Warehouse facilities are central to inventory management for many types of business. Although there have been many advances in warehouse inventory management in recent years, a surprising number of businesses – estimated at 46% by some sources – still rely on manually-driven warehouse management and inventory tracking systems, including paper shelf labels. Unfortunately, these systems are subject to high levels of human error, and are no longer considered competitive in a sector where IoT and digital solutions are becoming the norm.
What are the major challenges in warehouse management?
Effective warehouse management involves coping with three main types of challenges: inventory, data, and operations. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
- Inventory: Keeping accurate warehouse inventory records is essential to effective business operations, and inventory distortion caused by human error has been estimated to cost retailers close to $1.1. trillion a year globally. Inaccurate inventory records are also proven to contribute to customer dissatisfaction and business failure.
- Accurate Data Collection: Human error is common in manual data collection systems, and can greatly impact the efficiency of an entire warehouse inventory system. Traditional paper shelf labels also take time and effort to update, install and remove. As businesses face increasing numbers of labour shortages, finding the manpower to collect data can also be a challenge.
- Warehouse Operations: Manual processes in warehouse operations, like order picking and labeling, often demand a significant workforce. It’s worth noting that up to 70% of warehouse costs stem from labor resources. The more manpower required, the higher the operating costs and overhead, affecting your bottom line. Additionally, manual tasks like updating and installing labels on products, racks, and bins are prone to human error. This not only introduces inaccuracies in your inventories but also has the potential to negatively impact relationships with partners and customers.
Using Electronic Shelf Labels for efficient warehouse inventory management
There is an ever-increasing demand for warehouse space due to the booming ecommerce sector and recovering demand for in-store shopping experiences. Likewise, the need for efficient data collection and inventory management systems continues to grow.
Manual systems are no longer able to compete with the speed and efficiency of technological solutions, especially as human error continues to play a large role in warehouse inventory management failures.
Imagine having to change hundreds or even thousands of labels using a sticker or paper-based system. With Electronic Shelf Labels, updates to multiple labels can be done in real-time or on a scheduled basis, making the process much more efficient. And that’s not all.
Electronic Shelf Labels can help improve warehouse operations
ESL solutions make managing and finding products easy, as they help with automating tasks related to product location and navigation. Interactive labels simplify finding items, devices, or assets, especially in large warehouses with extensive inventories. Thanks to wireless connectivity, they are highly efficient, and their light and thin designs make installation on bins, racks, items, or assets a breeze.
Electronic Shelf Labels can be used in a variety of warehouse settings
In warehouses with cold storage where temperatures can drop significantly, such as those used by the grocery and pharmaceutical industries, regular paper labels won’t suffice. ESLs can guarantee optimal performance in these special conditions. They enable real-time updates through reliable wireless connectivity and user-friendly displays. When paired with sensor solutions, using Electronic Shelf Labels in freezers provides an extra layer of security as it enables managers to monitor critical temperature levels.
Electronic Shelf Labels help prevent stock-outs
Implementing Electronic Shelf Labels across the shelves, containers, and merchandise in your warehouse offers a sophisticated solution for optimizing processes and saving time, but these tools play an even more crucial role in notifying your staff about inventory levels. With accurate, real-time data about stock levels, warehouse managers and retailers can work together seamlessly with A.I. to use algorithmic predictions for state-of-the art inventory management, preventing stock-outs and responding quickly to consumer demand.
Proactively resolving stock issues contributes to creating a cost-efficient operational environment.
Electronic Shelf Labels boost internal warehouse communication
In retail, Electronic Shelf Labels can serve as effective advertising tools that allow for real-time updates, ensuring accurate, efficient in-store communication. Customers can get relevant, up-to-date information on special promotions or discounts directly from the label, across many locations at once. Similarly, in warehouses, crucial information or reminders for staff can be efficiently communicated through ESL labels. Improved communication between the various levels of management and staff increases efficiency and employee confidence, improving warehouse inventory management at every level.
Embrace the future of warehouse inventory management with Electronic Shelf Labels from JRTech
As companies increasingly shift toward semi and fully automated processes to enhance warehouse efficiency, sales in warehouse automation are predicted to hit $41 billion by 2027. This growth is projected at a steady annual rate of 15% over a span of 5 years, as reported by Business Wire.
Electronic Shelf Labels are an important component in any warehouse inventory system that intends to remain competitive in 2024 and beyond.
JRTech Solutions is a leading provider of Pricer Electronic Shelf Labels that can be easily integrated into a technology-based or even automated warehouse inventory management system, making data collection almost instant and largely free of human error.
Contact us today to learn how our technology can take your warehouse inventory management to the next level.