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"We have gained efficiency in pulling orders, finding products, our error rate has dropped, receiving and staging have become more productive, miscounts have nearly become obsolete, and customer service has improved!  What else can I say? Latitude has been a great asset to our company."

Carolyn Hunt, IT Consultant
Southern Fastening Systems, Inc
Muscle Shoals, AL

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From The President: Embrace Technology

EricOne of my employees recently returned from a new warehouse implementation project for one of our biggest clients, a major electrical distributor. This employee had spent several days training with our client's warehouse workforce, explaining how to best use our bar code scanners to do everything from receiving and putaway to picking, packing, shipping, and returns.

"You wouldn't believe how happy the guys in the wire zone were to get their hands on those scanners," my employee chuckled as she regaled us with stories about her hours spent in the client's dusty warehouse. "They almost cried with relief."

"Really?," I asked, "Not everyone is so excited to learn new technology."

"Well, these guys all have iPhones, so they had no problem with touch screens or buttons," said my employee. "But what they were really excited about was that they wouldn't have to do math anymore."

"Math?," I puzzled, trying to remember the last time I had to perform math in a warehouse.

"For the wire spools," said my employee. "Before getting our WMS up and running, every time they cut a length of wire, they had to subtract that length from the total length that was written on the side of the spool. Not everyone in the warehouse is very good at math, and so not everyone was eager to do the wire cuts. But with the scanner, they just scan the spool's bar code and key in the length of wire, and the math is done for them."

"They were so grateful," my employee smiled, obviously relieved to have been part of a business solution that was embraced, rather than rejected, but the warehouse personnel.

The things that we take for granted once we get accustomed technology are myriad. When was the last time that you had to do long division in your head? Maybe you had no problem with it, or maybe you whipped out a pocket calculator. Me, I take a certain amount of pride in being able to do quick math problems in my head, but it's certainly not for everyone.

Regardless of how you feel about the importance of math, you have to admit that it's faster, and more accurate, to use technology to get the job done. That's part of the reason why our clients are so excited when implementing our WMS solution in their warehouse - it's hard enough to work with thousands of pounds of wire, spools, racks, and cable reels, and to keep customer orders straight when still using a paper system. For some people, being forced to do math, on top of all that physical labor, is simply adding insult to injury.

Technology has enriched our lives in many ways, although I suppose there's plenty of technology that I can do without (I don't like Twitter, for example, which seems like shouting from a mountaintop and hoping that someone might shout back).

But overall, embracing new technology is how our society has progressed from caves to skyscrapers. From the first human to carve out a rudimentary wheel to the first one to stamp out a microprocessor, technology helps us do more in less time with fewer mistakes.

For more information on how you can embrace new technologies and turn your warehouse into a money-making asset, contact PathGuide at  888.627.9797