The Paperless Warehouse
  • Jim Southern

The Paperless Warehouse



You would be surprised at how many warehouses we visit still use paper pick lists to pick and ship customer orders. Some of these are still working on paper output from Order Processing systems or even Spreadsheets would you believe. Some have moved on and introduced what used to be call RF picking (wireless in todays modern language) but even these sometimes rely on paper pick notes to dictate which orders are processed and by who. Imagine if it could be completely paperless! Imagine how much time and effort that would save !

Benefits of a Paperless WMS

Sure, it sounds like utopia and we could never work like that - but why not? Let’s take a look at a few benefits of moving to a paperless WMS System:

Accuracy & Visibility

Keeping track of every order from pick to pack to despatch can be a difficult prospect, the situation changes minute by minute, trying to keep track using paperwork is almost impossible. Using Dexterity WMS you have real time information on the status of the warehouse operation. Using the Dexterity software and wireless handheld devices you can take advantage of instant updates, queries and a true paperless environment - no pick notes, no paper, the work is driven to the workers from the Dexterity Order Plan and Schedule for the day. Accuracy within the warehouse increases to 99%. Dexterity WMS drives the workflow and determines the order pick priorities.

Productivity Increases

It uses a lot of resource to use paper in a warehouse. Someone has to generate the print, someone has to distribute the paper pick note, the picker has to fill it in, someone keys it back in, etc, etc. It all costs time and money. Going Paperless saves all this and provides added benefits in productivity. With Dexterity WMS you can group orders together so that picking is more efficient and you visit locations the least number of times to maximise your labour efficiency, picking more products and orders with the same staff levels. This would be almost impossible with a "paper shuffling" system. A smart WMS solution will increase warehouse throughput and productivity levels will rise significantly.

Smart Efficient Workflow

Just adding some wireless devices to your existing ERP software just isn't a solution if all it does is mimic the functions of the paper system. All this does is put the limited stock and warehouse management functionality of the ERP system in the hands of the warehouse worker instead of the office worker, which is probably a backward step. What makes the handheld scanning devices useful and efficient tools in the warehouse is how they are driven from the Warehouse Management Software with smart and efficient process rules, e.g. group order picking, zone picking, and of course a completely paperless operation.

So is a paperless warehouse something for the future, something to think about - No it's already here. Why not take advantage and start reaping the benefits.

#paperless #warehouse #picking

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