Route Accounting Solutions

17 Top Beverage Warehouse Picking Best Practices

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Warehouse managers spend a lot of time on the inbound and outbound aspects of warehouse management, but studies show that the order picking process generally accounts for over half of warehouse operating costs[Ma1] . To help you save time, we’ve put together a list of 17 warehouse picking best practices that will allow your warehouse workers to pick orders more efficiently.

Why Using Warehouse Picking Best Practices Makes Sense

Warehouse picking requires intensive labor and expense, which is why pick operations are always on the list of improvements for distributors. When warehouse picking systems are optimized, it reduces costs and adds to customer satisfaction.  

Generally, warehouse orders are filled by giving pick lists to an order selector. The selector then travels to areas where the items are housed, picking items as they find them, extracting them, and then matching them with the paperwork. When done without an inventory management system, human error can add more time, expense, and frustration to the process.

Of the steps in the warehouse order picking process, traveling accounts for 55% of the selector’s time. Clearly, if the selector has an understanding of where the products are, how many of them are sitting on the shelves, and how many they need, it would make picking and packing much easier.  

And that’s where our warehouse picking best practices come in. Here are 17 tips to help you optimize your picking method.

Increase Efficiency With These Warehouse Picking Best Practices Tips

Not every supply chain distributor will utilize the same picking methods, and there are many processes, methods, and even tools to help optimize the process. Depending on your warehouse setup and design, you may currently use one of these picking systems:

  • Individual order picking, picker-to-part, or piece picking is used by smaller distributors. With this method, the selector picks the entire order and adds them to a container or shipping pallet.
  • Wave picking is for those distributors that pick and pack orders with multiple items and a varying number of SKUs. This method is conducted in waves, picking all zones at the same time.
  • Batch picking happens when selectors pick for multiple orders in one trip. They pick like items or items that are located in similar areas on each trip.
  • Zone picking is often used with batch picking and many distributors with large warehouses use this method. Selectors are assigned to a certain zone in the warehouse, and once they’ve picked all the orders, they pass them on to be packed.

No matter which picking method you use, chances are you can increase your efficiency and reduce operating costs with some changes to your system. Here are some of our favorite picking best practices tips:

  1. Create a zone that is stocked with all of your fast-moving products. This is called a fast-pick zone or an order-completion zone. It will allow your selectors to work faster and smarter—and reduce traveling and picking time if most of the orders can be filled from this zone.
  2. Where you put your fast-picking zone is important, too. Warehouses that locate this zone close to the shipping area save even more time than those that locate the area far away from it.
  3. Establish goals and a tracking system that helps reduce stock-outs and items that are not in their proper location. This will reduce traveling time for the selectors and increase productivity.
  4. Using warehouse management software to create batch orders for single-line orders will greatly increase productivity because it cuts down on travel time. A selector will be able to travel the same distance while picking multiple items for a batch of orders.
  5. Transition to hands free technology that allows your selectors to use their hands for picking, not scanning or looking up the next location. Today’s technology uses voice-directed or pick-to-light that will decrease pick time and save you money.
  6. Improve your inventory management, which helps selectors do their job more efficiently, by foregoing the annual physical inventory count and instead using cycle counting. With this system, you will routinely count small groups of inventory which will help you catch discrepancies, reduce leakage, and increase the accuracy of your inventory.
  7. Evaluate your inventory slotting regularly. While re-slotting the pick faces in your warehouse takes a lot of time, the benefits you get from doing it quarterly rather than yearly can save you time and money in the long run.
  8. Store SKUs separately. When you mix SKUs in the same bin it results in more floor time for the selector. That’s because the selector will be directed to a location, but because multiple SKUs are stored there, they will have to locate the product on the ticket. Studies have shown that this increases the pick time by 15 seconds per instance, which can add up during a day.
  9. If you are forced to pick vertically because of space limitations, be sure the store the fastest-moving items at ground level to increase the speed. Store the slower-moving items higher up because they aren’t picked as often.
  10. Set up hit density areas in the warehouse to increase productivity. For instance, if selectors pick from 50 areas, they will be much slower than if they only had 10 locations to pick from. You can categorize the zones according to their usage. Locate all of the high pick areas together to save even more time.
  11. Create a system where the items are only touched one time by the selectors. Once the item is picked, it should be loaded onto the shipping container having only been touched by the selector. This will reduce human error during the process.
  12. A simple way to speed up your picking times is to make sure that your shelves, bays, slots, and aisles are clearly marked with location signs.
  13. Use your warehouse management system to scan each item into its location. That way, the selector will always find the item right where it’s supposed to be.
  14. Wrong orders cost time and money, but you can reduce or eliminate them if you use barcode scanning when picking every item. To double down on this system, scan the items again at the dispatch point to ensure each item matches the shipping label. But, be sure the pallet SKU isn’t scanned in place of the product SKU at the dispatch area—otherwise, they won’t catch the mis-pick.
  15. Use a warehouse management system to prioritize your orders. When the last order is consistently picked first, it can cause delivery delays and unhappy customers.
  16. You need to understand the movements of your selectors to formulate a plan to increase productivity. And unless you use a warehouse management system to track their activities, you will have to guess who is productive and who isn’t.
  17. Finally, you can get your employees on the improvement bandwagon by posting the real-time progress of each selector. If you really want to stoke a competitive environment, post the errors and picking rates. And if you sense a lack of motivation among the selectors, offer a bonus each week or month to the person with the best stats. Your warehouse management system can easily generate those numbers for you.

Plan to Succeed When Establishing Best Practices

Before you implement any new best practices for your warehouse, it’s important to first establish some benchmarks. Only after you benchmark your current performance can you understand what goals you need to focus on.

And then after you know where you need to improve, you can use best practices to reach your new goals. And don’t forget the role of warehouse management software, one that seamlessly integrates with your sales and delivery solutions. A great WMS can help you efficiently operate you warehouse and manage your product flow.


Route Accounting Solutions

Three Reasons eoStar Should be Your First Pick

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In the distribution industry, few decisions are more important than picking the right software. The right software can transform how you relate to your clients, run your warehouses, and use your data. On the other hand, the wrong software can leave you frustrated and dealing with so many issues that you spend more time troubleshooting than growing your business. eoStar is designed to help you avoid those hassles. It’ll help you run your business smoothly and efficiently. Here are a few of the top reasons why. 

eoStar Software Streamlines Business Processes 

In distribution, efficiency makes a big difference. In fact, it’s vital to success. Your software can either hinder your efficiency or help you become more efficient. eoStar software does the latter by streamlining key business processes. 

Warehouse Optimization 

First, eoStar provides warehouse optimization options to help your team stay on track. eoStar is designed to keep your warehouses working as efficiently as possible. With eoStar, you can stay up-to-date on your most important warehouse information, including inventory, space, equipment, and much more. 

eoStar also lets you maximize warehouse efficiency with voice picking options. Many warehouse managers are surprised to learn just how much faster the picking process becomes once they remove the need for clipboards and paper lists. When team members don’t have to look down at a clipboard all the time, they can focus more easily and pick items more quickly. 

This warehouse optimization can also help you reduce costs by preventing item breakage. And because you’ll spend less time dealing with breakage, you can cut back on unnecessary delays. 

Finally, eoStar is proven to improve fulfillment and reconciliation speeds, both of which contribute to overall efficiency. 

Make the Most of Your Data With a Centralized Framework 

When it comes to efficiency, one of the most important factors is knowing how to use your data. When you can read and analyze your data, you can see which areas could use improvement, which areas are doing well, and which areas you might be missing in terms of efficiency. 

eoStar software provides a centralized framework that you can use to analyze your data. Your data will become more organized so that you can take a closer look at it, improve your performance, and increase productivity. As a result, you can increase your profitability, too. 

Simplified Route Accounting 

The right route accounting software can do a lot for your company’s efficiency, and that’s where eoStar comes in. eoStar’s route accounting software can help you stay efficient by keeping your team informed. When everyone is on the same page, you don’t lose any time to miscommunications. 

Furthermore, this route accounting software will let you simplify your routes, which will help you save both time and money. 

Streamline With Mobilization 

Next, eoStar can help you streamline your processes with mobilization. The eoStar mobile app lets you take your information on the go. You can check in with the mobile app no matter where you are, which means that you can reduce delays. 

eoStar Fosters Company Growth 

eoStar also helps business owners who want to see their companies grow. A lot of factors contribute to business growth, and eoStar is designed to help you maximize those factors in your own company. 

Customization Options 

eoStar provides more flexibility than many other software options. Flexibility enhances company growth. Among other things, flexibility means that you won’t outgrow your software. You can make adjustments as needed without having to pause for major overhauls. Since major overhauls can put business on pause, preventing them can help you keep up your company’s momentum. 

Win Over New Customers 

Of course, you can’t grow your company without growing your customer base. eoStar can help you do that. For one thing, your data analysis opportunities will let you get to know your customers better. When you know your customer base, you can find more ways to meet their needs. 

Furthermore, when you reduce breakage, increase accuracy, and create an efficient company, you can increase customer satisfaction. Satisfied clients are loyal clients, and loyal clients help your company grow. 

eoStar Provides a Host of Resources 

Finally, eoStar provides a huge amount of resources in a single package. Instead of using multiple resources to fulfill your business needs, why not choose a single resource that provides everything? eoStar takes care of everything from route accounting to business intelligence. 

Get Started With eoStar 

The transition to a brand-new software can seem daunting, but eoStar is here to make things easier. Want to learn more about what eoStar can do for you? Get in touch with us now to get started. The eoStar team would love to help you make the most of your software.

Route Accounting Solutions

What to Look for in a Route Accounting System

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Having a route accounting system can make a world of difference in your distribution business. A good system can help you grow your business, keep things flexible, and stay up-to-date on the latest changes. 

Of course, it’s not enough to have just any route accounting system. You’ll want to make sure that you choose the right one. So how do you do that? One thing you should do is take your time and do your research. Instead of rushing into your decision, make sure that your new software has all the features that you need. Second, keep an eye out for these specific traits. They’ll help you keep your routes efficient and effective. 

Sales, Inventory, and Financial Tracking 

First, think about the basics. Your route accounting system should let you track sales, inventory, and financials. This is the bare minimum for any route accounting software. The more your system tracks, the less you have to worry about. 

This tracking is important for a couple of reasons. For one thing, it helps you stay efficient and organized, and it minimizes mistakes. When you stay on top of the details, you can make sure that you’re running your business effectively. 

For another thing, accurate sales, inventory, and financial tracking can take a big weight off of your shoulders. When you know that your tools provide accuracy and up-to-date tracking, you don’t have to make those updates and track those numbers yourself. As a result, you can focus on other things that you may have been putting on the back burner. 

Financial Reporting and Cash Flow Management 

A similar principle applies to financial reporting and cash flow management. Reporting is an important part of running a distribution business. When you have accurate reports, you can notice patterns in your data. Those reports can help you make adjustments as needed to make your business as effective as possible. 

Cash flow management is equally important. Cash flow can become overwhelming if you don’t have the right system to deal with it. However, if your route accounting system helps you manage your cash flow, it can remove some of that stress and allow you to maintain a more balanced focus. 

Sales and Promotion Options 

Your route accounting system should also allow for sales, promotions, and similar discounts. This kind of system requires a lot of flexibility, which is something that not all software options have. 

Still, you’ll want to make sure that your system does have rooms for sales and promotions, because sales and promotions are some of the best ways to gain new clients and grow your business as a result. Sales, seasonal discounts, and two-for-one deals give potential clients the incentive they need to check out your business. Often, when potential new clients are on the fence about a decision, it’s things like promotions that nudge them in the right direction. 

Customization and Flexibility 

Speaking of things that require flexibility, this is a good overall trait to look for in your new route accounting system. In the distribution business, things change all the time. The businesses that adapt and adjust are the businesses that thrive no matter what the market looks like. 

If you want to run a flexible business, then you need tools that allow for flexibility. When it comes to your route accounting system, some options are better than others. As you do your research, ask yourself how certain systems build flexibility into their products. 

When your system has flexibility, you can also rest assured that your system is conforming to your business. Too often, business owners have to adjust their practices to conform to their software, when it should be the other way around. Flexibility will help ensure that you and your company get exactly what you need. 

Simple Reporting 

Next, look for simple and straightforward reporting from your route accounting software system. Reporting matters when making decisions. The results of your reports can make a big difference when determining one decision over another. That means that your reports should be clear, simple, and fast. 

When you look for route accounting software, look specifically at your reporting options. Do these systems make reporting easy? If so, then you may have a solid candidate. 

Your Own Needs and Preferences 

Of course, you’ll have your own specific preferences when choosing a route accounting system, and those preferences aren’t any less important than the items listed above. Decide what you need from your software. What tools and features would serve your business best? Make a list of your company’s route accounting needs, and then look for systems that specifically mention those features. 

Once you choose your perfect route accounting system, you’ll notice a big difference in the way you do business. When a system meets your needs, everything flows smoothly. 

Looking for a route accounting software that features everything listed above? eoStar’s software features all of the above and much more. Get in touch with eoStar today to get started. 

Route Accounting Solutions

How Route Accounting Can Help Your Business Grow

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Business growth can get tricky, especially when there are so many things that impact the distribution market. Last year, for example, the COVID-19 pandemic did a number on a lot of people’s businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses took the biggest hits. Markets have their ups and downs, so if you want to keep your business growing, it’s important to have the right tools at your fingertips. If you work in distribution, one of the most important tools is route accounting software. 

Route accounting software does a lot more than keep your business organized. It can also help you take your business to new levels. When used correctly, your software can help you gain customers and bolster the customers you already have. Here’s how. 

Gain Insight From Your Data 

Route accounting software can keep track of certain types of data. That data can include things like sales, inventory, cashflow, and a lot more. Basically, if it has anything to do with your routes, then your route accounting software can track it. 

All of that data can help you with business growth if you know how to use it. When you gather and examine your route data, you’ll start to notice patterns in your routes and sales. You’ll see which actions lead to growth and which ones hinder sales. You may even notice connections that you never would have thought of without the help of your software. 

Once you start gaining some insights, you can turn those insights into actions. Make adjustments where necessary. Find ways that you can maximize sales and minimize costs. If these changes become long-term changes, then they can create business growth. 

Make Orders Easy 

A key part of business growth is simplicity. When you simplify your processes, business growth becomes a natural and organic process. Furthermore, the more things you can simplify, the more you can divert your focus to growing your business. 

That’s where route accounting comes in. One of the best things about route accounting software is that it can handle many tasks at once. In addition to data tracking, route software can also help you simplify order loading, keep up with supplier reporting, manage your inventory, and more. In other words, this kind of software makes orders easy. It takes care of the details so that you can grow your business without hassles. 

Route accounting software makes orders easier by taking care of all of the details. When you handle all of these details yourself, you may not realize just how much time you dedicate to them every day. These little things may not always seem like much on the surface, but those minutes add up. However, when all of those tasks become simpler, they free your time and brain space so that you can focus on real growth strategies. 

Have you been putting off a new marketing campaign or another growth strategy because you can’t seem to find the time? See if you can simplify things with the right route accounting software features. The extra time may be just what you need to make your vision come to life. 

Gain Clients With Sales and Promotions 

It’s tough to win new clients without sales and promotions. Buyers always want to minimize their risks, and that means not spending too much money on a product that they’ve never used before. When you offer discounts, you give potential new clients a way to minimize their risk and have more confidence when they buy your product for the first time. 

With the right route accounting software, you can manage sales and promotions to help you gain new clients. As a result, you may see your business grow quickly. 

Get the Flexibility You Need for Business Growth 

Business growth requires flexibility. Running a business at all requires flexibility, and that goes double when you want your business to grow. The COVID-19 pandemic proved this concept. When you run a business, you always have to be ready for the unexpected, and you always need a way to adjust. Business growth can happen in all kinds of circumstances as long as you have the right tools. 

Route accounting software provides the flexibility you need to make growth happen. It lets you adjust your processes as needed so that your business can thrive in any circumstance. 

Choosing the Right Route Accounting Software 

Of course, not every route accounting software is the same. Some provide more features and simplicity than others. When you choose your route accounting software, you’ll want to make sure that it’s the right one. 

For example, eoStar software comes with flexibility, easy ordering, business intelligence, and everything else that distribution businesses need from their route accounting software. If you need a software solution that fits seamlessly with your business, take a look at eoStar. 

Route Accounting Solutions

How to Keep Up With Trends and Beverage Distribution Software

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When you work with beverage distribution software, you keep a close eye on the market. New companies with strong marketing teams emerge all the time, and old favorites stay strong with different demographics. The beverage market also has a strong seasonal component, with different drinks selling better at different times of year. 

With all these changes, are you using your beverage distribution software to keep up with the trends? Tracking beverage trends, both in your own company and with the market as a whole, can help you stay on top of the market and keep up with demand. 

Business Intelligence and Forecasting for Beverage Distribution Software 

First, consider a beverage distribution software with business intelligence and forecasting capabilities. You can accomplish all kinds of tasks with the right business intelligence software. For instance, you can analyze the value of a potential retailer to decide whether or not you want to pursue that retailer. You can pick the best location sites and make quality placements based on those sites. 

Meanwhile, forecasting software can work with business intelligence software to help you make inventory decisions. You can predict which items you’ll need to restock based on purchasing trends. 

Both forecasting and business intelligence software can help you keep an eye on local beverage trends and trends within your own company. The more information you have in these areas, the better decisions you can make. 

Use Route Accounting Software to Track Data Beyond Your Warehouse 

Beverage distribution software isn’t just for warehousing. You can also find a software with route accounting capabilities. Route accounting lets you track things like sales and inventory in real time. You’ll receive updates as they happen, even beyond the walls of your business. Route accounting also lets you track your sales history, suppliers, and promotions, which is essential to running an effective beverage distribution company. 

Route accounting software, just like business intelligence and forecasting, can show you how certain beverage distribution trends apply to your own company. You’ll gain insight on things like seasonal changes, regional beverage popularity, and more. 

Use Analytics to Track Your Own Data 

Similarly, business analytics can show you whether or not you’re responding to market trends effectively. All businesses produce usable data, but few businesses take advantage of that data. If your beverage distribution software comes with data analytics capabilities, then you can make your data work for you. Additionally, you can hire a data analytics provider to handle your data for you. Some software providers also offer data analytics services. 

What do these services do with this data? They gather it into one place and then turn it into simple, usable insights. For example, they might find that your sales change with certain weather patterns, or they may find that some products appeal to specific age groups. Once you have that information, you can turn it into action. You might adjust your marketing plans, for example, or make changes to your inventory. 

Add Mobility to Your Beverage Distribution Software 

If you add mobility to your beverage distribution software, you can keep up with market trends even when you’re not at the office. Merchandiser software can help you track sales opportunities based on current market trends. You can also use mobile surveys to get better insights into these trends. Mobile software can help you track changes in real time, and it can help you better understand the reasons behind the trends. Once you have those insights, you can measure your company’s performance against these market changes, and you can keep your business flexible so that you always respond appropriately. 

The Right Software Gives You More Time to Pay Attention 

You need the right tools to keep up with beverage distribution trends, but you also need the time to monitor those trends. Finding time isn’t always easy, which is why the best beverage distribution software is the kind of software that helps you save time. The more efficient your software, the more time you’ll have to keep an eye on the beverage market. 

It’s all a matter of finding the right tools. For example, you might use a voice-based workflow to keep your warehouses efficient. This way, you can save time by increasing your pick rate accuracy. You can also use palletization to reduce breakage, which means that you’ll spend less time replacing lost inventory. E-commerce software can help you save time, too, by letting you make quick inventory changes and view orders quickly. 

With the right tools, you can win back some of the time that you didn’t have before, which will let you stay on top of market trends. Having the right beverage distribution software can make a big difference to business owners. The better you understand trends in the beverage market, the more confidence you’ll have in your business decisions. 

Want a software that can help you keep your eye on the market? eoStar is here to help. eoStar software provides several solutions, including the ones listed above, to help business owners keep up with beverage distribution trends. Get in touch with us today for more information. 

Route Accounting Solutions

How Forecasting Software Can Help You

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As we get further along in the year, consumer behavior will change as do the seasons. Each season tends to create a variety of demands across different sectors as it relates to what consumers are seeking with the new weather. On top of the changing seasons, we are also still dealing with the effects of COVID-19. More people are going to want to experience the outdoors as the weather heads towards summer heat, yet there are still concerns about the effects created from the pandemic. 

Given the two significant factors that may affect the supply chain, forecasting software is necessary for any business and warehouse that wants to continue operations and have a positive profit going into the next quarter. 

Forecasting software can allow an enterprise to plan logistics, finances, and workload for future business activities. This software draws on previous data and results to draw possibilities of future results. The paths that are created can be analyzed by management, and the best or optimal route can be chosen.

Here’s a look at the more detailed aspects and benefits of forecasting software. 

Cost Savings

One of the main benefits of forecasting software is its ability to prevent needless spending or investment. Through gauging proper supply levels, warehouses can avoid spending excessive amounts on inventory that may not meet the same level of demand. This will also save on costs when less space is taken up by inventory that is not moving anywhere. With more space free, the warehouse can use it for other inventory that may have different demand thresholds. 

Forecasting software allows warehouses to create inventory levels that provide the right amount of inventory at the right time. In order for this to happen, the software uses different types of forecasting.

Qualitative and Quantitative Forecasting

Qualitative and quantitative forecasting are two different methods in which forecasting software can help warehouses keep proper inventory levels. 

Qualitative forecasting occurs when there is a lack of raw data. This can be the case when a business is new and may not have months or years of historical data from which to draw upon. It may also be useful as a forecasting tool when significant challenges impact the supply chain; a perfect example is the effect of COVID-19. 

In order to perform qualitative forecasting, data collection is done to discover consumer opinion and sentiment. This forecasting draws upon focus groups, consumer surveys, and market research. The collection of qualitative data allows forecasting software to develop possible demand forecasts based on consumer opinion. 

Quantitative forecasting is the opposite of qualitative forecasting. This technique involves drawing on raw data and numbers to perform inventory forecasting. This approach can be more accurate and precise than qualitative forecasting. However, the challenge it faces is that it cannot incorporate present data from significant events such as COVID-19. Quantitative data will draw on historical numbers to discover trend lines over time that impact with different time periods. 

For example, quantitative data in an established warehouse can determine that X number of sleds are sold at the beginning of the winter season. The software can make a note that throughout however many years the warehouse has been operational, they have never shipped above a certain amount of sleds. The management team can use this quantitative data to determine how many sleds they will have in their inventory for the upcoming winter seasons.

Combined, qualitative and quantitative forecasting can provide substantial insights into the future financial and inventory planning for any warehouse. 

Back-end Optimization

Forecasting software allows warehouses to reduce the amount of manual labor necessary for continuing operations. Determining inventory levels related to supply and demand can become more automated with forecasting software. Increased automation reduces the chance of human error, which is always a possibility when labor is performed manually. 

As a result of reducing the likelihood of error, the management of the supply and production cycle will be more efficient. 

Additionally, with more manual labor being refocused in different areas where automation is not available, work productivity will increase. This will ultimately lead to a more efficient enterprise with fewer errors and increased productivity. 

Customer Satisfaction

Inventory forecasting can improve customer satisfaction because it increases the efficiency and productivity of the warehouse. Customers are less likely to encounter “out of stock” messages when browsing for goods. 

Additionally, good forecasting software can improve response speed and shipping times. Due to the process being more automated and precise, less time will be spent trying to identify which goods are going to be shipped. Instead, the supply will already be present in the warehouse and ready to be shipped.

Forecasting software that draws data from trends and qualitative analysis can also identify the types of goods that may fit into new and exciting trends. If a warehouse can utilize that data to get the newest items that are most appealing, more customers will use that warehouse to get those goods before they are sold out. 

Overall, forecasting software will create improved customer satisfaction because it ultimately improves performance and productivity of the warehouse itself.

Business Planning

Regardless of your business size, it is always important to consider growth potential. Of course, managers will want to meet deadlines and thresholds for the immediate future; however, long-term growth should also be considered. With effective forecasting software, warehouses can gain strategic insights into how they will wisely use their resources. It will also create more accurate data reports involving productivity and efficiency in the warehouse. Managers can use this data to plot out their growth path and to avoid or mitigate any challenges they may face.

Contact eoStar

At eoStar, we have developed a variety of software options to improve warehouse logistics and performance. We have decades of experience and are willing to work with you to develop a customized forecasting software experience. Additionally, our team is on standby to provide continual support after our software is integrated into your logistics systems. Contact us today for a consultation. 

Route Accounting Solutions

eoStar Has Inventory Tracking from Retrieval to Delivery

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A comprehensive inventory tracking system is an essential tool for any warehouse that wants to operate efficiently. An effective system will let you track your inventory across its entire supply chain, from the moment it arrives in your warehouse to when it gets sent to your customers. Accurate and easily accessible data regarding your supply chain will aid your warehouse business in seeing increased profits and productivity. In addition, an effective system will help you avoid errors, provide you with a variety of inventory alerts, help you optimize warehouse space, and more. 

At eoStar, we have customizable software that can be tailored to suit your needs. Our inventory tracking systems let you monitor your supply chain and ensure your operation is productive. Read on for a variety of elements that are essential to effective inventory tracking software, and what you should look for if you are considering replacing or upgrading your system.

Scalability

With the constant changes in American economics, there will be continuous change in warehouse processes. As your warehouse grows to satisfy demand, you will want to stay on top of tracking your inventory as it fluctuates. Failure or errors that arise during tracking can lead to compounded issues that surface later on. This will require backtracking and trying to fix all of the issues.

Instead of worrying about problems that arise from increased growth, you should consider implementing software that will scale with your business. This does not just apply to inventory tracking; scalability is applicable to all aspects of your warehouse business. 

Having inventory tracking that will scale with your business also means you can avoid having to replace or upgrade software multiple times in the future. Instead of searching for new products, you can transition into the increased productivity and responsibilities that come with increased growth. 

Dashboard

We recognize that your employees must have quick access to easily understandable data. Our inventory tracking system utilizes an intuitive system that will be easy to train new employees on. This will allow less time to be spent training or trying to decipher information. Our user-friendly dashboards will improve productivity and reduce the likelihood of human error or misunderstandings. 

Trends and Metrics

The inherent nature of any warehouse business is to get goods from one location to another. However, in order to do this effectively in our modern economy, analyzing trends and metrics of your inventory from retrieval to delivery is essential.

Inventory tracking will allow you to understand the degrees of demand for certain products and when that demand happens during the year. For example, there may be products that sell more frequently during the cold season, and your inventory tracking system can help prepare you for that. As the year progresses, your trends and metrics dashboard can prepare reports that will advise you to increase your supply of certain products that you have historically shipped a lot of during the winter season. 

A good inventory tracking system will also contain an alert system. These alerts can advise you on low or depleted inventory levels. As a result of being better prepared for low inventory levels, you can replenish your supply faster. This will reduce the lag time between getting products and then getting them to your customers. This benefit can also keep you apprised of future inventory levels so that you may be better prepared; as a result, you will not have to rely on an alarm system and instead can have the correct supply beforehand.

Inventory forecasting will also nicely complement the trends, metrics, and alarm systems present in an inventory tracking system. Like trends, inventory forecasting is analysis that can be performed on trending data and metrics. This takes the data and turns it into an actionable insight. 

EDI Integration

Our inventory tracking system has Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) integration to help your systems operate more efficiently. EDI integration allows users to exchange data electronically instead of through traditional means such as paper. While it is expected that you will likely use paper in some aspects of your business, it is still more efficient to use EDI in locations where it can be integrated. 

EDI integration will reduce the likelihood of errors, increase the speed of communication, and expedite processing. 

Loading Orders

When it comes to getting your orders out the warehouse doors, an effective inventory tracking system can help ensure your orders are accurate. When your inventory tracking software has EDI integration and an easy-to-understand dashboard, drivers will have an easier time doing their job. With these additional elements, drivers will have clearer instructions on their destination so they may acquire their orders. Clearer instructions lead to decreased likelihood of human error. 

Additionally, the workers in the warehouse will have a better understanding of what inventory they need to prepare for shipment. This will create a more effective synergy between preparing inventory for shipping and getting the inventory onto the fleet vehicles for transportation. 

Supplier Reporting

Inventory tracking also allows you to keep an eye on inventory when it is on its way to your warehouse. This can sync with your supplier’s data and allow you to be better prepared. As a result, warehouse workers can better prepare inventory space. This allotted time to prepare for inventory space can allow for your supplier’s transportation to more quickly and efficiently dock at your warehouse, deliver their goods, and be on their way. This reduces time spent trying to find space for new inventory, and also reduces congestion at the warehouse. 

Contact eoStar

At eoStar, we are happy to work with you to develop a customized inventory tracking system that will suit your needs. The warehouse industry is constantly developing and overcoming challenges, and eoStar stands ready to work alongside you. Our years of experience mean we have helped both small and large warehouse enterprises be set up for future success. Contact us today for a consultation. 

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What Makes eoStar a Top Warehouse Management System?

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eoStar provides a wide range of enterprise resource planning features, professional services, and guidance to those in the warehouse industry. One of our leading products is the WMS module, headlined by our warehouse management handheld application: eoWarehouse. This software suite will grant you access to easily understandable metrics, optimize your space management, improve your inventory cycle/accuracy, and more.

These are some of the most essential elements you will need to optimize your warehouse enterprise. Read on to learn how eoStar fits into all those categories.

Easily Understandable Metrics and Dashboard

Having access to up-to-date information is crucial for managing an efficient warehouse enterprise. Managers and employees must be able to find the data they want in a short period of time, and then be able to understand that data without having to spend extra time trying to decipher what they are seeing. When users spend less time trying to find data, they will be able to spend that time elsewhere to improve workplace productivity. 

Another important tool in understanding data from your warehouse management software is being able to define metrics. For example, you can define a year as the metric you want to analyze so that you can look at long-term trends. Alternatively, you can customize looking at a daily metric if you want to see things like short-term trends, employee performance, and inventory tracking. 

When you spend time understanding trends and discovering weaknesses in your warehouse operations, you can improve customer satisfaction. The key element in retaining customers is on time, undamaged, and error-free delivery of their purchased products. Identifying why mistakes or failures happen will allow warehouse management to improve future productivity. 

eoStar’s WMS software suite that will grant you access to easily understandable metrics and data for your enterprise. eoStar also has a support team ready to stand by and help you. Upgrading or switching to an improved warehouse management system can come with bumps and hurdles; however, our team will be able to quickly assist you in order to reduce or completely avoid downtime in your system.

Space Management

Space management is another important element of managing an efficient warehouse. Some warehouses have to deal with empty space, disorganized space, or not enough space. As those challenges mount, whether it is due to business growth, human error, or changes in logistics, having an efficient warehouse management software system will help you overcome those hurdles. 

One of the keys in efficient space management is having accurate inventory location data. It is also important to have a clear plan when you are finding new usage for empty or new space. Additionally, an efficient warehouse management system will compute the most efficient path for employees to move inventory. When time is saved through using the most efficient routes, workplace productivity will increase.

In addition to eoStar’s WMS software its eoWarehouse software can help your business improve its space usage efficiency through its accurate inventory system. eoStar also recognizes that the manner in which your inventory cycle operates will greatly affect your space management. Therefore, eoWarehouse was designed with that in mind. eoWarehouse can also help you figure out where to place certain inventory as it relates to employee travel paths. Reducing the time spent retrieving items for shipment by taking the shortest or most efficient route is another space management optimization technique. 

Track Productivity

While it is clear that having easily understandable metrics is important, it is also important to be able to clearly track productivity and sales. When a warehouse manager is able to track trends in employee productivity, they will be able to identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement. They can also identify the timeframes that it takes for inventory to enter and exit the warehouse.

If a warehouse has FIFO inventory, time is an important component in ensuring the products get out the door. Without optimized productivity, FIFO inventory may end up as dead inventory, which cuts into your profit margins. 

Customer retention is determined through a number of factors, one of which is lead times. Reducing lead times without increasing errors is a goal that many warehouses strive for. In order to retain customers, a warehouse should reduce its lead time by using warehouse management system software that will accurately track inventory locations and levels. This will allow the warehouse to adequately meet customer demands. 

WMS will allow you to accurately track product movement, picking metrics, and general work productivity. It will provide you with both micro and macro analyses of inventory cycling, code date tracking, and how efficiently your employees are working. Having an understanding of your work productivity will help your warehouse managers and staff understand their impact on your business.. 

SKU Proliferation

SKUs can be a double-edged sword in warehouse management systems. They can allow you to become more organized, identify nuanced products, and improve efficiency. However, too many SKUs that are left unchecked can complicate and slow down a supply chain, reduce workplace efficiency, and reduce profits. 

While it is important for warehouses to add new products to satisfy customer demands, it is also necessary to stay on top of organizing the SKUs. New and increased inventory has the potential to increase your revenue; however, that revenue could be reduced through increased operational costs if SKUs are mismanaged. 

eoWarehouse offers tools and modules that will allow you to efficiently organize SKUs, especially if an influx of SKUs arrives at your warehouse doors. eoStar recognizes how important it is to both grow your business and inventory stock while also staying organized. Using eoWarehouse will help you accomplish both of those goals. 

Contact eoStar

eoStar has been helping warehouses through providing professional services and optimization software for years. On top of our services, we will back up our products with a readily available IT team. We believe our WMS software and eoWarehouse is the top software suite for warehouse businesses to optimize their enterprises. If you would like a consultation about WMS, eoWarehouse, or any of our products, contact us today. 

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So, What Exactly is a Data Scientist?

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What is a data scientist?

During our 2020 virtual user conference, one of our sessions went through  eoStar Analytics. During the session our very own data scientist talked about the future of data, analytics, and how to use information to make more informed decisions for your business. But there was one question on a lot of people’s minds, what is a data scientist?

The job is to the fulfill the formula of Problems + Data => Models + Insights. They are able to map expert knowledge and context into real-life solutions. An unofficial definition of a data scientist has become: someone who knows more about math and statistics than a computer scientist and more about computer science than a mathematician or statistician.

“A Data Scientist is a professional who extensively works with Big Data in order to derive valuable business insights from it. Over the course of a day, the Data Scientist (DS) has to assume many roles: a mathematician, an analyst, a computer scientist, and a trend spotter.” – IntelliPaat[1]

Data Science is a rapidly changing field, so anyone that takes on the role of data science needs to be able to keep up with the latest research and techniques. Due to the cloudiness of what exactly a data scientist is and does, there is an increasing overlap between data science and machine learning. Machine learning includes things like computer vision, speech recognition, neural networks, etc. The person that implements the models and insights data scientists come up with is traditionally called a Machine Learning Engineer (MLE), but this can be interchangeable with “Data Scientist” at a lot of organizations.

A typical workflow for a data scientist or machine learning engineer is as follows:

  1. Scoping
    1. Working closely with the product team, the DS will gather the requirements around a particular business problem and determine if a solution is possible given the available data.
  2. Research
    1. This process involves gathering the necessary datasets, cleaning them, and experimentation on the data. This is the phase where the DS really gets to understand the relationships within the data as well as outside of the data. Research also goes into figuring out which approach will be best to solve the problem.
  3. Modeling
    1. Once a few approaches are selected to explore, the DS fits the various models to the data and benchmarks are calculated to determine which system will work best in a real-life scenario. The goal of this phase is to converge on a single approach to deploy.
  4. Deployment
    1. Finally, the model or system is deployed and put into production so that it can be integrated into the existing software ecosystem.

As the beverage industry continues to evolve with new SKU’s, expanded product offerings, and tightening inventory, data and analytics are becoming more essential than before. At eoStar we are fortunate to have a team focused on turning your data into insights and helping you turn those insights into action. To learn more about how our products are using data and analytics to improve your business, talk to one of our sales experts.


[1] https://intellipaat.com/blog/what-is-a-data-scientist/

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How to Increase Pick Accuracy with Technology

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Pick accuracy is a game-changer. Mistakes happen, of course, but when things run better, you notice the difference at every level. Pick accuracy keeps your business running smoothly, like a machine that you can always count on. So how can you make sure that you always have pick accuracy for your company? Is there anything you can do to take your accuracy to the next level? 

Technology can help, and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. We’ve created a service called eoPick that can help you make the most of your picking process. 

What is eoPick? 

eoPick is a voice-picking technology that virtually removes the need for list-based picking and clipboards. Warehouse employees can use this picking software with a headset or Android device, so they have both hands free at all times to retrieve what they need. We created this technology after working extensively with our clients, asking them about their needs and committing to providing the products that work best for them.

Absolutely Straightforward 

eoPick removes many complications from the warehouse picking process, and that’s because it’s completely straightforward. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to figure out how to work with eoPick. Employees can learn how it works in a matter of minutes. 

The eoPick process is totally straightforward, too. The employee receives the name of the item via their headset or Android device, and then they can pull that item off the shelf. In addition to being streamlined, the process also saves time. 

Reduce Repetitions 

eoPick technology can also prevent repetitions and duplicates. It all comes down to getting rid of the clipboard. When an employee uses a clipboard for picking, it’s easy to read the same line twice. When that happens, you can send the wrong number of items to the client, or you may have to re-shelve items. Either way, these repetitions can cost your company time and money. eoPick, however, makes picking simpler and removes the possibility of reading the same line twice. 

Avoid Misreading Numbers 

Clipboards and paper can also make reading numbers difficult. After several hours in a warehouse, it’s easy to see why numbers can start to look the same, and of course, the employee has to make sure that they’re reading the correct line. Voice picking, however, means hearing numbers instead of reading them. The process can reduce number-based mistakes and improve your company’s overall accuracy. 

Try eoPick for Yourself 

Want to see the accuracy difference for yourself? Let eoStar help. Book your demo today, and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. We’d love to help you take your picking process up a notch.