Warehouses Are Going Mobile

Weigh all your options before implementing a wireless solution.


Once all the critical decisions have been made, it's time to talk price. Costs for going wireless can vary depending on the number of users to be involved, the number of terminals needed, the number of SKUs in the warehouse and the size of the warehouse. On average, though, most companies should be prepared to spend about $100,000 on a full wireless network, complete with software, computers, servers, middleware, wireless access points, wireless devices and more.

"For a warehouse, you can expect to spend about $100,000 for everything, but you can recoup it quickly by cutting staff, increasing productivity and error reductions," says Hermelee.

Deployment for a single location can take from three to six months to roll out. If it's a larger rollout across many locations, it can take about a year to 18 months, says Hermelee, who recommends a phased-in roll-out across multiple locations so that kinks can be worked out before bringing other systems and locations on line.

But ultimately, cost and roll-out time should not be the main concerns, Miller says. "Wireless solutions have created an ROI in only a few months, more quickly even than many expected. A lot of it has to do with doing your homework, understanding your needs and taking the appropriate action to meet them."

Money Matters

The cost of going wireless:

*Wireless access points: $250-$800 each.

*Wireless devices: $2,500-$3,000 each.

*Maintenance software and upgrades: $10,000, plus licensing fees.

*Mobile middleware: $165 per device.

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