Category Archives: Barcode scanners/RF Terminals

Latitude Tips & Tricks: Flag Problems from the RF Terminal

Even the best-organized warehouses have occasional problems or messes on the warehouse floor. Things break, people make mistakes or the unexpected just happens. And when it does, someone needs to fix it without taking too much time away from their normal workday duties.

To make this process a little simpler, Latitude now allows you to flag any problems with bins, items, sales orders or purchase orders directly from an RF terminal. That way the person who discovers the problem can quickly make a note about the issue and add it to the Problem List without exiting their workflow or dropping everything to find a supervisor in person. Likewise, supervisors can view Problem Lists and get an accurate update on anything happening in the warehouse.

Setting this up takes a few steps. First, make sure that MARK Bin, Item, Sales Order and Purchase Order are in your TOOLS menu. They are included in the DEFAULT tool menu, but you may have moved them if you’ve customized your menu. Second, define your “Problem” reason code by going to Administration – Class Maintenance – Problems Reason Codes. Common reason codes are DAMAGED BIN, INCORRECT ITEM, INCORRECT QUANTITY, etc.

Now your employees can press F3 – Tools – Mark Item on their RF terminals, choose the appropriate problem reason code from the list that you defined, and scan the problem item. After scanning the item, you can also enter notes to explain the problem in more detail.

To review problems flagged this way, go into Latitude Web to Activities – Cycle Count – Problem Items. You can also review Purchase Orders and Sales Orders flagged as Problems under their respective Activities menu group. For problems with incorrect item quantity, click Functions – Generate Cycle Count Job to create a cycle counting job from this screen. Once a problem has been solved, click Functions-Flush All Records to remove an item from the list.

That’s all for this issue of Latitude Tips and Tricks. Keep an eye on this blog for the next Tips and Tricks, and check out our Content Marketing Hub for videos, photos and presentations from our customers and partners. As always, if you have a suggestion for a new Latitude WMS feature, or have a specific problem you’re trying to solve, you can reach any member of our Customer Support Team at 1-888-627-9797.

Latitude Tips & Tricks for Shadowing an RF Terminal

This week we’re continuing our “Tips and Tricks for Latitude” series of posts by highlighting an important feature that can help with troubleshooting and employee communication – RF terminal shadowing.

Shadow RF Terminals

The ability to shadow RF terminals is a feature that Latitude WMS has enabled for a while, but it was previously only accessible through the Latitude Management Console and on a limited basis. But, since shadowing a terminal has a lot of beneficial applications for employee training, management and troubleshooting, we’ve made it easier for everyone to use. You can now access this function from Latitude Web.

Here are the steps required:

  1. Click on the Shadow RF Terminals icon on the welcome screen, and log into the Shadow console.
  2. Scroll down to the user you want to shadow, and select Shadow Terminal. This will give you access to a list of the last 50 transactions by that user and let you watch all of their activity in real time.
  3. If you need to reach a specific employee or all employees at once, you can hit the Send Message button to send a message to one specific RF terminal, or to all active terminals. This function comes in handy when calling a group meeting or asking questions to other team members.
  4. Finally, you can restrict access to the Shadow RF feature by editing permissions in the Access Rights Profile.

Why do it?

If someone has questions about a specific pick or order, sometimes checking this record can solve it. You can also shadow a terminal to see exactly what an employee is doing during the workday, which is especially useful if you have concerns about productivity.

Shadowing also makes it possible to troubleshoot remotely. For example, if you have an employee at a separate location, and there are consistent problems with a specific task, shadowing that terminal and walking through the process can help a manager or experienced staff member isolate and resolve the problem.

We’re confident you’ll find the new Shadow RF feature in Latitude very helpful. If you have a suggestion for a new Latitude feature, or a specific problem you’re trying to solve, please let us know. You can reach our support team at 1-888-627-9797.

Lowered Cost of Vendor Managed Inventory

Intermec CS40

The cost of implementing vendor managed inventory (VMI) in a distribution business isn’t always prohibitive. But it does require businesses to trust their customers to use hi-tech equipment (like handheld scanners) that they provide as a part of the VMI service.

Vendor managed inventory allows clients (like yours!) to place replenishment orders with your warehouse using nothing more than a handheld scanner. Your customer can simply walk around their storeroom and scan the items that they need to order from you. The order is then wirelessly delivered to your ERP.

While many businesses are comfortable providing handheld scanners to customers for this purpose, the upfront cost of purchasing the scanners is a major factor in deciding whether or not to offer VMI services.

However, as hardware costs drop, so does the cost of implementing VMI in your distribution business. And the cost of VMI-compatible hardware IS dropping! We’ve  performed competitive analyses on available hardware, and we’ve got great news: VMI is more affordable than ever.

So, how much does VMI cost? Total costs will vary widely, but the cost of new handheld computers is rapidly dropping, which means that VMI is now a more affordable option for small and medium-sized distribution businesses who want to offer VMI capabilities to their customers. Previous estimated costs for handheld scanning computers were upwards of $3K per unit, but PathGuide now offers the Intermec CS40starting as low as $1,250!

That’s right – $1,250.

The Intermec CS40 is designed for mobile field workers who need robust equipment that can stand up to a warehouse environment (better than, say, a smartphone). The CS40 helps deliver Latitude’s VMI functionality at a reduced cost, so smaller business can still take advantage of enterprise-level services for their clients and partners.

PathGuide is excited to offer this robust equipment as a part of our VMI module – contact us today to find out how vendor managed inventory can give your distribution business an edge over the competition.

Call us today at 1.888.627.9797 and we’ll determine if Latitude WMS is right for you.

Call us today at and we’ll determine if Latitude WMS is right for you. – See more at: http://www.pathguide.com/Solutions/LatitudeWMS/BestWarehouseManagementSystem.aspx#sthash.l1IJoPIr.dpuf

How long does it take to learn a warehousing management?

Intermec RF bar code scanner

Intermec RF scanner

Any warehousing management system involves new hardware and software, which can initially scare some warehouse employees. RF terminals (bar code scanners), for instance, while easy to use, can involve input skills that feel foreign to warehouse employees who aren’t familiar with texting. Incidentally, this is why some young adults are very adept at using bar code scanners/RF terminals – it’s more or less like using their own smartphone, just a bit heavier.

Are you worried that your warehouse employees will be slow to learn a new warehousing management system? When choosing a warehousing management solution, take the following training concepts under consideration:

  • A well-designed warehousing management system (WMS) has an intuitive interface that will seem familiar to anyone who is capable of surfing the web, which should be most people who work in warehousing jobs. It will be easily navigable, and simple to pick up. It should be accompanied by a web-accessible online help system and/or print documentation. User-centric design automatically reduces training time and costs.
  • Some warehouses have a high turnover rate, because local warehouse jobs are easy to find. If your warehouse employees flee to new jobs frequently, you’ll benefit from a good warehousing management system that automates manual processes. Drastically reducing training time for new employees ensures that you can easily grow your labor force as your business expands.
  • Warehousing solution training needs to use proven teaching methodologies to instruct, inform, and assure end users of the viability and advantages of the new system. A smart WMS vendor has a proven track record of getting new users up-to-speed in under a week.
  • Good warehousing managers will designate several system experts from their current warehouse employees who receive advanced training and can be counted on to help new and uncertain users become accustomed to the system. These should be employees who have settled into warehouse careers and are natural managers.
  • In-depth training must be provided as a part of any warehousing management implementation, and any go-live should include round-the-clock support from your WMS solution provider.

Learn how a warehousing management solution like Latitude WMS can easily make your warehouse run better. Call PathGuide today. 1.888.627.9797.

What kind of support does my WMS have?

Implementing a WMS system in a warehouse is obviously not a small undertaking. That’s why choosing the correct vendor to supply your WMS solution is as important as choosing the right dealership to buy your car from.

First, you need to find a vendor who has a long history in the business and a list of successful clients from a wide range of industries. Finding a vendor with experience not only ensures that you will be purchasing a WMS system that incorporates years of feedback from a variety of clientele, but also provides assurance that the company will remain in business in the years to come. In a fragile economy, a vendor’s longevity isn’t an issue that can be overlooked. Continue reading