Five Ways Medium-size DC’s Can Improve Accuracy

Five Ways Medium-size DC’s Can Improve Accuracy

Maximizing DC utilization and consistently maintaining peak performance are common goals shared by DC operators. This starts with identifying and evaluating your unique business requirements and addressing your most common challenges with solutions that will consistently deliver required outcomes.

Accuracy is among the most important issues facing DC’s. It’s no surprise that accuracy occupied two of the top 12 metrics for 2018 per WERC, including inventory count accuracy and order picking accuracy by location.

One of the chief culprits for errors begins with the analog or paper-based methods still used by many organizations for everyday tasks and workflows. This methodology is highly prone to introduce errors in every step of the process, and severely impairs receiving, inventory counting, picking and packing workflows. Companies are taking paper out of the equation and employing automation solutions such as radio frequency (RF) scanners, light- and voice-directed picking, mobile computers and scanners drive significant efficiency and accuracy improvements.

The range of needs for medium-sized DCs can vary greatly. Within these larger square footage operations, Honeywell can assist in connecting workers, improving visibility to fulfillment activities, and increasing productivity and efficiency. Common solutions include:

Order picking technology solutions. With 50–60 percent of the average DC’s workforce consumed in the picking workflow, productivity gains quickly add up to operational savings, especially in e-commerce DCs. Our integrated, best-in-class, order-picking technologies deliver maximum throughput and accuracy in high-velocity, high-SKU environments. Our voice-directed solutions are used by nearly one million mobile workers every day, and provide detailed instructions that guide workers to find specific locations, products and quantities. Light-directed solutions enable accurate, single-touch confirmation via pick-to-light automation to drive productivity improvements in high-pick density environments.

Accuracy solutions. To maintain DC productivity, the tasks of receiving and put-away must be performed with speed and accuracy. Accuracy in this workflow is critical to prevent costly cascading errors downstream and reduce “dock-to-stock” cycle times. Honeywell’s mobile computing technology provide the flexibility your organization needs to effectively manage these critical tasks. These mobile and vehicle-mounted solutions feature advanced imaging technologies that capture data quickly on the first scan, thereby increasing speed, accuracy, productivity and visibility over traditional paper-based processes.

How to Improve Accuracy

At Honeywell, we work with thousands of Distribution Centers of all sizes, across a wide variety of industries worldwide. We bring a deep foundational understanding of the businesses we serve, backed with expert research and data that identifies the real, specific needs of today’s DC.

With over 130 years of on-the-ground experience, Honeywell is uniquely equipped to help you solve the problems that your business faces every day, see improved results and be a trusted partner to help you reach and exceed your predetermined goals.

Honeywell brings a wide set of solutions together that can influence positive accuracy outcomes in workflows throughout the medium DC. They include the following:

1. Mobile computers that provide 1D and 2D imaging. Utilizing mobile computers with imagers to scan product and label information, as well as capture additional data, is more productive (~25%) and accurate (~50%) than paper/manual-based methods. It ensures quality control and vendor compliance, and quantity received information is captured in real-time.

2. Wearable solutions. A growing number of companies have turned to hands-free computing solutions to streamline operations and improve productivity. The Honeywell Mini Mobile Wearable solution provides a hands-free solution that provides increases in productivity and improved ergonomics over handheld devices.

3. Voice-guided and hands-free solutions. Honeywell voice-directed solutions are used by nearly one million mobile workers every day. Honeywell’s voice-guided solutions have proven to increase productivity by up to 35% and increase accuracy to 99.99%+ in a variety of tasks throughout the warehouse. For example, in picking processes where workers follow a series of instructions for specific pick locations, products and quantities, these tools provide needed guidance and verification at every step. Voice is available in over 35 languages and has been proven to dramatically reduce training and onboarding time, especially in peak seasons with highly transient workforces.

4. Vehicle-mounted computer solutions. Our vehicle-mounted computer solutions turn forklift-and vehicle-based workflows into information technology platforms. Roughly, 25 percent of the average DC’s labor is spent on receiving and put-away tasks. Equipping your forklifts with technologies—such as computers, barcode scanners, printers, radio-frequency identification (RFID), voice, lights and software—can reduce material-handling costs, optimize order fulfillment rates and increase inventory accuracy with real-time tracking.

5. Material handling. Automated material-handling solutions from Honeywell Intelligrated optimize processes, increase efficiency and give businesses a competitive edge. Honeywell Intelligrated designs, manufactures, integrates and installs complete material-handling automation solution. Medium-sized DCs engage Intelligrated as they consider future facility layouts (or retrofits of existing facilities) to maximize use of space and ensure logical layouts. This can help drive the ability to increase volumes in current DCs. In a building without much outward expansion capability, this can help support growth and buy some time before new facilities need to be considered.

Achieve Better Accuracy Outcomes with Honeywell

At Honeywell, we have extensive experience in successfully solving complex problems for a variety of e-commerce and omnichannel businesses. We’re committed to solving your DC accuracy challenges through relentless innovation and a desire to deliver best-fit solutions. We provide access to the actionable insights and information you need to transform your business.

Our expert assessment teams will partner with you to understand your unique business requirements and identify where opportunities exist to optimize your workflows and increase efficiencies within today’s competitive retail climate.

Take your DC to the next level. Contact us today.

Barry J. Ewell

Barry J. Ewell is a Senior Content Marketing Communications Specialist for Honeywell Industrial Automation. He has been researching and writing on supply chain topics since 1991.