Jesse is our marketing manager, keeping an eye on the latest news in the market as well as having worked on the GDPR legislation.
Overcoming human errors with courier integration and barcode scanning
Human Errors and the Unhappy Customer
In the world of warehousing, human error can be very costly, and it is not just the direct cost that is the issue. Sending items to the wrong address may not only lose any profit on the sale, but repeated mistakes will lead to unhappy customers and a reputation for poor customer service . In the modern world where customers take to social media, your business’ reputation could be ruined by a few simple mistakes. Human error is defined as:
“the propensity for certain common mistakes by people; the making of an error as a natural result of being human” – dictionary.com
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is a government organisation dedicated to preventing work-related death, injury and ill health. They have written this interesting report on human error.
Experiencing too many mistakes?
It is important to remember that no-one is perfect - if your staff are working to 99% accuracy and are making 100 shipments per day, on average, you will get one error per day. Statistics in the UK show that if other areas ran at 99% accuracy it would produce some worrying results:
- 277 botched operations and procedures per day
- 19 babies per day dropped by doctors
- 15,000 cheques paid into the wrong account per day
Please note: These figures based on a 1% indication of the total number of occurrences at the linked sources and not on actual recorded figures.
Tight controls and processes involved in these industries and the level of care by the staff reduces the levels of these mistakes which is why there are not these large numbers occuring. With babies there is an inherent care, however with boxes of widgets it is important to make sure that you have the right controls in place.
The right tools for the job
Giving your staff the right tools that guide them through the process of picking, packing and labelling is of the utmost importance to reduce the number of human errors that occur. Having a warehousing software solution on its own may or may not be enough, depending on the accuracy of the staff and the number and complexity of orders.
To ensure that warehouse staff are picking the right products for an order, barcode scanning is ideal, with warnings that the wrong product or wrong quantity has been selected for a particular delivery. Warehouses are often WiFi black spots and so any solution that you adopt needs to be able to sync data offline. This also helps to reduce picking of products that have been stored in the wrong location in the warehouse.
Getting the right label on the right parcel and mixing up deliveries is a prime source of mistakes. With courier integration, each shipment can be registered directly with a courier using their Application Programming Interface (API), and labels are printed as appropriate . This process minimises the errors created, as well as reducing the overall workload.