In our previous two blog posts, we discussed how to leverage technology at your distribution center and use vendor insights to your advantage. In this post, we’re going to focus on how you can use business data collection tools to automatically gather information about every aspect of your distribution center. By asking the right questions and using data analytics to answer those questions, you can gain valuable insights into your operations and subsequently determine how to make improvements.
Which Areas of Operations Can I Automatically Collect Data?
The more data you have, the more visibility you have of the processes that make up your day-to-day operations at your distribution center. It’s only logical that when you think of gathering data, the first question that springs to mind is about which areas of operation you can automatically collect data on. The short answer is, all of them.
Picking, packing, labeling, receiving and sorting can all be tracked automatically. Thanks to advancements in technology, your staff members no longer have to fill out endless spreadsheets by hand and enter them manually into a database. Using radio frequency identification — or RFID — systems and radio frequency — or RF — barcodes, items can be quickly and easily scanned so that the data is immediately entered into your database. This setup results in faster, more error-free processes that save you both time and resources.
At the same time, self-monitoring sensors in your equipment can record data about wear and tear and alert you when its time to have a machine serviced or repaired. This action helps keep your equipment in good condition, minimizes downtime and prolongs the life of your assets. Similarly, by outfitting your warehouse with sensors, you can automatically track indoor temperature, lighting and the power consumption of your equipment to gain more insight into your facility’s energy use.
Workforce management is another area where automatic data collection can be highly useful. You can gather information about everything from workers’ hours and productivity to the correct use of equipment and adherence to safety measures.
In addition, automatic data collection can be applied to transactional activities such as interactions with suppliers and vendors. It can serve as a foundation for analyzing which relationships are most beneficial to your organization.
Clearly, collecting data automatically is much faster and yields far greater data sets than manual data collection. Plus, with the element of human error eliminated, automatic data collection also ensures that all the information you analyze is accurate — which paves the way for smart, data-driven business decisions.
Clients First Helps You Integrate Automatic Data Collection With Your ERP System
To gain actionable insights from your data, you need to integrate it with your ERP system. However, many organizations run into data quality issues in implementing an ERP system because their data sets are unstructured or irrelevant.
At Clients First, we have extensive experience helping organizations of all sizes effectively integrate their databases with their ERP systems — and we can help your organization too. For more information, contact us today.