Mobile Printing in an Intelligent Warehouse

Intelligent warehouse solutions rule the retail roost lately for increased efficiency, streamlined staffing requirements, and a better fulfillment center bottom line. When endeavoring to bump up your warehousing intelligence, mobile printing technologies should be high on your list of priorities. 

Of course, mobile printing technologies are merely one of the many warehousing strategies Storeworks employs to boost our clients’ success. Contact Storeworks today to discover which innovative, intelligent warehouse technology will help you smash your business goals reliably and easily. 

What’s your current package labeling saga?

Let’s dive deep into the in-real-life challenges you face in your fulfillment centers. Have you checked in lately on your label printing accuracy, precision, and “travel itinerary?” 

  • How far do your labels have to travel before they land squarely and accurately on a package ready to ship? 
  • How many times does a label change hands on its journey from the printer? 
  • How many repeat labels are printed because of operator or software error? 
  • Finally, how many steps must workers take to get to a printer, and how many times per day do they make the trip?

Your answers to the previous questions can pinpoint gaps in your label travel plans, highlighting blindspots in wasted time, energy, and materials. (Last time we checked, labels and the people who print them cost you money–likely a lot of it–month after month.)

Maximize printer capacity

Discovering any gaps between your printers’ potential use and their actual use could improve human and machine-hour productivity. 

For example, if your mid-range industrial printer can handle 10,000 labels per day, but you’re only printing 5,000, the simple math would suggest you could process double the current labeling capacity.

What’s holding you back from achieving premium productivity? If the human printing the labels must make a separate trip to the stationery printer each time she grabs a box from a container, it may be time to embrace mobile printer technology.

Mobile printing technology may smooth out your warehousing edges

Warehouses are notoriously massive, convoluted spaces filled with merchandise, staffers, supervisors, and vast chains of conveyor belts, sorters, and other sizable equipment. 

Further, as automation works its way into warehousing, you may also employ robot arms, pickers, or forklifts, and other automated solutions. All the moving parts of an intelligent warehouse must speak to each other in languages all stakeholders understand.

Embracing a “mobility priority” mentality is paramount to utilizing all your resources to their  highest capacity and best results. Any vital piece of the fulfillment chain that maintains an “island” presence can weigh down your operational “flow,” and cause several avoidable headaches.

Considering your employees’ safety is of paramount importance during evolving COVID-19 outbreaks and changing safety guidelines from state and local officials. At the very least, the requirement to keep six feet between employees appears to be the new “norm” in promoting employee health and well-being.

How can you improve productivity while ensuring the health and safety of your workforce? Enter the mobile printing station.

When all else fails, put it on wheels

Instead of forcing users to walk to a fixed printer destination, it’s smart to ask the printer to move to the operational space that needs it most at any given time. A mobile printer means a more nimble and responsive process that flexes with internal demand.

Where previously a worker could process 200 packages in an hour, a mobile printer station coupled with a laptop and scanner could increase that capacity by 60 packages per hour. That’s a 30 percent increase in productivity with a simple switch in printer capability!

In real numbers, one company saved 30% annually on its labor budget line.

Implementing the right mobile printing system for your warehouse

So, what does it take to get your mobile printing technology up and running in your warehouse? Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Determine your fulfillment scale

Your needs should drive your system selection. For smaller operations, a mobile printer and tablet may suffice to deliver a noticeable ROI in productivity. However, an out-sized warehouse situation will benefit most from more comprehensive mobile printing workstations.

  • Assess how you’ll use mobile printing stations to your best advantage

Mobile printers can speed the receiving and shipping sides of your distribution centers. 

Employing expanded-capability mobile printing stations can improve your labeling accuracy by up to 90%, increase your receiving volume by 63%, and improve picking rates by 35%. 

The other advantages to a comprehensive mobile printing station include reductions in overtime pay and standard labor costs. These improvements happen when you invest in mobile printer stations that feature sensitive antennae to speed inventory counts, or carts with scales and dimensional scanners to measure incoming products and assign them to the correct bins.

  • Predict your unique challenges: 

There’s a mobile printing technology for nearly every labeling hurdle. For instance, if you have specialized label sizes or shapes, you can obtain mobile field upgrades like peeler and cutter accessories to accommodate specialized labeling instructions.

That Coronavirus thing

Now that you’ve seen a picture of how mobile printing technologies could function in your warehouse, you likely can see the (bonus) effects of designating one mobile printing workstation to one employee or a small group of workers per shift. 

Mobile printing technology can help to reduce cross-contamination across the warehouse space. Going mobile may also help you contain the damage in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in your facility.

Lock in access to superior mobile printing technologies with Storeworks

At Storeworks, we win when YOU win with your customers. We tackle store automation, in-store fulfillment, and intelligent warehouse challenges so you can focus on product innovation, customer experience, and brand loyalty. 

Our architects, designers, software specialists, and IT wizards integrate your mobile printing solutions with experience and excellence.

As humans, we remember stores and staff that treat us right. We keep going back to the companies that deliver on time with accuracy, and help us get what we need when we need it, in the safest and fastest ways possible.

Let Storeworks help you become the retailer your customers can’t live without. Contact Storeworks today and we’ll be in touch to plan and implement customized smart store solutions that keep you at the head of the pack for sales and loyalty.