Warehouses are full of several complex systems that have to work together for successful operations. If these systems don’t work in unity, warehouse managers may run into several challenges that may break down the operations. Some of these include injuries, theft, and asset misplacement.
If you’re tired of inefficiencies experienced in warehouse management, it’s important to embrace technology. Although the traditional methods of managing warehouses may help you to solve some issues, they’re not very efficient. Real-time location systems can help businesses easily overcome the inefficiencies that plague their supply chain management. With these systems, you can be sure that you’ll keep up with forklift tracking, minimize delays, and save your company from unnecessary expenses. Keep reading to learn how RTLS transformers warehouse management.
What Is RTLS?
RTLS, also known as real-time location systems is a cutting-edge technology designed to change the future of warehouse management. It gives real-time information about the movement and location of inventory and assets within a facility through its software and hardware. Warehouse managers can use it to track the precise location of assets or objects and monitor personnel, equipment, and inventory with an unprecedented level of accuracy. RTLS uses several technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, and GPS to provide accurate data location.
RTLS technology uses location tracking devices attached to personnel or assets to monitor item locations. The tags communicate tier positions to a network of sensors that are strategically placed throughout the warehouse. It also collects data from the tags and uses the information to create a live map of the warehouse. Using this data, warehouse managers can monitor the flow of goods, optimize space usage, and identify bottlenecks.
The Key Components Of RTLS
Several parts form the RTLS technology. Each of these components works to ensure the effectiveness and accuracy of warehouse management systems. The components include:
Software is at the center of RTLS processes. It tracks asset movement, maps the warehouse, and provides a user-friendly interface for monitoring operations.
These are small, battery-powered devices that can be attached to assets or carried by personnel. They send information to the RTLS infrastructure about the location of items.
These are placed throughout the warehouse to capture signals from tags. They relay data to the central software system.
A strong network connection is vital for the transmission of real-time data. An RTLS of network infrastructure may include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and other communication protocols used to exchange data between readers, tags, and software.
3 Warehouse Challenges That RTLS Addresses
Warehouse managers usually encounter several challenges that hamper efficiency and profitability. Thankfully, RTLS provides solutions that tackle these issues head-on. Some common problems that RTLS addresses include;
Inefficient Picking Process
The picking process involves locating and retrieving items from their storage locations. Any inefficiencies here can lead to serious delays. The traditional method depends on paper-based systems to pick items. However, this approach is time-consuming and makes employees spend several hours searching for items.
Inefficient picking processes lead to problems such as dissatisfied customers, and unfulfilled orders. Employees are also likely to become demotivated and fatigued, especially if they constantly search for items. Also, it may lead to errors such as shipping the wrong items or quantities, damaging the warehouse’s bottom line and reputation.
RTLS technology solves the problem of inefficient picking. By placing tags on inventory items and relying on the real-time tracking capabilities of these systems, warehouse managers can optimize picking routes, item placement, and layout. With live data on each item’s location, employees will be able to identify the most efficient and quickest path to retrieve them. As a result, the picking process will be faster and more accurate.
When items are misplaced within a warehouse, locating them quickly when they’re needed becomes challenging. This can lead to financial losses, bad customer experiences, delayed order fulfillment, and a damaged reputation. It could also lead to over-ordering or inventory shrinkage.
Warehouse managers can use RTLS to solve the issue of misplaced inventory. They can attach tags to items, and program them to trigger alerts when the products are being moved to incorrect or unauthorized locations. This capability will enable warehouse staff to quickly identify misplaced items, reduce losses, and improve customer service.
When the pathways in a warehouse are congested, operations can be brought to a standstill. Congested pathways impede workflow, reduce productivity, slow down the movement of goods, and create safety hazards as employees navigate around obstacles. Congestion may occur when the wrong routes are taken as goods are being moved, or when items are being placed haphazardly.
Through RTLS technologies, congested pathways can be minimized. Employees will be able to know the areas where congestion is likely to occur and optimize routes and layouts. This information can also be used by managers to improve forklift safety and reorganize the warehouse for a more efficient flow.
RTLS systems have changed the landscape of warehouse management. By offering real-time data on the locations of inventory and assets, they help managers overcome several warehouse challenges. The successful implementation of RTLS involves a series of steps that need to be performed by a professional. RTLS promises a bright future for warehouses. Consider integrating it into your warehouse management today to increase security and efficiency.