Modern companies are compelled to redesign their methods to sustain and expand in any market or industry. For example, if you’re in the eCommerce industry, there are plenty of modern software solutions to help you keep your operation running smoothly.
For retail, supply or any other industry which deals with warehousing, Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a necessary solution – not only it helps you to reduce human errors and increase productivity, but it also assists in handling warehouse operations like inventory, labor or supply chain management etc. making running your business more efficient and smooth.
What is a Warehouse Management System?
Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a software solution supporting your operational activities like inventory, product refill, stock refill and more.
You will be able to offer your customers the best quality service by knowing your warehouse condition – where are which products, what to order and how much it takes, etc. Such a solution makes your business operations easy to run.
WMS Key Benefits
There are many benefits of WMS system, let’s list some of them:
The WMS system has the ability to analyze the best usage of your storage space as per tasks and material aspects thus optimizing your warehouse flow. Utilization of floor plan analysis is performed to determine h3ow to use the space in the best way.
Such an approach also lessens potential costs resulting from excessive material movement and retrieval.
WMS solutions can help maintain product rotations (FIFO, LIFO, FEFO, HIFO, LIFO) no matter the rotation rule required.
The WMS system enables you to make any adjustments necessary to maintain the best inventory location selection and also helps you to overview physical product movement and workers performance.
By considering the best locations to put your products can also reduce your operating expenses.
Automatic update and managing product stock in real time is one of the benefits of the WMS system. The entire WMS minimizes chances of over selling and prevents the entry of redundant results.
WMS will provide visibility of real time inventory levels – it will enable your company to estimate its own supply and avoid backorders.
WMS, if used with scanning, RFID etc., can ensure visibility at the location and reduce the situations where inventory can become lost or misplaced within the warehouse.
If you integrate your WMS with ERP, you can provide precise details on how some products perform thus getting certain forecasting features. With this information at hand, planning officers can make reliable decisions on which products to adjust for the company so to mitigate any losses.
Improved Labour Productivity
WMS can better appoint tasks to the right persons at the right time. You can use labour forecasting, allowing WMS to assign daily tasks and efficiently outline schedules.
One of the greatest WMS benefits is optimization of travelling time within the warehouse.
By scanning items at warehouse entry can eliminate the need to double check the work thus saving time and quickening the entire process.
The result is labour, equipment and space efficiency which are optimized by an appropriate work assignment.
WMS enables you to leverage additional automation technologies within your warehouse.
You can further simplify the entire process and scale up if you use mobile devices – mobile can assist transition from paper to electronic logging plus it can greatly automate internal work responsibilities.
Such an automation supports continuous improvement in existing warehouse operations giving you an opportunity to improve your strategies. There are many levels of automation – from automated packing, robotics, analytics driven movements and more. WMS helps such strategies by contributing basic elements to record and communicate activities.
Sensors, barcodes, voice and automated carousels can increase output if integrated to WMS by monitoring packing activity.
Implementation of robotics and automated conveyors can streamline your warehouse operations and reduce impediments.
Optimized Supply Chain
WMS streamlines your entire warehouse operations from the initial inputs to output deliveries thus improving the efficiency and reducing costs. Usage of WMS can be extended to a wider supply chain.
Warehouse workforce can achieve fast and accurate shipments by reducing non-productive activities. This can also help your internal or external partners allowing them to improve their own operations as well.
For example, improved data can reduce risks, improve reliability and present a great benefit to shippers, suppliers and customers. The data can further be shared to your ERP system, a TMS (transportation management system) or a customer.
Cloud-based WMS almost immediately returns a lower cost of ownership as there is no need for hardware, software or IT engineers as opposed to companies with an on-premise WMS.
WMS enables your company to deliver products to customers more quickly while allowing partners to improve planning.
WMS enables you to easily trace inventory materials using Iot, batch and serial numbering. Such numbers indicate the group where items were made and the serial number identifies a specific item.
If you utilize WMS inventory tracking, you can enable full traceability of incoming receipts and outgoing shipments.
Such actions allow you to perform inventory planning more accurately and lowers any potential redundancy.
Improved Shipment Management
Just like WMS can be connected to TMS to optimize supply chain processes, the same way warehouses can improve faster customer order cycle time.
With WMS, managers can select zones or batches thus picking and packing products more effectively. Additionally, customers can receive early notifications on shipments and the way the products are sent – such options enable quicker customer order cycle time.
A good WMS should also have a proper validation system – it ensures that the correct items are shipped to your customers as too many incorrect shippings can be a real profit killer. Make sure that your WMS has the means to check your orders as it will ensure that all items match up the items on the sales orders.
Furthermore, barcode scanners prevent mistyping the numbers which greatly reduces errors. Usage of scanners in picking orders will make sure that your inventory is being put away in the correct area.
WMS enables advanced shipping notifications which creates bonds with your customers improving the overall customer satisfaction.
Data Driven Decisions and Analytics
If you want to run a more successful business, utilize a wide range of performance analytics that a modern WMS offers. Such reporting will point out how successful (or not) your team is at delivering products to your customers.
Understanding WMS analytics abilities requires to watch the core metrics that can help you to see a clear picture of your business. One of the examples is the total landed cost for each product which can provide you with an insight into what drives your revenue.
Another important metric to follow is a completed inventory optimization as this data allows you to confirm what stock you have, where to place it in your supply chain and generally, how to optimize your inventory budget.
Restock analytics enables you to integrate your orders across multiple levels (wholesalers, retail partners etc.)
Procurement analysis within WMS will help you to determine vendor costs and quality along with the ability to track their ‘historic’ performance.
Such performance metrics should track the entire process, from receiving to timeliness of your order completion. WMS will allow you to grasp the overall performance to deliver analysis related to teams or individuals.
All in all, WMS helps you to track each item with serial numbers in your warehouse more easily as well as to anticipate future inventory problems more precisely enabling you to make key decisions more accurately and in real time.
Better Efficiency and Ongoing Improvement
WMS systems are designed in such a way that it enables continuous improvements – it maintains the warehouse efficiently keeping up with the current modifications. If you have cloud-based WMS, it automatically updates, thus instantly reducing the costs of having an IT team.
Using WMS will reduce the time warehouse staff spends on filling the orders, resulting in more automated processes for work staff and the overall warehouse efficiency.
No matter if your warehouse is small or large, a WMS system will help you to increase your profitability and mitigate errors.
Nowadays, competition is extremely high and it is vital for your business to stand out with bleeding-edge technology – WMS will surely bring you the reduction of costs and seamless operations. You can also alleviate risks more efficiently and improve the overall productivity and the business’ profitability.
That is the very reason why you should get started with an advanced Warehouse Management System today, but be careful and consider which choices are important for your own business.