How to identify supply chain inefficiencies and implement solutions

How to identify supply chain inefficiencies and implement solutions

The fast-paced nature of today’s supply chain, coupled with increased consumer demand is resulting in the implementation of digital solutions that increase efficiency.

A recent report published by Savvy indicates that more than five million Australian households participate in online shopping each month – with 67% of customers expecting faster shipping speeds over the next 12 months.

This article will discuss how print, label and document management solutions can increase the speed and efficiency of your supply chain workflows.

Challenges facing the supply chain

Disruptions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a poor-functioning supply chain. Delays on imports and exports, combined with material shortages and increased costs have burdened Australian businesses looking to meet increased consumer demand.

Infrastructure Magazine reports that Australia’s maritime freight responsibility is anticipated to increase by 25% to 962 billion tonne-km between 2018 and 2040, which is a staggering number. This growth will depend on digitised workflows that can provide end-to-end visibility for an increasingly complex supply chain.

The land delivery landscape faces equal challenges – Infrastructure Magazine indicates shortages in the transport sector are affecting the supply of food to supermarkets and the provision of medical supplies to hospitals. A reliance on accurate inventory management systems and the scanning devices that update them is crucial in identifying these and other vulnerabilities.

News in Australia boldly decries the recent ‘perfect storm’ of goods stuck in various bottlenecks along the supply chain in the months since the pandemic has waned, with over a third of businesses experiencing supply chain disruptions.

The challenge facing supply chains is clear – could a streamlined manufacturing and distribution process that improves tracking, inventory management and paper-based workflows help resolve some of these issues?

Technologies that optimise supply chain efficiency

Today’s connected smart devices and digital platforms are increasing productivity and efficiency across the supply chain. These evolving technologies can help manufacturers pinpoint the vulnerabilities facing their supply chain workflows.

The end-to-end visibility and connectivity offered by a document management system, coupled with the digitisation of paper documents can aid in a cohesive ‘single source of truth’ for all departments involved in the shipping of goods.

Once digitised, your workflows are accessible to all authorised personnel across the supply chain, from delivery drivers who can update inventory management systems with a single scan, to warehouse operators who can mark tomorrow’s shipments with mobile labellers.

Here’s how your organisation can take advantage of today’s versatile technology in order to streamline your business process:

Scanning solutions

Brother scanners offer a variety of benefits for your workforce.

  • If you’re looking to digitise your paper-based inventory management system, high-speed desktop scanners can task large volumes of documents, freeing your personnel from time-consuming manual data-entry processes
  • Portable scanners empower your on-the-go workforce, providing simple scan solutions for remote or delivery work
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology connected through software via a linked device is available to complement units like the ADS 4900W. This hardware solution can handle the complete image capturing digitisation of multiple documents at once, thanks to a 100-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). OCR software enables you to instantly transfer invoices, handwritten records and images with incredible transfer accuracy

Print management systems

Brother has teamed with PaperCut to streamline print monitoring and management systems. Thanks to PaperCut’s Print Deploy feature, your IT managers will be able to deploy Brother devices to multiple sites and offices along the supply chain from a central location, so that you can guarantee the connectivity of the devices responsible for your management and oversight workflows.

Implementing features such as secure print ensures your critical documents do not print unless your authorised personnel enters a verification code. Print Deploy can task streamlined driver updates from one source, fully automating manual update processes and ensuring all devices are operating on the same software version.

A delivery driver using a portable scanner a handheld scanning device
Portable scanners offer quick and easy solutions to your mobile workforce

Asset tracking capabilities

With asset tagging functionality, your products can be monitored along the supply chain thanks to barcode scanning devices that confirm their location.

The versatility of Brother barcodes and QR codes printed on durable TZe laminated tape allows scanning from your workforce and end users alike. Many businesses are using this technology to store information about their organisation, or product manuals on easy-to-scan codes. The dependability of Brother TZe tape labelling solutions means your barcode or QR code can endure up to 30% damage before losing the ability to be scanned.

Your digitally stored information ensures important data isn’t lost or misplaced, improving the traceability of your products across the supply chain. Connectivity with inventory management databases provides real-time information and updates of scanned products. You can also utilise the reporting and analytics features in order to learn when your end user scans the QR codes you’ve affixed to your packages.

Durable shipping labels

Brother provides an array of industrial and thermal transfer label printers designed to provide transparency and traceability across the supply chain.

For the warehouse or office, the Titan Industrial Range has the ability to print over 10,000 labels per day. With fewer label changes and high-quality prints, your organisation can keep pace with the increased volume and demand Australian consumers are placing upon the supply chain.

For on-the-go labelling, compact devices like the P-touch Cube Pro PT-P910BT offers Bluetooth connectivity in a handheld device, so that your inventory can always be updated, regardless of the location.

Mobile printing devices

Portable printers can update and change inventory manifests, delivery schedules or product information from anywhere along the supply chain. From the office floor to the delivery door, logistics operators and drivers can utilise printers to provide real-time updates for consumer drop-offs or returning merchandise.

The rugged design of models like the RJ-3250WB can withstand the bumps, twists and turns that come with life on the road, providing compact, dependable print solutions for your logistics workforce.

A warehouse worker holding a mobile label printer next to stock
Durable labels ensure assets are accounted for along the supply chain

Brother offers flexible, industry-friendly supply chain solutions

Ease your logistics workflows with Brother printers, scanners and label devices.

The software powering these devices is a dependable resource, boosting the connectivity of your devices, personnel and digital infrastructure across the supply chain. Transitioning to an increasingly digital architecture can enhance the traceability of your products and goods.

Brother offers the versatility of print solutions that can support your business workflows and integrate seamlessly with your existing software. The challenges facing Australian businesses are many – together we can navigate ways to streamline your supply chain processes in order to remain competitive in a landscape recovering from unprecedented disruption.

Contact us for a complimentary print assessment and learn how Brother can bring out the best in your business today.


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