Customer Service Icon

Contact Us

Phone Number:

03300 245452

Emails:

info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk

Customer Service Icon
Remote Support

3 key benefits of a supply-chain solution

Effective supply-chain management is crucial for running a successful warehousing business. As consumer needs have evolved, so has the technology to provide quicker deliveries and improved customer satisfaction.

Supply-chain management solutions aim to provide warehousing and other supply-chain businesses with an intuitive platform, offering the data and information needed to better organise each stage of your supply chain. These platforms have a number of strategic benefits, with the most notable benefits explained in this blog.

 

  1. Controls costs

Gain greater control over your costs by utilising supply-chain software. Managing the various stages of your supply-chain through a single platform will not only save your business valuable time, but also provide you with all the information you need to make vital business decisions quickly and effectively. By streamlining your processes through automation, errors will be reduced as will wasted time and resources, resulting in increased productivity and improved and accurate cost control.

 

  1. Automates processes

Many supply-chain management solutions automate time-consuming admin and finance processes, allowing employees to focus on more strategic responsibilities. Software such as Bit Inventory can integrate with accounts software to manage suppliers, customers, orders, and inventory. By managing each of these stakeholders and assets through a single system, time and money is saved whilst productivity is also improved.

 

  1. Greater control of operations

By managing each stage of your supply chain through a single system, you have more insights and greater control over each process. It allows you to coordinate activities more efficiently which improves on-time delivery and your customer experience. Additionally, managing everything through a single platform makes it easier to anticipate potential issues and create contingency plans in their place.

Supply-chain management software is designed to make the lives of businesses in the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution industries much easier. By managing each stage of your operations through a single platform, not only will you get greater control over your operations, but you will also be able to control costs more effectively.

It’s not always easy to find a solution that has the functionality to streamline processes in the way you need. However, at Bit Systems we have over 25 years of experience tailoring solutions to warehousing businesses across the nation. If you would like any help or advice on the steps to take to improve the efficiency of your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 03300 245 452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

How to manage increasing customer demand of your warehouse

With the efficiency and ‘next day delivery’ options of Amazon and other large online retailers, customers are becoming increasingly demanding when ordering products online. With some businesses even offering same day deliveries, these modern expectations put a lot of pressure on warehousing businesses.

Managing this increasing customer demand well is essential to ensuring your business isn’t missing out on large quantities of potential sales. At Bit Systems, we’ve highlighted 5 key ways your business can improve its management of warehouse goods to meet customer demand.

 

1. Make sure your warehouse is suitably staffed

As warehouses tend to have a higher staff turnover rate, it can often mean that they’re not always working to full capacity due to the time it takes to train new warehouse operatives and other related factors.

Retaining staff is often easier said than done, however, by streamlining training processes and creating a positive work environment, warehousing businesses may see reduced staff turnover. Additionally, through the busier seasons such as Christmas, it may be worth looking into hiring agency workers as a temporary measure to making sure orders are fulfilled on time.

 

2. Organise your inventory

Organising your warehouse inventory will go a long way to streamlining your operations and meeting increasing customer demand. Having a logical method of organising stock, so best-selling items are closer to dispatching points, will make order picking much more efficient.

 

3. Choose the right supply-chain partners

The supply-chain partners you work with also have an influence on how your business is seen by customers. Choosing trustworthy partners that have a robust distribution and transportation network, that you know will deliver customer orders on-time and with care, will go a long way to meeting heightened customer demand as well as improving brand reputation.

Simply choosing the cheapest distribution options will likely reflect poorly on your organisation, particularly if deliveries are slow and products are turning up damaged.

 

4. Consider becoming a 24/7 operation

With heightened customer demand reshaping the way warehouses operate, the traditional 40-hour workweek may not be enough for warehouses to keep up pace with the growing marketplace.

Transforming your business into a 24 hour operation will have both positives and negatives, however, if you know there is demand enough for your business to work round the clock, the software is there to make tasks simpler for warehouse operatives.

 

5. Invest in warehouse management software

Investing in warehouse management software (WMS) can do a great deal for businesses looking to find ways to meet heightening customer demand. Most WMS technology has been designed to streamline processes, allowing warehousing businesses to work at increased capacity.

Some WMS systems, such as Bit Inventory, also offer warehousing businesses stock tracking capabilities as well as supporting first-in-first-out processes. This not only helps warehouses have a full view of the inventory moving in and out of their establishment but also improves stock rotation, saving the business money from wasted stock.

There are many warehousing businesses out there at the moment feeling the pressure of increasing customer demand. With over 20 years of experience helping warehousing businesses streamline their processes, we are more than happy to offer informed advice and guidance. If you would like to understand more about how your business can better manage customer demand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and experienced team. Feel free to call us on 03300 245452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

Improving warehouse productivity with barcoding software

Training-warehouse-operatives

Warehouse management software (such as Bit Inventory) is simpler to use than you might think. With a range of intuitive features, anyone can pick it up efficiently, from agency workers to trainee warehouse operatives.

Scanners 
Increasing numbers of warehousing businesses are adopting the use of barcoding software to improve productivity. By utilising modern barcoding technology, handheld scanners can be used to check items into the warehouse, check items out of the warehouse, and to count stock, making these processes a whole lot easier and much more accurate. Without the need of pens, paper, clipboards, and multiple Excel spreadsheets, no manual data entry is needed, as information processed with the scanners is sent straight to the software.

Additionally, some barcoding software for inventory management, including Bit Inventory 200, uses android scanners to modernise processes even further. By following a clean, intuitive user interface and logical processes within these scanners, more data is presented to warehouse operatives with the accurate information they need to move stock intuitively. Features including first-in-first-out and cycle counting, improves stock rotation and create a more efficient warehouse.

Training warehouse operatives to use these scanners is also quick and easy, particularly with Android hardware, as most people are now accustomed to using smartphones. Following a defined process to receive inventory, pick stock, dispatch stock out, and check the warehouse stock levels, means that training agency workers or new employees can be made much simpler. Certain user settings can also be updated so only relevant information can be shown to its users.

Goods in 
Checking goods into the warehouse can be a protracted process, particularly when training new warehouse operatives. With the use of barcoding inventory management software, these processes can be improved to make tasks much easier for those involved.

Handheld scanners can be used to book arriving stock into your warehouse. Simply scan the barcodes of the products that have arrived, and your business management software should automatically update with goods-in. This makes it much easier for training new warehouse operatives and agency workers, as the process is shortened to just a few touches of a button, and more accurate than traditional methods of receiving goods.

Goods out 
Within a few clicks and a scan of the barcode, stock can be picked and dispatched against sales orders, with dispatch notes being printed automatically. This both increases efficiency and accuracy of the process, because nothing needs to be handwritten or manually passed between other departments. This also cuts out the added step of an admin or warehouse colleague needing to key the information into the financial system, saving time and improving accuracy.

Stock taking 
Barcoding inventory management software can significantly improve stock taking processes. Scanning barcodes that automatically update your system is much more streamlined than handwriting product codes and quantities and then manually updating the system. As a result, warehouses will no longer need to shut down during end of year stock counts. Some barcoding warehouse management systems, such as Bit Inventory, also support cycle counting, meaning even less disruption to everyday operations as inventory can be counted section by section on a weekly, monthly, or other basis.

There are many ways in which barcoding technology can improve warehouse productivity and streamline processes. If you would like to learn more about how your business can benefit from barcoding inventory management software, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable team. You can call us on 03300 245452 or email us using info@bitsystems.co.uk.

How to manage a successful year end stock take

With Spring fast approaching, many companies are preparing for their financial year end, which means warehousing businesses are preparing for their year-end stock takes. As an essential part of warehouse management, conducting stock takes helps businesses identify problem areas, allowing them to create plans to minimise waste and improve efficiency.

With over 20 years experience in warehouse management processes, Bit Systems have put together a handy top 5 list of things to think about when you are planning for your year-end stock take.

1. Plan
Planning for any stock take, whether it’s conducted once a year or once a month, will help your business work more efficiently with reduced disruptions. As part of your planning process, understanding the resources you need to process your stock take will improve organisation and efficiency. In general, common resources needed for a successful year end stock take includes:

  • Clipboards
  • Stock sheets
  • Pens
  • Calculators
  • Handheld scanners/mobile devices (if you use barcoding inventory management software)

In addition to this, estimating the time it will take to complete the stock take will help with time management, and give warehouse operatives counting the stock a deadline to work towards. It’s important to consider that pushing for a shorter stock take deadline may in theory minimise business disruption, however if pushed too far, more mistakes are likely to happen.

2. Organisation 
Organising your staff is a hugely important task to make sure there are still enough warehouse operatives to complete customer orders. Once you know how many people are in each stock-counting team, assigning roles to each member will help reduce confusion about each activity they need to carry-out. A supervisor should also be assigned to each section of the warehouse that’s being counted in case there are any issues or questions during the count.

Having a systematic approach to stock counting will help keep consistency and provide a structure for the teams carrying it out. Organising each team to count, for example, from top to bottom and left to right, will avoid duplicate counts and create a more efficient counting process.

3. Identify
Every piece of stock your business owns should be identified, including inventory that’s held in other locations, for a thorough stock take. For items that have already been invoiced to customers, they should be held separately and not included in the count, otherwise it could cause a misrepresentation of stock that is available. There should also be a plan for damaged items to be taken note of, and whether they can be sold at a discounted price or disposed of completely.

4. Value (£)
Once the stock take has been completed and verified, it should be valued for accounts purposes. As your inventory is an asset for your organisation, its value can help you understand your business’ stock turnover ratio, which can further help your business with planning purchasing decisions.

5. Improvement
A result of managing a successful stock take is that it will provide beneficial insights into stock movements, for example items that are slow-moving and those which need to be ordered in higher quantities. The information gathered from stock takes should be used to improve efficiency of picking moving forward, for example by relocating the quickest selling closer to dispatching points to save time.

Planning your end of year stock takes can often seem like an overwhelming task. However, by breaking it up into manageable stages, you can gain greater control over your processes. Technologies such as barcoding stock management software that can assist with tasks such as resource allocation, item traceability, and that offers valuable stock information insights, can also help with managing and delivering a successful stock take.

If you would like further advice or guidance on how you could improve your stock taking process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 03300 245452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

Bit Inventory New UI Update!

The team at Bit Systems have been working non-stop to bring our customers a new simpler, cleaner, and more functional user interface for Bit Inventory 50 and 200. With business booming for many, the new UI has been designed to simplify picking, dispatching, and stock-taking processes, improving efficiency and accuracy even further.

Designed for user experience 

The updated UI has been designed to improve the user experience of Bit Inventory. One way in which this has been done is through matching the style of Bit Inventory with the style of Sage software, making it easier for employees to use particularly when working between the two applications.

With the addition of responsive screens allowing for the platform to be optimally viewed across screens of any size, the refreshed UI helps users to find relevant buttons and information quickly and easily, without having to manually change the window size.

Improved processes 

Processes can be further improved and streamlined through the adoption of our new Bit Inventory UI. Enhancements made to the software makes it easier for users to find product and dispatching history, allowing full visibility over inventory and quicker resolutions to potential disputes.

The update also facilitates ASM functionality without having to open the program in a new window, allowing greater fluidity and efficient management of stock control processes.

Intuitive functionality 
Bit Inventory New UI - Logging Information
Functionality within Bit Inventory has been made even more intuitive with features that had previously been hidden under right clicks, now being visible as clickable buttons in convenient locations on main screens.

Filtering options have also been improved to help users more easily find the relevant stock information they need to complete tasks, and in addition to this, logging information has also been improved to show even more detail, making it easier for the support team to resolve potential issues and queries with increased efficiency.

If you would like to learn more about Bit Inventory and its recent updates, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team of consultants and support engineers. You can contact us by calling 03300 245452 or emailing info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk

6 questions you should ask before purchasing a warehouse management system

warehouse-managers-using-laptop

Purchasing a warehouse management system (WMS) is a big decision to make, particularly as it involves a huge investment of not just monetary value, but also of time and commitment from you and your employees. This is why finding a system that works for you, and understanding the questions to ask before buying, are incredibly important to ensure your business is getting value for money.

Understanding the features and benefits of different warehouse management systems, the implementation process, and what your business needs to get ready before implementation, are all extremely important if you want a solution that fits with your business.

1. What are the features and benefits? 
It may seem like an obvious question, and WMS businesses will usually run through the features and benefits in a demo or initial call, however they may not run through them all. If there are specific features you’re looking for in your system, such as the ability to support cycle counting or first-in-first-out processes, asking about whether these features are available or whether there are any additional features that may be of benefit to your business is useful in understanding if a system will not only meet your requirements, but also add additional value to your business.

Additionally to this, asking how different features will benefit your business specifically, helps you to recognise whether you might be paying a premium for flashy features that may not even be relevant to your business.

In general, a good WMS should offer benefits including improving accuracy, efficiency, and providing a better customer experience.

2. What costs are associated?
As well as purchasing the system itself, there are usually other costs involves, so understanding what those costs are can be useful in making sure you have the budget available. The costs associated with a WMS can range from service costs for set-up and training, to hardware costs, and licence and support fees. Knowing each cost involved will also save you from any unexpected surprises later down the line.

3. Is the software configurable? 
Installing a configurable WMS will help tailor the software to your business needs. With certain settings that can be personalised to your business processes, the system is increasingly likely to help you reach your goals more effectively.

Being able to allow options such as printing barcodes, assigning pickers to specific orders, allowing negative stock, and automatically printing dispatch notes, gives businesses the adaptability to change and improve their processes in their own time.

4. Will the software be able to scale with our business?
While some WMS’s may be more expensive than others, that might be because they have the adaptability to scale with your business. For example, if you need your WMS to integrate with your accountancy system, a good WMS provider will also offer upgrades to their solutions so it can continue to have the compatibility your business was looking for.

Additionally, if your business grows to the point of having multiple warehouse locations, some of the more sophisticated WMS solutions will support the option to include multiple warehouses, so you can have greater visibility and control over your processes and transactions.

5. Do we need to get anything ready before having the system installed?
Usually, before businesses have a warehouse management system installed, they need to get certain things in place before the installation goes ahead. This can range from a variety of technical requirements to administrative tasks, such as letting the WMS provider know how many users the software will have, and getting your stock codes in order. Generally speaking, WMS providers will often ask businesses to have a specific version of Windows installed, wi-fi, and server requirements.

It’s important to ask this question early-on, so you know what’s expected of you as a potential customer, and giving you maximum notice so there aren’t any unwanted surprises.

6. What can I expect from the implementation process?
By understanding the implementation process of the system, you will have more of an idea of the resources you need to allocate for the system so it can be implemented efficiently and successfully. You should also keep in mind that the more you know about the stages of the implementation process, and what each stage entails, the more successful the installation will likely be.

General stages of an implementation process should at minimum include a kick-off call, scoping, installation, training day, and go-live, and you should be reassured that someone will be around to support you should you need further guidance or there are teething problems.

It can often be difficult to find the right help and information regarding new software systems, so if you would like any additional advice or guidance on what to expect from installing a warehouse management system, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team of support engineers and consultants who would be more than happy to answer your questions. You can call us on 03300 245452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

How to streamline your stock taking process

warehouse-workers-using-bar-code-scanner-tablet-checking-goods-inventory

Stock taking is a necessary task that can often cause more headaches than it resolves.

Checking your inventory regularly will help your business keep track of stock and check if there are any issues with the products in your warehouse, it will also indicate whether your stock management system is accurate and your processes are efficient. If your warehousing business regularly identifies anomalies when conducting stock takes, or your stock takes cause significant amounts of confusion for warehouse staff, it is definitely time to improve your process.

1. Define your methods
As with many areas of business when you’re about to undertake a large project, planning will help make the process much smoother. Noting the number of warehouse operatives you need to participate in the stock take, who will be counting which area, an estimated time for counting each area, and how best to minimise disruption for those continuing normal warehouse operations, will help to avoid confusion and simplify the tasks involved.

2. Cycle counting
As a method that allows for a section of the warehouse to be counted on a weekly or monthly basis, introducing cycle counting will not only decrease downtime for your warehouse operatives, but will also reduce the number of errors in the count. Annual stock taking methods uses up a lot of valuable time and resources, and can often take longer than estimated, whereas cycle counting significantly minimises business disruption as only a reduced number of staff need to participate in the stock take.

3. Leverage intuitive technologies
Leveraging technology to streamline the stock taking process will do even more to reduce errors and save a greater amount of time. Barcoding software can be used to scan product codes, alleviating the need for pen, paper, and having to read unreadable handwriting. Investing in technologies that helps to not only streamline stock taking methods but also other areas of warehouse operations, can help to increase capacity of your warehouse.

It’s important for warehousing businesses to create an efficient stock taking process so that errors are dealt with efficiently and risks are minimised. Leveraging intuitive technologies like barcoding warehouse management software, greatly improves the time it takes to complete stock taking, whilst increasing accuracy of the process. Cycle counting is also becoming the favoured way to manage and schedule stock takes, as it breaks the process into smaller segments, reducing the risk of miscounting inventory. Using both methods together will give your business the best chance of reducing mistakes, and will save your business valuable time and money.

Deciding on the processes that will work best for your warehouse can often be difficult to understand and easy to overcomplicate. If you would like an outside perspective on how your operations could be enhanced to increase productivity and simplify operations, our expert team of consultants will be happy to share their thoughts and insights, which have been gained from implementing intelligent technologies in a range of warehouse and manufacturing organisations.

Chat to us today by calling 03300 245452 or emailing info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk, and someone will be on-hand to answer your questions.

Increasing efficiency of the dispatching process

Efficient workers dispatching warehouse goods

The process of dispatching goods from the warehouse can be long and laborious with many individual tasks involved. Turning this operation into an efficient and streamlined system will help free-up time, and increase warehouse capacity.

There are a variety of ways in which warehouses can streamline the dispatching process, with four key areas identified below:

1. Utilising technology 
Technology is a key factor of business success, as it can help develop a competitive advantage. In terms of dispatching, implementing a warehouse management system that supports the use of barcodes and scanners, and automated the more monotonous tasks can effectively decrease downtime. Using scanners to pick and dispatch stock against sales orders, and automatically printing dispatch notes can save significant amounts of time, whilst also reducing human error.

2. Breaking down the process 
Having a process is highly important for the effective management of dispatching. Breaking down the operation into key stages will avoid staff confusion, keep tasks manageable, and help to identify any potential problem areas; whether certain tasks are taking longer than expected, or more mistakes are being made in others. Having well-defined steps within a process will increase productivity and efficiency, but only as long as staff are suitably trained.

3. Prioritising customers 
By determining the customers that need or have paid for a quicker delivery, they can more easily be kept happy. Implementing a system that ensures there is a dedicated team to fill priority orders allows warehouse operatives see which stock items are more time-sensitive, making it easier for teams working on dispatching stock by streamlining the process even further.

4. Route optimisation 
When delivering goods to customers, it is often easier said than done. Whilst mapping out the shortest routes possible based on distance may seem like a good idea at the time, these routes may be prone to high levels of traffic or be unsuitable for lorries. Trusting mainstream map applications such as Google Maps may also end up being more of a hinderance than a help as they can often have a significant delay in reporting accidents or congestion. Employing intelligent software that understands the route options available to a delivery driver, and which route is the most cost-effective without the potential of causing a delay to delivery times, will help increase the efficiency of the dispatching process.

If your looking to increase the efficiency of your business’s dispatching process, but not quite sure where to start, feel free to contact our team at Bit Systems. With our many years’ experience providing intelligent software and support to warehousing businesses, we understand the struggles faced to streamline warehouse operations. You can call us on 03300 245 452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

NEW! Increased batch traceability functionality in Bit Inventory

Warehouse worker picking stock in warehouse

 

What is batch and serial traceability?
Batch and serial number traceability is a function that allows warehouse staff to track batch information (batch number/expiry dates) and serial numbers through the warehouse, helping them to understand where specific stock is located at any given time. Here at Bit Systems, we can help automate this using our Bit Inventory software and barcode scanners. The benefits of this mean that a significant amount of time is saved as team members will have all the necessary stock information on their handheld scanners, with no need to check for this information elsewhere. This can also help with customer service, because stock can be traced by warehouse staff to where that inventory came from, so if any problems were to arise, the situation can be rectified quickly.

New functionality for Bit Inventory 50 
Bit Inventory 50 has been updated to allow for more information to be held within the barcode scanners to increase efficiency when picking and dispatching stock. This additional information, including expiry dates of perishable goods, helps warehouse operatives identify which stock is the oldest in the warehouse. The operative can also identify batch and serial numbers at the moment they are processed in the scanner.

Benefits of advanced traceability functionality 
There are several benefits to having this additional information available at hand on the warehouse floor;

  • Better stock rotation
    Picking the oldest stock first means that inventory is better rotated, and older items aren’t left to gather dust or perish in the warehouse.
  • Less wastage of perishable goods 
    Understanding the expiry dates of stock allows for the produce closest to its expiry date to be dispatched first, leading to less wastage because of consistent rotation.
  • Better informed warehouse operatives 
    Having the information on the handheld scanners helps warehouse operatives make quick decisions on which stock to pick to go out to the customer.
  • Quicker processes 
    With no need to rectify incorrect batch/serial numbers later, there’s no more delay for dispatch paperwork. If an incorrect batch or serial number is flagged within Bit Inventory, it can be changed there and then, pro-actively on the warehouse floor, saving time and money.
  • Improved customer service
    With very little chance of customers being sent months or years old stock that has gathered dust and is potentially faulty, they will be much happier receiving consistently good quality stock. This will lead to a higher level of customer satisfaction, and retention.

To understand more about these new features of Bit Inventory and how they can help streamline your warehouse processes, please contact us by calling 03300 245452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.

How to solve common supply-chain challenges

Transportation and logistics within supply-chain

With many supply-chain issues being out of the hands of warehousing businesses, it’s important to understand the potential challenges that can be dealt with to streamline the process as much as possible.

Building strong relationships with key stakeholders
Building strong relationships with key stakeholders in the supply-chain is a crucial factor in the success of your warehouse. Although it will be the contracts and SLA’s that formally regulate the arrangements between the parties involved in the supply-chain, communicating regularly with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors etc. will improve relationships and help to rectify any issues more efficiently. Close collaboration with each organisation involved within the supply-chain can allow businesses to create contingency plans if any potential barriers are anticipated.

Breaking down processes 
Having clear processes is highly important for effective management through the supply-chain. Breaking down key operations into individual tasks will help to avoid staff confusion, keep a manageable workload, and identify any potential problem areas. Having well-defined steps within a process will increase communication, productivity, and efficiency, but only as long as staff are suitably trained.

Integrating GPS tracking 
GPS and tracking technology can hugely benefit the transportation and logistics divisions of the supply-chain. With the sophistication of today’s technologies, GPS can extend much further than simply navigating drivers to and from locations. More advanced GPS tracking technologies can monitor traffic, calculate estimated delivery times, and let necessary team members know the whereabouts of any vehicles at any given time, reducing the number of calls drivers receive regarding where they are or why they’re delayed, improving the safety of journeys and streamlining deliveries. Also with more sophisticated software, live driver feeds can be viewed by customers to track their own delivery and get a more accurate estimated delivery time, decreasing the number of customer calls, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Identifying trends and forecasting 
Warehouse management software (WMS) can offer in-depth reports of your stock, recording buying and selling patterns, giving real-time insights and helping your business to plan ahead. WMS with stock control and reporting capabilities will mean you no longer have to spend time searching for data across multiple business platforms and departments. Through integrations between WMS and accounts software, business plans and future investments can be initiated from the comprehensive data of relevant departments, including sales, accounts, and operations.

Contingency planning 
Creating a backup plan is a necessary action for effective supply-chain management. Organising contingencies like backup suppliers, backup manufacturers, additional storage solutions, and alternative despatching plans, will help reduce the negative affects if part of the supply-chain couldn’t deliver the services they’re expected to. By prioritising risks to the supply-chain based on likelihood and level of impact, it will help you plan for worst-case scenarios, reducing high-level risks and protecting your business.

Bit Systems has a wealth of knowledge in this area, so if you’d like any help or advice regarding supply-chain or warehouse management, please call us on 03300 245452 or email info@bitsystemsltd.co.uk.