If you were to ask a business owner to reveal the secret to their success, they may say that it lies with their sales team. You could also argue that their success is due to continued customer satisfaction. Yes, the sales team is the company’s lifeline and, if no sales are being generated, the company will be in trouble very quickly. However, if the company can’t follow up on those sales by offering first-class customer service, the company will also experience difficult times due to a lack of repeat orders and more time spent resolving customer concerns.
Mispicks are one common problem that contributes to poor customer service. Introducing a barcode inventory system is an effective way to reduce errors, increase your employees’ morale, and save money.
Is implementing a new strategy for tracking your inventory an immediate priority for your business? Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to schedule an appointment with a Scanco Solutions Expert.
What is a Mispick?
In a typical warehouse operation, you can expect your team members who are picking products to fill orders to make mistakes occasionally. It’s part of being human.
Steps Involved in Manual Picking
The manual job of picking orders involves a lot more than simply removing an item from a shelf or a rack. It involves several steps for each product. These steps may look similar to the following:
- The team member is given a list of instructions about where to go in the warehouse and which items to pick.
- He or she moves to the correct location and locates the first item on the list within the storage bins or shelves.
- Next, the team member looks at the paper pick list to confirm the number of items needed and picks them.
- The pick is confirmed by making an indication on the paper and the products are delivered for shipping.
An error may occur during each step. Understandably, mistakes will happen. However, in a busy warehouse, there is no time to backtrack to correct them after the fact.
Types of Picking Mistakes
There are several types of picking mistakes, including the following:
- The incorrect item is picked instead of the right one.
- An item is omitted from the order even though it appears on the pick list.
- The wrong number of items is
- Damaged items are picked and sent to be packed for shipping.
5 Top Reasons Companies Adopt a Barcode Inventory System to Eliminate Mispicks
What makes a company decide to introduce a barcode inventory system? Here are the top 5 key reasons:
- Tired of Upset Customers
No one looks forward to dealing with an upset customer who calls to complain they have not received the right order. It’s a stressful situation. There are, unfortunately, people who will communicate far more harshly with others on the telephone, over a live chat, or by e-mail than they ever would if they had to face the other person.
It’s normal for your customer service representatives and managers to get tired of having to deal with customers who are disappointed with their orders. Some people just contact the company and vent. The customer service representative or the manager must be patient with this type of customer and continue moving the conversation toward helping the customer frame what they want from the company.
- High Expenses of Making Product Corrections
When a customer contacts you because they did not receive the correct product, it takes time to investigate the situation. Someone has to locate the customer’s original order to find out what they wanted to order. Then, this information has to be compared to the shipping paperwork. (The pick list will only indicate what the customer wanted to order, not what was actually picked. This document will not help in this instance. Spending time and money shipping the correct product because someone didn’t get it right the first time )
If your employees determine that your company did make an error and the customer received the wrong product, then you have to prepare new billing documentation for the customer (marked no charge), then prepare new pick instructions, have the order picked, and sent to be packaged and shipped. The correct item must be shipped to the customer (at your expense).
Now multiply this scenario (and the cost) by every incorrect order. It becomes very expensive.
- Double Shipping Expenses Eating into Company Budget
When you calculated your company budget, you included a certain amount for shipping. This was either included in the amount your customers would pay or as an add-on for each order. No matter how you decided to bill your customers for shipping, you still have to pay your carrier.
Double shipping because you need to send the correct item to your customer and then eat the shipping costs is something to take seriously. This is an expense that you cannot recoup. It comes straight out of your budget.
- The Problem of Half-picked Orders Getting Forgotten
It’s understandable that you may be running your business in a lean manner. If you are using goods that have not been unloaded yet (or have not arrived at the warehouse), you may have your team pick part of the order to have it ready when the rest of the items arrive. If you don’t have sufficient room available and a good system in place for half-picked orders, this practice can create problems in the warehouse.
If the overflow area is not somewhere all of your team is aware of or the orders are not clearly marked, these items may be put back into stock. Your team members may forget that the items are being held to complete an order since they will be working to complete other orders during the workday.
- Creates Low Morale Among your Team
If your team is using the paper pick list method of locating and picking items to fill orders, it is not the most efficient way to do their job. They may be feeling pressured to get ordered filled quickly, which can often lead to errors.
In a situation where the warehouse is having staffing issues, managers may be scheduling employees for overtime. While the employee may appreciate the extra pay, a tired employee is also more likely to make mistakes.
Warehouse spaces are not always well lit. An employee may inadvertently pick the wrong product due to insufficient light.
These are all reasons why mispicks may be occurring among your team. Even if your employees understand all of them intellectually, they may still feel as though they are never going to develop the right skills to be able to master this task.
Choose a Scanco Barcode Inventory System and Eliminate Mispicks
Scanco barcoding inventory software helps you track all the items in your warehouse. You will be able to tell exactly what you have in stock and where each item is located. The problem of mispicks is virtually eliminated since a barcode scanner swipes correctly. Your team’s efficiency (and customer satisfaction rate) will increase dramatically.
A barcode scanner is a simple device that your team members can be taught to use quickly. Minimal training is required. Even new employees or temporary staff will be able to use the barcode scanner after a short time.
Scanco has many mobile solutions for distributors We would be happy to suggest a solution that is right for your business.
Have you had enough of mispicks? Are you ready to get rid of them for good? Contact us online or call (330) 645-9959 to make an appointment for your consultation with a Scanco Solutions Expert.