Inventory Traceability: From Paper to Mobility

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No more printing paper. No more duplicate data entry. No more transposition errors. No more freezing inventory. No more counts on nights and weekends. OK – I get it, it sounds great, but can Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) really saving time and money? These systems are not free – and my boss is looking for a quick Return on Investment (ROI).

A word of caution: you really need to know your workflows of today, and with the help of supply chain experts gain insights into the optimal way to map your process for your future of mobile traceability. Experts will infuse advances in mobile technology with your industry-specific best practices and the recommended best approach to achieve your optimized process.  The range of options from one industry to another, from manufacturing to distribution, from market position to market potential … can vary greatly in terms of what ultimately will drive the most efficiency for you.Appolis Team Photo - 4-20-15

Speed vs accuracy within your operational workflow is a common analysis. Implementing barcode mobile automation can actually add more labor if you are not careful. Each scan is essentially a “touch” of your inventory. Many touches can drive a lot of accuracy, but can also lead to confusion. Receive it, and then put it away. Transfer it to manufacturing, and then Pick it to the work cell. Replenish from overstock to primary pick location. Pick the finished good (scan the bin, scan each item, scan your pick bin, move to the next item), and then do a second quality check before you Stage the order and then Move it to the truck. How many “touches” (scans) was that?

Quite a few … So how do we drive ROI? At Appolis, we offer our WithoutWire™ WMS Warehouse Management system with what we call intuitive intelligence. WithoutWire is a highly configurable system that is built for scanning and labeling efficiency. One key way we enable this is through our Intuitive License Plates (think pallet tag, or moveable bin). WithoutWire License Plates are valuable to our Customers because they take into account the current “state” of your inventory. Meaning, our system understands when an item only exists in one bin throughout the warehouse. It understands whether you have 1 pallet with 48 cases of the same item, or 48 cases of a mixture of items. It accounts for Bin types, Item Class and Hold status (quality vs manufacture). Taking advantage of this intelligence has advantages in Bin moves, Manufacturing picks, Finished Good creation, Site Transfers, Real-time ABC Cycle Counts, Pick/Pack/Ship, Field Service Inventory and more!Field Service half page

Taking advantage of WithoutWire intuitive intelligence drives not only scanning, but also labeling efficiency. Understanding your workflow can help you determine when a case or an each may need to be barcode labeled, or perhaps just labeling the pallet is enough to provide you the accuracy and process discipline that you need. Less labels saves time and money, reduces training and is Scalable to further drive your ROI.

If you would like more examples of how Clients are driving mobile automation efficiency throughout their supply chain, or information about how you can deploy to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, please visit us at

By Steve Dwyer, Vice President

Appolis Inc

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