According to Dematic , data collection begins when goods are received. The bar coded ID label or in some cases an alternative form of Auto ID, for example, an RFID tag, is scanned and read to acknowledge receipts, automatically comparing the data with what had been ordered.
Any discrepancy or damage can be reported immediately. Goods do not remain still when instructions are sent wirelessly and directly to a mobile computer. Forklift drivers no longer have to go somewhere to get instructions, rather, the instructions come to them, saving time, eliminating one-way trips and making more productive use of personnel and equipment.
The RF system allows stock retrieval and replenishment to be combined, and reduces the number of movements involved in the internal transport of material and the number of empty runs.
RF supports order picking principles such as individual selection, batch selection or splits between articles and packaging. Picking information is received by the terminal and inquiries or transaction/activity data are sent from the terminal to the host in real-time. Once the order is picked, a forklift truck operator is given delivery instructions from a warehouse management system (WMS) through RF. The RF system provides real-time updates of picking activity and order status. It also enables the WMS to continually recalculate the most efficient pick/putaway routes and order assignments.
Whether goods are cross-docked or transported from storage and loaded onto a delivery vehicle, shipments can be directed to trucks and confirmed through the wireless computer system. Invoices, advanced shipping notices (ASNs) and other necessary forms or reports can be initiated the moment truck doors are closed.
Using RF for stock control saves time and money. As all events are recorded in real-time, the computer is continually aware of the current inventory, making separate cycle counting unnecessary. Many companies reduce the number of formal inventory counts they conduct each year and in some cases eliminate them altogether as the RF system provides accurate and real-time inventory information. When stock reaches minimum, preset levels, the system can be set to generate a replenishment request automatically.