With the capabilities of technology continually increasing, along with escalating levels of consumer demand, warehouses are undergoing a period of unprecedented change.
It’s a fact: people want access to their goods faster - that will never change. But in order to meet that demand and facilitate the provision of an efficient service, warehouses are being restructured and incorporating more cost effective and efficient technology to accelerate and expand business operations.
From research we’ve conducted regarding the state of the warehousing industry, many respondents indicated that one of their top investment priorities was equipping staff with sophisticated technology, such as mobile devices, barcode scanning devices and interconnected solutions (Internet of Things).
However, as consumer demand increases, warehouses not only require proficient technology to streamline workflows and provide greater item visibility, but also more stock, which in turn, takes up more space. To alleviate this problem, many warehouses are now being restructured to utilise vertical space, thereby increasing inventory capacity and reducing the overall cost of space.
But this also presents a problem in itself, as higher inventory shelves makes data acquisition difficult for standard, short-range barcode scanners. If operators need to conduct regular stock counts or pick specific items from these high inventory shelves, it’s of the utmost necessity that they are equipped with a sophisticated, long-range barcode scanner solution capable of acquiring the required information. A long-range barcode scanning solution provides warehouse operators with the ability to acquire product information at any point with minimal effort; thereby reducing time taken, which in turn, reduces the overall cost of operations.
In essence, long-range scanning technology provides various benefits over traditional short-range scanners, some of which are:
This technology enables forklift drivers to scan quickly and safely from the cab, speeding up the data acquisition process, which increases productivity and efficiency overall. Generally, long-range barcode scanners are capable of accurately discerning barcodes up to as much as 50 feet away, under numerous layers of shrink-wrap, making them vital for large-scale operations where time is sensitive.
Irrespective of the operating environment, long-range barcode scanning technology will continually perform. Even in dimly lit working environments, their accuracy and precision is not reduced in the slightest. In addition, long-range scanners scan sequentially, meaning that the operator can hold down the trigger to identify multiple items.
No matter what the conditions, from regular to irregular temperatures, barcode scanners in general will continue to operate. Furthermore, most modern barcode scanners take into account the possibility of being ‘dropped’, and therefore, have an extreme level of shock tolerance and will function normally after repeated drops to concrete.
Error reduction and intuitive operation
Barcode scanning devices in general will reduce data acquisition errors significantly. However, in a vertically structured warehouse, short-range barcode scanners may encounter some problems due to their range. Long-range scanners however, generally utilise omnidirectional scanning technology, meaning that lining up the scanner and the barcode is unnecessary, reducing time taken to acquire information. Combining the omnidirectional support with their long-range capability means the operator no longer has to pace up and down the warehouse floor continuously to scan goods.
Short range and long range
A misconception would be to believe that long-range scanning technology is only applicable at range. This is far from the truth. In reality, long-range scanners offer excellent capability at short range as well; they can be used effectively across a range of distances, from an item centimetres away, to one on the highest shelf in the warehouse. Sophisticated long-range scanners provide operational capacity at both short and long-range, eliminating the need to buy multiple devices and improving return on investment.
As the pressure created by consumer demand continues, the onus is on warehouse operations to become ever more sophisticated and innovative in effective and efficient use of space.
The integration of simple yet sophisticated long-range scanning technology, when utilised and deployed correctly, will enable warehouses to increase productivity, efficiency and performance, which in turn, will reduce costs, increase profits and streamline operational procedures. And, as long-range scanners can operate at various ranges, their inclusion in the data acquisition process will eliminate the need for additional products – and provide operators with the capabilities they need on the ground to quickly identify items.
To find out more about how to optimise your warehouse operations, click here.