For holiday shoppers, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great days to get a bargain. For retailers, they are critical days that can make or break their holiday season. And just as tablets and apps have changed the way people shop, they are changing the way warehouses activities operate. The Inventory Management App offered by Warehouse Mobile Solutions is helping warehouses prepare for the busy holiday season.
One of the biggest challenges faced by retailers during the holidays is a dramatic increase in order volume. For the period including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, companies can see those volumes increase by as much as 400 percent. To meet this demand, many businesses must bring in temporary warehouse workers and get them trained and working quickly. The tablet-based Inventory Management App, which runs on the Warehouse Mobile Solutions WarehouseOS, is helping companies meet this challenge. By using a tablet-based solution instead of an RF gun, workers can quickly get up to speed. Warehouse Mobile Solutions CEO Tim Hoj said the easy-to-navigate user interface means warehouse personnel need almost no training before performing warehouse tasks such as receiving, putting away, picking and packaging.
A temporary worker can be shown how to use the system in 10 minutes, and then they can go out and pick. They can be productive the first day they are on the site,” Hoj said. “In the traditional model, that temporary worker might need to go through a day or two of training before they would be productive on the floor.”
Just as consumers have become more comfortable using tablets in their personal lives, warehouses are becoming more comfortable with the idea of tablet-based solutions.
“When we started the business five years ago, a lot of people were saying an iPad didn’t belong in the warehouse,” Hoj said. “Today, touchscreen technology is seen in so many different environments. It’s a pretty big paradigm shift, and the efficiencies are speaking for themselves. People are saving a lot of money processing this way.”
Hoj says RF guns can cost double what new solutions offer. Constant verifications, small keypads and hard-to-read screens make them yesterday’s technology. Easy-to-learn tablet systems lead to greater productivity.
“What we like about the iPad is that workers already know how to use the touch screen and the GUI interface. So out of the gate, that worker is much more productive,” Hoj explained. “We do a lot of tests of the iPad against existing technologies and routinely find the pick rates are doubled. One hundred percent improvement is a very common outcome from our tests at warehouses currently using our technology.”
For busy warehouses this season, tablets might just be the next best thing to Santa’s elves.