Harland Simon, the automation experts behind the innovative warehouse and logistics tracking system Vero, has identified an all too often overlooked process – manual scanning – as a critical obstacle for improving productivity and profitability in warehouse operations.

Research shows that reducing running costs remains the most critical challenge to business improvement for warehouses. As Charlie Brackley, Sales Manager at Harland Simon, explains, “With such fine profitability margins in the operation of a warehouse, something as innocuous as the way that a pallet or asset is scanned can be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful day.”

MHE drivers, at the point of picking, typically scan barcodes on pallets using handheld scanners. To get in the right position, drivers would usually need to perform several manoeuvres, which wastes significant time throughout the day and can lead to excessive labour and MHE rental costs, reducing warehouse profitability. Studies by Harland Simon show that by automating this scanning process and using Automated Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) technology up to four hours of time can be saved for every 1,000 pallets moved within a warehouse, equivalent to up to 15 seconds per pallet move.

“There’s also the issue of items being missed or the wrong item being scanned – all too easy to do with a manual scanning process that solely relies on the accuracy of a time-poor forklift truck driver,” says Charlie Brackley. “Manual scanning or warehouse pallet tracking techniques leave the inventory storage and delivery process open to human error, with the misplacement of goods and delivery of the wrong product an all too common occurrence.”

Utilising its significant expertise in automation systems, Harland Simon developed the Vero suite of solutions. This works in conjunction with existing warehouse management systems (WMS) and is specifically designed to increase productivity, enhance efficiency and improve safety in busy and complex warehouse, distribution and logistics environments. It features advanced track and trace technology to replace manual scanning and gathers essential location data on assets and MHE, for real time monitoring and analysis.