Warehouses are a vital component of a successful supply chain and should run like a well-oiled machine. With some warehouse buildings measuring miles long, a high-functioning warehouse or factory needs to understand how much product they have in stock, where it is located in the building, and how to quickly access it when needed. With many people working at these warehouses, finding where someone may have stored a specific product, tool, or material can be challenging, and the option of searching an entire warehouse isn’t a smart use of time. Location technology can help solve these problems.
Decreasing Lost Inventory with Pallet Tracking
The cost of lost inventory in warehouses is incredibly high for businesses, and by simply monitoring inventory through pallet tracking and inventory management, companies are saving money. Losses of inventory must be paid for with profit, and inventory management expert Jon Schreibfeder’s equation illustrates the true value of lost or damaged goods:
- Value of Lost Profit/Net Profit % Before Taxes = Additional Sales Needed to Make Up for Lost Profit
Items in a large warehouse can be easily misplaced, and when it comes time to ship inventory or get it on the road, it is commercially impossible to fully search a miles long warehouse and still hew to a tight schedule. This can lead to misplaced inventory sitting in boxes for ages and results in incorrect information on what products are truly currently stored within a certain warehouse. One solution to this problem is to use trackers for better warehouse management. Trackers attached to pallets provide the specific location point of the pallet, and warehouse mangers can quickly look up the location of a tracker on a specific tracker and go find it immediately.
Data Analysis and Improving Business
Location insights can add another layer of understanding for companies looking to better gauge the performance of their warehouse and supply chain. Businesses can optimize the way supply chains operate and gain location insights by adding location to pallets, machinery, shared equipment, and more through location enabled tracking equipment. These trackers, which can be added to a moving vehicle or item, provide up to date location information which can be used to show which routes drivers are taking, how long pick up stops are on average, and more. These location-based insights can be used in predictive analytics, supply chain optimization or location-based market research. This information is in many cases used to determine worker and supply chain efficiencies. Location can inform businesses on if workers are in their designated working area, what their arrival times are, the hours spent at a work site and gaps in site coverage. Understanding movement patterns can prepare businesses to accurately predict impacts of crisis on their flow of goods and services.
To ensure that asset tracking is efficient and effective, it is important to use a device or system that functions accurately indoors. Skyhook’s Precision Location is enabled by Hybrid Positioning Technology, which uses a proprietary algorithm to leverage and blend Wi-Fi, GPS, and Cellular signals to provide accurate location in all environments, while minimizing battery use to help prolong device life. Generally, Skyhook can estimate a minimum of 5-8 meter accuracy after a simple site survey using Skyhook’s OnSite Android Application. (These measurements are based on AP density, and AP configuration)
With indoor positioning capabilities on trackers that can attach to pallets, products, forklifts, and more, warehouses remain organized and managers can quickly take inventory and get product on the road as needed. An effective supply chain is an efficient supply chain, and geo-location - in many different applications - can greatly assist in keeping supply chains moving smoothly during challenging times and beyond.