless gives workers more flexibility when going about their duties. They can focus on their work instead of having to keep track of where the wire connecting their handheld unit to the inventory barcode system is all the time.
Benefits of Wireless Inventory Scanning Systems When Working Through a Pandemic
Not even COVID-19 can bring the wheels of industry to a complete halt. Even so, it has thrown a big curveball into the way many warehouses and distribution centers operate. Entrepreneurs are known for being creative thinkers and adapting quickly when a situation changes. One way to adjust to this external threat is to consider how going wireless with your inventory scanning system can benefit your business and your warehouse workers.
- A handheld inventory barcode system helps to keep workers safe while keeping efficiency standards high.
Warehouse workers are required to wear masks and gloves while doing their work. This type of personal protective equipment (PPE) is now standard for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in many workplaces.
Choosing a handheld inventory scanning system means that your team members can perform inventory counts quickly and efficiently without having to physically touch the items in each bin. Pickers can be directed to fill orders by voice commands to the appropriate area of the warehouse and will pull only the necessary products, minimizing contact with goods on the floor.
- Cordless models make assigning teams to work in specific areas of the warehouse easier.
For safety reasons, you may wish to place stickers on the warehouse floor to remind workers about physical distancing while they are working. It may also be helpful to set up “lanes” going in specific directions for employees moving through the warehouse to control foot traffic. While we’re on the subject of foot traffic, using a handheld device as part of your inventory barcode system means that you can schedule a group of team members to work in a particular section of the warehouse at a time. They can complete their work far more quickly by scanning barcodes than with the pen-and-paper approach before moving on to the next section to minimize contact with the rest of the workforce.
- Scanners, mobile computers, and printers can be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
We have all heard the advice that regular hand-washing is an important part of staying safe and well. It’s also important to clean and disinfect equipment being used in the warehouse regularly. Even though warehouse staff should be wearing gloves when handling devices such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, and barcode label printers, they should be cleaned and disinfected daily to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Deep cleaning is recommended monthly.
Check with your device’s manufacturer for specific instructions on how to clean and disinfect the buttons, screen, and casings. You will find out which cleaning solutions are safe to use, the correct formulations for the cleaning agents, and which cleaning products should never be used.
Sage 100 Inventory Scanning Systems: Fully Automated to Fit Your Business
Throw away the pens and pencils! With Scanco Mobility, you can automate your cycle counting and year-end physical counts. It integrates seamlessly into Sage 100 and can be used with several hardware accessories, giving you the flexibility you want and need.
For even more features, consider Scanco Warehouse. It gives you all the features of Scanco Mobility, along with voice command capability, order picking-direct pick, instant bin-to-bin moves, advanced item inquires, and more.
Take the next step now and choose a wireless inventory scanning system to fit your business. Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.