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Mobile Labeling Stations from Newcastle Systems Drastically Improve Warehouse Efficiency

Posted August 31, 2021

nb series nucleus

Warehouse and fulfillment operations pose a great challenge any year, but consumer behavior during the pandemic has shifted heavily to online purchases. As a result, operations are handling larger inventories and more receipts, picks, shipments, and returns than ever before.

Meet the Demands of eCommerce Growth

While organizations focused on “keeping up” with demand, this was often at a higher cost (especially since many deprioritized process inefficiencies).

The eCommerce trend is not short-term. In Q1 2020, U.S. ecommerce sales climbed 39% over the same time last year, and growth projections already are nearly two years ahead of forecasts.

With demand still high, any inefficiencies in your processes will be exaggerated (and hence, more costly). Higher costs could mean serious limitations when scaling up your operations.

To optimize your warehouse for growth, small steps can make big impacts on your bottom-line costs, profit margin, even productivity – without significant investment in time, budget, or fancy software.

Ready to trim waste from your eCommerce operations? Get quick results with these five steps:

#1 – Establish a Cleaning Routine for Your Warehouse

Never underestimate the power of “clean.” Dust and dirt can damage product; empty pallets take up valuable space; and scrap boxes and strewn paper become obstacles and potential safety hazards that impede machine and people access, reduce productivity, and add extra steps as workers maneuver to avoid roadblocks. Implement an ongoing “clean routine” task list for your warehouse to streamline traffic and protect product – and workers.

#2 – Save Valuable Time with Cross-Docking

In eCommerce, there is a lot of pressure to ship items fast. If you have back ordered or single-item orders for certain products, you can save valuable time by skipping the restocking process. Instead, set up a process to relabel them for shipping right as they come off the truck on the receiving dock, and route them right back out the door of your shipping dock.

#3 – Simplify the Labeling Process

Labels have been around for decades, quietly getting inventory from point A to point B. Despite their importance, labels are perhaps one of the most underappreciated aspects of warehouse operations – and potentially one of the least efficient. Take time to audit and map your labeling process, paying particular attention to wasted motion, for example, the number of mouse clicks it takes to adjust formats, the number of trips a worker takes to/from the printer. Try to reduce the extra steps and work toward achieving an ideal mobile labeling process of Scan, Print, Apply. Mobile labeling stations, such as the Newcastle NB Series Nucleus System, help reduce walking and double employee productivity.

#4 – Organize SKU Location According to Volume

Certain items in your inventory may be more popular than others. For SKUs with higher order volumes or seasonal spikes, making them more accessible also makes processes more efficient. Location is key, so prioritize these items by placing them closer to packing for instance – and don’t forget to increase the bin size so stock doesn’t run low. 

#5 – Reduce the Steps Required to Fill Orders

It may be hard to believe, but simply reducing the physical number of steps an employee takes to fill an order can result in significant cost and time savings. Converting a stationary workplace to a mobile one is the easiest, most economical way to increase the productivity of your current workers and infrastructure. Powered industrial carts, such as the line of products from Newcastle Systems, can hold and power printers, computers, and more to remove the tethers of a stationary workstation. This is everything workers need to get the job done right at their fingertips.

mobile labeling

Improving Warehouse Efficiency

Efforts to optimize warehouse processes don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. And doing so improves warehouse efficiency, and enables you to scale your operations successfully along with ecommerce growth. Whether you have interest in a specific solution from Newcastle, or have questions about general warehouse efficiency, don’t hesitate to contact us.