Sometimes simpler is better. This blog explores how mobile powered carts can be a very efficient solution at a lower cost than many other technologies for improving your warehouse productivity.
Mobile powered carts have become more valuable to a warehouse operation in part because of the advancements made in battery technology. Batteries are now smaller, lighter and have a much longer charge life. In addition, mobile carts are so flexible. They can be easily moved to wherever they are needed.
Part 1 of this blog discussed how carts can be used as mobile powered workstations and as batch picking carts. In part 2, we will discuss the use of mobile powered carts as mobile pallet labeling and wrapper stations for mixed case order shipments and as mobile shipping and manifesting stations.
Mixed case picking processes are famously resistant to optimization. Going mobile, however, can help streamline and accelerate this process. In these applications, a mobile powered cart, managed by RDS™ can use voice or a Workstation Display with a Zebra large format label printer to move the cart to the pallet build location.
Equipped with an RDS™ workstation and Zebra wide label stock, the operator can wrap and label the pallet, applying one or more 6”x 6” or 6”x 8” order and pallet content labels. The mobile pallet wrapper and labeling system can wrap and label a pallet at a comparable speed to an auto pallet wrapper. The mobile technology is lower cost and eliminates the need for multiple fork truck pallet moves required when using an auto-pallet wrapper.
Move the cart to a pallet.
Scan the order pick ticket or pallet license plate barcode.
Validate items/quantity picked for accuracy.
Ensure accuracy by printing individual case retail compliance or customer-specific labels such as Amazon labels and the pallet content label(s) on-demand while the operator wraps the pallet.
Lean-up and improve LTL and truck load shipping processes and dock space utilization.
Provides 99.9% accuracy by validating that the correct items and quantities are picked for every order.
Enables you to easily move your picking process to wherever it is needed and quickly adapt space utilization needs in the warehouse.
Even in highly automated shipment processing environments, exceptions arise, due to no-read and damaged barcode labels and oversized case shipments. Staff can gain productivity and resolve exceptions with more flexibility using a mobile manifesting station barcode scanner, scale, and printer on a powered cart. Without a mobile powered shipping and manifesting station, operators spend time walking back and forth from the printer for each unexpected error.
You can take advantage of the capability to batch pick oversized case shipments for 12-15 customers at a time. After picking the pallet, of “like SKU items” are dropped next to the carrier shipping lane at the dock area. Then the operator with the mobile manifesting cart scans the pallet ID barcode, and scans and weighs one of the cases. This triggers RDS™ to manifest all of the cases and batch prints the pallet quantity of customer carrier shipping labels. The operator applies the individual customer labels to each case and moves the pallet to the carrier shipping lane.
Scan the order ID to look up shipping details in the WES/WCS system.
Identify and resolve the shipping issue.
Process the shipment of the batch order pick by printing and directing the operator to apply the required carrier shipping labels.
Reduces staff time spent walking to other locations to look up order details and re-process the shipment.
Reduces potential for time delays that can affect customer delivery dates.
Makes it easy to handle exception and move the workstation to the warehouse work area.
Streamlines batch case or pallet quantity case picking and shipping manifesting operations for UPS, FedEx or other parcel carriers.
For most facilities, the mobile-powered cart is still a new innovation that has not been explored in depth for its potential applications. In order to be successful, businesses have always had to be able to adapt to changing market requirements. Mobile powered carts provide tremendous flexibility for an order fulfillment operation.
They allow a DC to make the most efficient use of their warehouse space because they are easily moved to areas where they are needed most. Because they improve efficiency in operations they also compensate for the labor shortages that many operations are currently facing.
Newcastle Systems is the recognized innovator of mobile powered workstations and portable power systems specifically designed to make warehouses, manufacturing facilities and retail floors more efficient. Its extensive customer list is a who’s who of successful global companies that thrive on continuous improvement to separate themselves from the competition.