When it comes to warehousing and logistics, ensuring the right item ends up in the right place, at the right time is the key to customer satisfaction.
Fundamental then is knowing what needs to be loaded on each vehicle, knowing when and where it needs to be unloaded and being certain that the right products are in each consignment.
That makes the seemingly mundane task of loading items onto a vehicle a critical exercise. In this blog, we explore how mobile computers and RFID technology can help address these challenges, ultimately making life easier for delivery drivers and those responsible for logistics.
Scanning Items in Bulk: A Timesaving Revolution
One of the solutions we often turn to at Cobalt are RFID scanners and fixed RFID readers to scan products en masse. RFID technology is not too dissimilar to a barcode, but takes the idea further. A physical label with a tiny microchip (RFID Inlay) contains information relating to the product it is attached to.
Much like a barcode, when scanned, the information contained in the label can be passed between systems, allowing for very rapid transfer of data. E.g. between a Warehouse Management System to a Despatch/Delivery system. Where RFID differs from a barcode, however, is there is no need to be able to see the label. RFID relies on radio waves operating at multiple frequencies to read information.
RFID can also scan multiple items simultaneously, significantly reducing the time taken to load vehicles compared to traditional individual scanning methods. With the advantage of non-line-of-sight scanning, you can be confident that items are accurately scanned, minimising errors and greatly reducing the effort required to accurately load a vehicle, reducing the time required for drivers to hang around, rather than be out on the road!
Always Know Exactly What’s on and Leaving Your Vehicles: Automation at Loading Bays and in Vehicles
Fixed RFID readers strategically placed in loading bays automate data collection, ensuring instant, accurate tracking of items as they are loaded onto vehicles.
But that can also be added to the vehicles itself. Fixed RFID scanners on vehicles mean delivery drivers only need to think about driving and delivering – the IT and traceability elements are handled automatically.
Or, if that’s a step too far, introducing handheld RFID scanners allows you to track items in real time as they leave the vehicle with minimal human intervention.
This improves accuracy and provides a comprehensive overview of a vehicle’s contents, eliminating uncertainties.
Real-Time Delivery Data with Mobile Computers: Keeping Drivers Informed
RFID gives a clear picture of what was on a vehicle and what was delivered from a vehicle in real-time. Mobile computers installed in delivery vehicles can further enhance the process, keeping drivers informed/instructed and operations running smoothly.
These devices provide real-time data on upcoming deliveries, allowing drivers to stay on schedule and efficiently manage their routes. By syncing mobile computers with RFID scanner data, companies gain a holistic view of their inventory, facilitating better decision-making and reducing the risk of errors. Relaying information between drivers and administration centres also allows for a more efficient process, making things easier for your drivers when they deliver items.
While RFID is often the only option to help delivery drivers, you can achieve the same ends by using FIS (fixed industrial scanners) to automatically scan visible barcodes as pallets move from one area to another. For example, if a pallet goes through a “gate” of FIS scanners from manufacturing to warehouse, you know said pallet is now in the warehouse.
Track Where Vehicles are with Location Services: Planning for Efficiency
Knowing the exact location of delivery trucks at all times makes for highly effective planning. Location services integrated with mobile computers enable companies to keep up to date with vehicle movements in real time, allowing for precise scheduling of loading and unloading activities.
This not only enhances efficiency but also contributes to better resource allocation and planning and can assist with customer satisfaction, too. Knowing where an item is in relation to its destination provides an opportunity for very proactive customer communication.
How We Can Help
In short, barcoding solutions, particularly mobile computers and RFID scanners, offer a transformative approach to logistics challenges. By leveraging these technologies, companies can streamline their operations, reduce loading times, and enhance the accuracy of product tracking.
Cobalt’s consultative approach ensures that these solutions are seamlessly integrated into existing processes, making life easier for delivery drivers and ultimately improving the overall efficiency of logistics operations.
We’ll work with your company to find out what your processes are before delivering a bespoke solution to the problems that you’re facing, never offering a product or service that doesn’t make sense for how you work.
Whether you need fixed scanners for RFID identification in bulk, or just a single mobile computer to change how your only driver operates, our team will work with you to find the right solution at the right price point.