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How many times has a company lost a valuable tool or piece of equipment, written it off and ordered a costly replacement, only to have the missing item turn up unexpectedly a while later—at a jobsite or tool bin far from its assigned location? And how much time and labor, in the field and in the warehouse, was expended searching for that elusive item? How many hours of productivity were lost because that asset wasn’t available when needed, where it was needed?

That scenario may be painfully familiar to many warehouse managers. But there is a solution, thanks to advanced technology, that enables comprehensive management of every asset throughout its entire useful life. And these systems make employees accountable for the items they’ve checked out, so loss, theft and mismanagement of resources are sharply reduced. 

Here are some examples of how a powerful operations management system can streamline a warehouse.

Check-in/check-out

Warehouse attendants can quickly check items in and out so field teams never wait idly for what they need. That adds up to significant improvements in efficiency when checking assets in and out of the warehouse, and also optimizes space in the warehouse. When all items are accounted for in real time, warehouse staff can rearrange inventory to minimize unused space.

User-defined templates enable warehouse staff to create lists of items for specific types of tool kits, enabling consistent creation of kits, pick tickets and purchase orders. Plus, assigning groups of tools together saves scanning time and makes it easy to identify and replenish missing items.

Picking

Warehouse teams that use auto-generated pick tickets can fill orders more efficiently, which reduces mispicks and time spent waiting for tools on the jobsite.  

Using an easy-to-use jobsite portal, the field can submit a request instantly, and the warehouse team can integrate those requests into their workflow rather than being inundated at the end of the day.

Purchasing

Automated purchase order creation saves time and increases accuracy, and the system can prompt the warehouse manager to reorder an item when inventory drops to a defined level so it is always available when needed.

Receiving, deliveries and transfers

Staff can prepare deliveries, deliver tools, equipment and materials, and accept and process returns efficiently. The system can also order and track item transfers between field teams and jobsites.

Service and calibration

An operations management platform can develop maintenance schedules for any type of equipment, and prompt the service team to perform needed maintenance and repairs as prescribed, which will maximize the life and utilization of tools and equipment. The system also can remind staff to evaluate and test equipment, ensuring the safety of field teams.

Inventory counts

Keep inventory up to date in real time. Instead of arduous manual counting and checking, computers and handheld devices instantly record the movement of every item that comes into or goes out of the warehouse. The system can effectively distribute tools and equipment, and update equipment information on the spot.

Best of all, because modern warehouse and operations management systems take full advantage of the latest cloud-based technology, all features are accessible from anywhere through desktop and mobile apps, providing the real-time data companies must have to be productive and competitive.

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