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  • John Krawczyk

Understanding the 3 indispensable components of efficient cold storage management

Studies show that an average 25% of temperature-sensitive products are wasted every year due to compromised cold chain management systems and fluctuations in established temperatures. Unlike traditional warehousing, cold chain management requires careful insight into every product’s location and status to prevent costly spoilage or worse – damaging recalls and faltering consumer safety. Now, with increased demands for temperature-sensitive products such as foods, medications, and vaccines, cold chains must find a way to balance careful inventory monitoring with seamless accelerated workflows if they wish to meet demands without delivering inaccurate and/or spoiled products. Consequently, to stay ahead of change, cold chains should safeguard the following indispensable factors:

1. Streamlined workflows for minimized touchpoints – While typical warehouse workers can fulfill their tasks with two or more devices (a scanner, a data processor, and perhaps a two-way radio), cold chain operators do not have time to manage multiple devices at once. To survive freezing temperatures, all involved technologies must be built with internal battery heaters, glove-friendly keyboards and touchscreens, and durable casing to withstand sudden temperature swings. Streamlining crucial workflows through one multi-purpose device eliminates the need to procure multiple devices that meet these requirements while prioritizing worker comfort since employees no longer need to haul multiple devices in addition to their heavy cold storage gear. Devices like Zebra’s MC9300 perfectly exemplify this by consolidating intelligent data capture and mobile computing in one ergonomic device tested for cold chain use cases.

2. Frost-proof data capture for maximized accuracy – When barcodes are moved between wide temperature ranges, they may form condensation and frost, posing a challenge to general-purpose scanners. Consequently, ultra-rugged scanners must be equipped with intelligent imagers and omnidirectional aimers to support more successful first-time scans. Wearable technologies such as wearable computers and ring scanners maximize ergonomics while capturing the most problematic barcodes with one trigger-pull for faster data processing.

3. Real-time visibility established through multiple channels – Communication breakdowns can cause delays and mistakes in traditional warehouses, but in cold chains, they can result in costly spoilage, averaging nearly $750 billion in losses globally every year. Streamlined communication channels through flexible cellular connections and real-time visibility can help bridge gaps to prevent surprises and ensure proper handling. Current modernized monitoring solutions like Zebra’s electric temperature sensors even allow companies to track inventory temperature during in-transit shipping from anywhere in the globe in real-time for minimized product damage since teams can be notified of any changes and temperature drops immediately.

A protected cold chain system is a sure path to maximized ROI and prestigious brand identity. Contact Trek Associates to discover how you can improve cold chain management with freezer-ready solutions for dependable efficiency.


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