Warehouse management principles have existed for as long as man has sold and shipped products. It really all boils down to knowing what you have, where it is, and how much can be sold. Inventory control principles and tools were developed in response to this need, such as checking perpetual inventory balances, and having inventory tracking cards.
Early Warehouse Management System (WMS) applications were more accurate and timely than the old card type records, but there still have limitations and draw backs. These early systems required people to key in critical information. With the typical human entry error rate of 1 per 300 key strokes, a high degree of accuracy required double and triple checks. This article attempts to explore the various technologies currently in use for a typical warehouse.
Current Warehouse Technology
1. Pick by Voice
The voice picking system allows warehouse staff to concentrate on the picking process without looking at paperwork and having both hands free to perform the pick. The original voice picking systems were used where items were not bar-coded such as fresh produce, so a handheld scanner could not be used.