Trends in Warehouse Automation
Manual or outdated processes often slow warehouse operations. With evolving technology and a significant shift towards automation, warehouse operators are constantly assessing what additions to implement for increased efficiency. One such process to consider automating is how you scan and track inventory – using license plating.
Inventory license plating plays a crucial role in the identification process to mark a pallet or group of materials and products. Its primary use is to quickly move the group of materials or pallets from one location to another without taking time to scan the individual contents of that group.
Inventory license plating eases the strain of hardships and errors in a warehouse so workers can more efficiently track and access critical data with one simple scan. Let’s look more into what license plating is, the benefits, how it works, and more.
What is Inventory License Plating?
Inventory license plating appears to be an extremely efficient process to move items throughout the warehouse, but what exactly is it? It is a method used for grouping and managing inventory with a single unique identifier. This identifier, typically an LPN label, contains information related to the set of materials, including item, quantity, serial number, lot number, location, inventory status, manufacture date, and expiration date. The identifier, called a License Plate Number (LPN), can be assigned to a pallet, truck, product set, etc. The LPN is tracked via barcode or RFID onto an LPN label for a quick, easy scan. The scan provides all information included in the LPN so that outdated manual inventory processes can be a thing of the past. Not only are manual processes time-consuming, but they are costly with your workforce’s time and have the potential for human error.
How License Plating can Benefit Your Operations
It’s no secret that technology and automation have been providing enhanced warehouse operations to improve business processes and increase revenue. By automating the inventory scanning process with one single identifier, workers can minimize steps to locate and transfer items within the warehouse. The LPN label can help to streamline pick routes by allowing multiple items to be picked with one scan. Time and effort can also be saved by grouping products commonly purchased together instead of scanning items one at a time when the group of products comes in. A single scan of a license plate number provides value enhancements to your process, including identifying the exact location, quicker shipment process and product management, faster operations and productivity, and reduced errors due to rushing a manual process or human error. Inventory license plating also supports other advanced forms of operations that you may have in place already, such as wave and directed picking.
Signs You Need to Make the Switch
Every warehouse that wants to work with efficient processes and keep up with current technology will need to implement inventory license plating. If you’re not entirely convinced, here are some of the surest signs that you not only require inventory license plating but that the practice will drastically improve your efficiency and accuracy:
- Struggling with phantom inventory – inventory that you believe is in stock, when in actuality it is not.
- Using Lotted or Serialized valuation of inventory – requires more steps to get the product where it needs to be.
- Handling palletized inventory
- Slow and outdated product tracking system or process
- Trouble complying with labeling requests
- Overall warehouse operations are slow, inefficient, or outdated
- Trouble properly planning and managing shipments
Streamline Your Warehouse with ScanForce
As a business strives for continued growth and success, technology and automation will play a significant role. For example, inventory control is a massive component of the success or failure of your supply chain. A simple and effective way of optimizing inventory control is through inventory license plating. This ability to increase efficiency in processes is critical and best implemented by industry-leading technology providers.
ScanForce’s Multi-Bin and License Plating for Sage 100 users has the capabilities to meet your current needs and grow your business into the future. Some essential features include:
- Ability to track a unique ID for a group of items, typically a pallet
- Receive, produce, transfer or move, and sell complete pallets
- Build a pallet by adding items
- Disassemble a pallet by removing items
- Additional features that can be customized to your individual warehouse needs
Deciding which technology solution is right for your business operations can be a daunting task. ScanForce has developed a suite of supply chain software solutions for Sage 100 users and can provide strategic guidance on options to optimize the performance of your supply chain. So don’t waste any more time on manual, outdated processes; schedule a demo today to see what inventory license plating can do for your warehouse operations!