Smart Warehouse: Asset Tracking and Warehouse Management with Beacons
- by BLE Mobile Apps
Warehouse Management addresses six basic common tenets which include accuracy, cost control, efficiency, cleanliness, safety and security but the core processes are complicated and that is a challenging part for warehouse managers. They do not have full visibility of their inventory; either they run out of stock or are overstocked which ultimately inflates warehouse material, while increasing the expense. Moreover, some warehouses have too many people employed but still suffer less work productivity.
So, what can be the solution for such critical problems?
The answer is Bluetooth low energy technology…..Deploying beacons in warehouses can help you in asset tracking. Beacon technology streamlines inventory management by locating critical assets, reducing inventory time, achieving a real-time status of inventory, enhances productivity by monitoring the asset, helps in decision making, improves security by tracking assets moving within the premises and much more. At the whole, it automates the whole inventory management process, enabling you to monitor right from your desk while also ensuring that principles of smart warehouse are followed.
How Beacons interact in Smart Warehouse?
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Beacons are tiny battery powered hardware that helps in tracking warehouse equipments (trailer, forklift, dock bay, shelf etc.) as well as the warehouse inventory. When the equipment is in proximity to a beacon, it records the event and push-notifies warehouse professional with real-time information. It tracks what is nearby; when the device left the area, checked-in time, checked-out time, helps to navigate inside the warehouse and much more. Beacons offer the unique opportunity for logistics industry to record their daily operations.
But, what perks beacon technology can provide to enhance warehouse management system. Let’s go through them…
Tracks our Assets
By deploying beacons in the pallets, containers, lids etc. that you wish to track, it tracks and monitors the location of that asset in real-time. With the help of an associated mobile app, beacons collect the data such as on which day it was used, where it was used, the time taken for the supply and much more. Moreover, by tracking the pallets with the Bluetooth tags, the owner can immediately know if the pallets get missing at any location, not handled properly or handled by the wrong person. Hence, it becomes easy for the warehouse professional to get the reports of each asset no matter where it is placed and can have access from the remote location.
Utilizes your Extra Warehouse Space
Having underutilized space in the warehouse is one of the problems which should be addressed immediately. It may happen that, during loading/unloading of the stock, you just miss out the extra storage space in your warehouse. Free space can be recognized with inventory audits, but this manual process of scanning large warehouse is quite cumbersome and consumes much of the time. With beacons, you can enhance the visibility of the assets as well as locate the available space in every corner of the warehouse.
Helps in Optimizing Warehouse Performance
Overstocking and under-stocking can result into a serious problem for a warehouse professional; costing the organization heavily. But, what if your warehouse keeps track of the inventory that comes in and goes out? This will increase the throughput of warehousing enabling you to become more efficient and also help in inventory forecasting. If Beacons are deployed in the warehouse, it can have a trajectory of your inventory movements in the warehouse from the point of check-in to when it was dispatched. With this data, you can know which shelves are empty in the warehouse, its average dwell-time and much more. Based on this data, it helps to make smart decisions through accurate inventory planning.
Checks the Inventory which Goes Bad
Perishable items like drugs, food packets, groceries etc. are products which are store under suitable environmental conditions. Warehouse employees need to check each item manually and this may increase the chance of errors. But, leveraging the use of Bluetooth beacons can automate the process. It must be used to track expiry dates and verify temperatures to prevent the stock going bad.
Helps to Know Inefficiencies and Bottlenecks
In large-scale warehouses, it is quite a challenge for the warehouse manager to know which assets are performing well and which are not. If there are 20 forklifts and out of them only 8 are functional; what if you need it in an emergency? Unfortunately, you will have to work with 8 forklifts which results in delayed output. With the help Bluetooth tags, you will come to know instantly which assets are in working condition and which are not. It monitors the condition of the assets and performs instant inventory audits of the idle assets and ensures their regular maintenance.
Process Management to Increase Productivity
As the business grows, keeping track of worker performance becomes complex. With the help of Bluetooth tags, the operator can keep a track on worker’s movements within the warehouse. Tracking employees with beacons helps to increase efficiency, performance and results in more productivity.
Advantages of using Beacons in the Warehouse
- Cost reduction through intelligent resource management
- Aligned with mobile application
- Gather heat-maps of workers movement
- Provides real-time analytics
- Low maintenance cost and high performance
- Faster communication
- Energy conservation
- Secured data exchange over short distances
Example to follow:
Uflex- India’s largest end to end flexible packaging company converted their warehouse into smart warehouse deployed Bluetooth beacons for identifying the assets, managing inventory in real-time and location tracking. They found the mismatch between the physical inventories stored in the warehouse and the inventory in the enterprise system because the material was being moved physically and was not getting tracked in the real-time inside the enterprise system. With the deployment of Bluetooth beacons they are estimating 80% reduction in the efforts involved in the inventory management and 40% reduction in customer complaints.
Warehouse management gets an extra boost with Beacon deployment. It helps in tracking the assets within the warehouse while keeping a tabe on employees. Warehouses can be digitally transformed by integrating mobile technologies with Bluetooth low energy beacons. Get in touch with us to know more on how you can convert your warehouse into a Smart warehouse.
Using Beacons in Warehouse for Asset Tracking and Management
Why Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is the Holy Grail of Asset Tracking?