Empowering end-users with Mobile WMS

A mobile warehouse management system can’t function without passionate, hard-working end-users.

Our mobile scanning software integrates with Business Central to facilitate all movements of inventory. Paper trails have been eliminated and the warehouse has been revolutionised. However, the technology is only as good as the people behind it. Success depends on its end-users; the warehouse staff on the floor using the software every day.

A common theme we see across implementations is a lack of trust from end-users, and a failure to involve them in key phases.

End-users are subject matter experts and need to be involved. They know the day to day “gotchas” better than anyone else; the true heart and soul of the warehouse. Giving them more responsibility will lead to an efficient new process.

Mobile end-user fears

It’s common to resist change due to fear of the unknown. What’s normal is comfortable! “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”; or for some “if it’s already broke, why break it more?”

Clients often have concerns that the introduction of the scanners will be too complex for warehouse employees to adopt.

Usually, their old stocktake or picking system involves manual, double entry. Staff hand write stocktakes which are checked by someone in “the office”, and then entered into the system. Incorrect data entry occurs on a constant basis within these systems.

The new mobile scanning system requires only entering the data once. Higher management question how they can trust staff to enter data correctly once, when there are already mistakes entering twice? How can the new way work when the manual process doesn’t even work?

Trusting end-users

The answer, is trust. While adopting the new scanning system we need to foster a new culture of trust.

The old system suggests a lack of confidence in staff as it pre-determines that mistakes will be made. It also creates a relaxed mentality as employees know the data will be checked if they make a mistake. The logic of the system is unmotivating, time consuming and error prone.

Who wants to write on a piece of paper that must be double checked? It’s more efficient to enter data once and register transactions in real time. End-users must be trusted with direct access to the system, so they can operate with this streamlined process.

Employees in high-trust organizations are 50% more productive, have 106% more energy and collaborate better with their colleagues.

The Harvard Business Review

Placing belief in staff will instil a new mindset and motivate end-users to be more accurate with their entry.

Involving end-users in analysis phase

Once we place more trust in our end users, higher management need to empower them with the right training. This including involving them in the analysis phase workshops.

Many clients deicide to bring only their high-level staff members into the initial workshops where the bulk of the solution is designed. However, having only one tier of staff involved has the potential to cause problems. These are not the people who use the system every day.

We advise involving subject matter experts in the workshops, as they will be using the software day-to-day. Including warehouse staff in these sessions covers all bases and ensures no fundamental processes are missed come go-live.

Reap the benefits

Once staff are trusted with responsibility and empowered with training, we can begin to reap the benefits. We have seen the success of our mobile solution across the board with many clients.

The scanners integrate with Business Central to give real-time visibility on the movement of stock. Previously, paper trails of stock counts piled up causing delays in production. Now staff have direct access to the system and can register transactions in real time. As a result, we avoid double handling and boost efficiency.

Mobile is the future

Considering end-users is vital when upgrading to systems like Mobile WMS. The discipline demonstrated by our consultants combined with our client’s leadership team, lays the foundation for success.

More responsibility leads to an accurate system for our warehouse staff to improve business end to end! It’s time to put faith in our end-users and allow ourselves to grow and transform with mobile warehouse management systems!

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