How Technology Can Create a More Productive Warehouse: Part Two

We previously talked about how technology can lead to a more productive warehouse. This topic deserves some additional attention, and we’ll explore the topic further today.

First, let’s focus on inventory layout. Organization in your warehouse is extremely important because it determines how efficiently new materials are put away and items are retrieved for shipment. This means that you should invest in a storage system that meets your company’s needs. Your layout should be designed to specifically fit your warehouse’s unique operations.

If your materials are stored on pallets, you must have the correct system in place to allow easy pallet access. If you’re utilizing bins, you need a racking system to accommodate them. The better your material access and organization, the less time you lose in prepping orders for shipment.

Another area you should focus on is picking and packing. If you pull the wrong materials, someone has to both retrieve the correct merchandise and return the wrong items to where they belong. When your stock is marked with SKUs, for example, workers will be far less likely to pull the wrong materials for shipments. With the right software, pick lists can be combined to complete several orders and sort individual items directly in your shipping department.

Finally, let’s talk about loading and shipping. First in should not be first out. Trucks must loaded in the reverse order. GPS systems can help you optimize routing, loading and deliveries to ensure complete customer satisfaction. This way, you’ll always know where shipments are if customers have questions.

Make use of the organization, storage, communication and software solutions available to keep your warehouse operations up to date. These implementations will improve productivity and increase your bottom line.

Call me at (570) 768-4482 or email me at afrederick@cssi.com today to learn more about how CSSI can accelerate your business processes and save you money.

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How Technology Can Create a More Productive Warehouse: Part One

Improving your warehouse’s productivity is now easier than ever before, thanks to huge advances in technology over the past several years. Let’s look at some of the tools warehouse managers like you have available to help maximize productivity.

The first element that can help improve your company’s warehouse productivity is collaboration. While communicating by email is a great tool, direct contact is much more efficient for time-sensitive communication. This means that you should make use of one or more wireless technologies to help increase communication, and, therefore, productivity. CSSI recommends a variety of devices from Zebra Technologies, Honeywell Scanning & Mobility, and MobileDemand, to name a few, to accomplish this.

One important aspect in choosing technologies is that they must integrate and work together seamlessly. Whether you choose communications via laptop, radio or smartphone, choose a system that all of your departments can use consistently. This will provide your warehouse with real-time efficiency.

Receiving is another area in which you can improve warehouse productivity. After all, handling an item once is much more efficient than having it handled multiple times, by multiple people. The more individuals who are involved, the more time and money you are wasting.  Materials must be stored and received with total accuracy, and your inventory database must be updated as merchandise is received.

Putting one worker in charge of checking off received materials from a list, then sending those materials for stocking, then sending the list for database updating is not efficient. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and inbound processing software can allow materials to be checked by one individual, in one step. Those assets can then be routed to the correct location in your warehouse.

To take extra handling out of your receiving operations, select a system of RFID or barcode scanning, allowing the data from incoming shipments to be sent directly to the purchasing and AP departments to update the information so invoices can be produced quickly. The more material you have just sitting on shelves, the more money you have tied up in that inventory.

Call me at (570) 768-4482 or email me at afrederick@cssi.com today to learn more about how CSSI can accelerate your business processes and save you money.

Microsoft to Phase Out Internet Explorer

DodoAs the Internet of Things (#IoT) continues to expand, and the line between your devices and the Internet continues to blur, we’ll likely see a paradigm shift in how we “get connected.”  The web browsers that we know today will go the way of the Dodo Bird.  Microsoft has announced that it will phasing out Internet Explorer, beginning with Windows 10.

You can read more about it here.

What is the Future of the Warehouse?

WarehouseWhat’s the warehouse industry going to look like over the next several years? CSSI expects it to look quite different due to new technologies and new ways of thinking about space and work flow. Today’s warehouse workers face a number of challenges, including the demand for high-speed mobile communication devices in-house and out in the field. As bigger spaces and facilities are built, and customers demand personalization (increasing the number of SKUs), the time has come to move into the future.

To add to these trials, warehouses are facing new rules for more accurate product tracing and tracking. Warehouses are also getting closer to the customer, due to the move to re-shoring and omnichannel transactions. Manufacturers must be more efficient so that they can please these customers in all areas.

So what does this look like in the future? To be frank, warehouses must be converted what they are today into assets for competitive differentiation. The warehouse should no longer act purely as a cost center in which operational focus is almost solely on determining and “fixing” inaccuracies and inefficiencies in order picking. Instead, it must change into a powerful asset that can drive profitable growth for the business by improving outbound, storage and inbound material handling.

The reality today is that most warehouse operations act as their own “islands” of information. Moving forward, the warehouse should link, consolidate and integrate the Warehouse Management System (WMS) with the Yard Management System (YMS), Transportation Management System and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). By linking these systems, you can remove inefficient information silos and promote recognition and collaboration across the entire warehousing process and encouraging a more synchronized and agile supply chain.

Call us at (570) 768-4482 or email us at afrederick@cssi.com today to learn more about how CSSI and Zebra Technologies can accelerate your business processes and save you money. We also encourage you to contact us regarding specific devices, such as the innovative MC9200 Mobile Computer.

On-premise, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS: Who’s responsible for what?

As Cloud networking becomes more popular, the myriad of terms like “on-premise,” “Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS),” “Platform as a Service (PaaS),” and “Software as a Service (SaaS)” can be confusing to those not fully acquainted with the technologies.  A helpful way of understanding the distinction between these four ideas is to look at what parts of your server/network infrastructure are your (i.e., your company’s) responsibility and what parts are your Cloud vendor’s responsibility.  Download a PDF version of the below image here.

Cloud Computing Variants

COMPUTER SUPPORT SERVICES, INC. ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF VERSION 3.5 OF COREINTEGRATOR® WORKFLOW

New Features Allow Businesses and Enterprises to Work Even More Efficiently

February 9, 2015 (Lewisburg, PA) – Computer Support Services, Inc. (CSSI) announced today that they will be releasing Version 3.5 of their cutting-edge workflow software, CoreIntegrator® Workflow, this week.

CoreIntegrator Workflow is a web-based workflow and business process management (BPM) solution that can automate virtually any time-consuming and repetitive process within an organization.  The software facilitates solutions for many industries such as:

  • Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
  • Banking
  • Biotech/Pharmaceuticals
  • Construction
  • Government/Public Sector
  • Higher Education
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Property Management
  • Sales
  • Taxes

Integrating with Microsoft SharePoint and other document management systems for a paperless office and requiring only a standard web browser to use, CoreIntegrator Workflow offers tangible benefits to its users such as increased control over processes that span disparate offices or large numbers of participants, visibility of where bottlenecks in business processes lie, realization of discounts—when available—for prompt processing, and accountability and compliance through standardized processing and a detailed audit trail.  This, along with its built-in collaboration features, drag-and-drop graphical workflow designer, and intuitive user interface, makes CoreIntegrator Workflow an obvious choice when automating tasks such as invoice approval, travel and expense reimbursements, insurance claim approval, purchase order matching, employee onboarding, grant submission, and contract review—to name a few.

Version 3.5 introduces new features such as globalization and localization; document versioning; document retention policies; inline editing of documents; multiple time zone support; bulk exporting of documents; searching of attached documents; and much more.

About CSSI

Computer Support Services, Inc. has provided technology solutions to its customers in the Central Pennsylvania region and throughout the world since it was founded in 1973.  In addition to its flagship application, CoreIntegrator Workflow, CSSI offers innovative solutions through custom software development, network sales and support, sales of barcode and handheld devices for use in production and warehousing, and sales and support of the Microsoft and other 3rd-party software.  CSSI has offices in Lewisburg, PA and Bangalore, India and is a certified partner of Microsoft, Honeywell, Zebra Technologies, Dell, HP, and others.  CoreIntegrator Workflow has been sold throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

For more information about CoreIntegrator Workflow or any of the other services that CSSI offers, please contact Andrew Frederick, Business Development Manager, at (570) 768-4482 or at afrederick@cssi.com or visit http://www.coreintegrator.com.  For more information on CSSI’s other products and services, please visit http://www.cssi.com.