Warehouse managers often ask, “Does RF Data Collection give me the same optimization benefits as a Warehouse Management system?
The question to return is: “Who is faster (has lowest amount of labor)? The picker who picks via paper, or one using a radio frequency (RF) device?”
The answer is the paper picker. He/she doesn’t have to unholster, scan, and holster the RF device. So RF Data collection doesn’t optimize labor, it just provides a more accurate process. You have to have tools to improve accuracy, as well as optimize labor (work flow).
So how do you gain high inventory accuracy, high asset utilization, and labor optimization in your distribution center? Via a combination of warehouse management, and best practice business processes. Warehouse management solutions, unlike RF Data Collection, can execute best practices in real time that give you the accuracy, labor, and space optimization you desire. They can also react in real time to unexpected errors, correct them immediately, and put a plan in place to address the error (alert, cycle count, etc.).
So the answer is “No, RF Data Collection does not give you the same benefits as WMS.” RF is just a tool to be used when having good WMS processes. Implementing RF without good WMS processes will not give you the benefits that you are seeking.
At the end of the day, the best approach is to find a company with the type of supply chain management consulting skills and experience to help you determine the best approach. An approach that targets the most critical KPI’s for your business. If you can find a trusted supply chain expert, you can drive business value around your specific needs.
Source : article from Bill Ducat on March 8, 2011