Chapter 7. Mobile Solutions in Wholesale and Logistics
The main tasks of automation of processes in wholesale trade and logistics are the following.
1. Optimizing the use of warehouse space.
2. Reducing costs by storing goods in a warehouse.
3. Reducing the time of all warehouse operations.
4. Reducing the number of erroneous warehouse operations.
5. Improving the accuracy of the inventory.
6. Reduction of losses associated with a limited period of sale of goods.
7. Decreasing the dependency on the human factor .
Warehouse management information systems and transport management systems of WMS and TMS classes are used for automation of warehouses and transport organizations.
7.1. Warehouse Automation Information Systems
Warehouse Management System (WMS) is designed to manage stocks in a warehouse. It uses computer terminals to control the reception, storage, sending of goods, etc. In information technology, the term WMS also denotes a data warehouse management system.
In warehouses, WMS-systems are intended for use by mobile users - storekeepers and warehouse workers, who are equipped with portable computers with bar code scanners or RFID tags. Each accounting cell in the warehouse has a unique address with which the information about the product is associated for the period of its storage. This information is read by the storekeeper using a mobile terminal and transferred for processing to the WMS-system, which when the goods arrive at the warehouse selects the optimal location for its placement.
For this purpose, a special algorithm is used based on the turnover of goods. When you receive an application for the delivery of goods, the system shows the location of the goods, which makes it easy to find it in the warehouse. The result of the implementation of the WMS-system is the effective use of storage space, reducing costs, reducing the time for searching for goods, reducing inventory time.
One of the main elements of the WMS-system are data collection terminals.
7.2. Data collection terminals and their applications
Data collection terminals are specialized portable computers equipped with a barcode scanner. They are used for automation of trade, warehouse accounting, manufacturing enterprises, customs terminals, logistics, postal services and express delivery services. The TSD can work in conjunction with other peripheral devices, such as label printers.
Industrial mobile data collection terminals (TSDs) are most widely used in the work of various warehouses - logistics, postal, food, etc., in trade, mobile commerce, in automating the work of service organizations to provide them with necessary spare parts, in the industry to track technological process of the production cycle.
In production . Together with the data acquisition subsystem, they allow real-time tracking of the movement of parts and components during the production process and automate the placement of the finished product in the warehouse.
In warehouses . They allow you to automate the inventory of goods in warehouses and shops, re-evaluate the value of goods. TSD are an indispensable tool in the work of warehouses with an ever-increasing number of storage units and a product range. Equipped with wireless communication technology Wi-Fi, data collection terminals allow directly in the warehouse to enter information about the goods in the database of the company for the purpose of inventory.
In trade . TSD is used in trade for acceptance and return of goods and inventory. When used in conjunction with a mobile printer, TSDs allow you to re-evaluate the product and print price tags right in the sales area.
In the automation of mobile commerce . Many retailers that sell products and goods through a distributed trading network use sales representatives to interact with remote outlets. Possible options for the work of sales representatives are the collection of orders (pre-selling), van-selling, a set of measures aimed at maximizing sales in retail trade (design of trade showcases, optimal layout of the trading floor, etc.).
Increase the efficiency of sales representatives can be by using TSD, equipped with wireless communication (GSM modules with support for GPRS). In this case, they have access to enterprise databases and to information about stocks of goods in warehouses. In addition, they can and in real time make an order for the supply of the necessary goods and record information about the transactions to be placed in the enterprise database and then processed. For optimal routes in mobile commerce, either TSD models equipped with the GPS satellite navigation module can be used, or the GPS receiver can work with the TSD via Bluetooth technology.
In the service. As a result of automating the work of service organizations, TSD, equipped with wireless communication with the central office of the company, allow in real time to order the necessary part for repair, order the order of maintenance and repair of equipment.
In the hotel service. TSD, equipped with wireless communication, allows hotel staff to report on the work performed, which are entered in the hotel database for use by the accounting department and for stock replenishment in the warehouse (information about linens, replaced bulbs, etc.) - When placing in one building there is enough wireless connection for Wi-Fi technology.
In delivery services. In the courier services, the following scheme for notifying the delivery of a letter, package or a valuable parcel may be applied: the data on the delivery of correspondence over the wireless network (using GPRS/EDGE technology) are sent to the central office computer, placed in a database and made available to a special website, through which senders track the route of the posted correspondence.
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