We are now the official partner of Zebra technologies inc.!

To all our existing and future partners we are proudly announcing that we became an official partner of Zebra technologies inc! Zebra is the world leader in innovative hardware solutions which are helping thousands of businesses worldwide to achieve lower operational costs and improved operational processes. If you were ever in touch with logistics or distribution, Zebra is a brand you probably heard about, especially when we are talking about mobile terminals, barcode scanners, industrial printers, and accessories for these devices.

Zebra devices are industry leaders and pioneers, which are powered by today’s modern technologies (4G, 5G, WiFi 6…), and one of the main features is the fact that they are rugged and built for special purposes which make the durability of the device extremely powerful.

From now on, if you are in need of any Zebra device, feel free to contact us, and we’ll get the offer directly from Zebra distributors and offer you a great price.

Also, we can help you choose the best device for your use case, based on what you’re going to use this device for, and also, for your available budget.

If interested, feel free to contact us through our contact form or directly at contact@aktiva-info.hr, and if you want to know more, check the MC 9300 product brochure below, a brochure of a device that is a leader in warehouse management, used by over 3 million warehouse workers in the world, and which was used by us while developing our own Servis24 Android application.

228823

Infographic – Top 5 WMS benefits explained

Check out our newest infographic which shows you the most important benefits you get after WMS implementation!

Top-5-WMS-benefits-explained

In case you have any other questions or would like to find out how Servis24 WMS can help you, feel free to get in touch with us.

Practical tips on WMS implementation – whom, what, and how?

Companies that decide to modernize and improve their operational processes in the warehouse, through the implementation of the WMS system, often encounter a multitude of questions and unknowns when it comes to the implementation of the system itself.

The benefits or main features of WMS are generally known even before contacting the WMS software provider. However, the detailed process and duration of implementation, how to start, who are the people responsible for, and useful and practical tips for better preparation are often unknown.

To help you with this, we will try to answer all the questions related to the implementation of WMS, based on our many years of experience and numerous successful implementations.

To begin with, it is important to be aware that the WMS implementation is specific and has its own peculiarities.

Specifics of WMS system implementation

1. WMS software must successfully reconcile the physical, actual condition of warehouse buildings, inventory, items and workers with the logical operations of the software itself. If this part is not done properly, there may be difficulties in the work even after the implementation.

2. In many distribution centers, complex processes and operations have been established, with a large number of items circulating inside the warehouse but also entering and leaving the warehouse. All this needs to be harmonized via a single system.

3. There are often dependencies of one part of the system with another. For example, a slowdown in the picking process will cause a situation where the people packing the goods do not have enough work at that time, which causes unnecessary costs.

4. Human resistance to modernization frequently occurs. Until now, workers have worked by their “rules”, and any new change is undesirable. WMS introduces more or less strict rules and order, and workers realize this, but only after a certain amount of time. One should be ready to educate the workers.

Who is in charge of implementation?

In order to make the implementation as simple and fast as possible, it is important that the roles are defined in advance, both on the side of the WMS provider and on the client-side.

For providers, key roles are often the following:

–          Project Implementation Manager – the person in charge of the main contact by the WMS provider. He/she must be involved from the initial meetings when arranging the implementation, throughout the entire technical process of implementation, and be ready for support after a successful implementation. This has to be a person who has experience in at least a dozen successful implementations. This person answers all the client’s questions and comes to the client’s warehouse to give advice and answer specific questions. He or she often also performs initial education and training of warehouse managers and other warehouse workers on the use of the new application. Making sure that the project is managed according to the Project Task List and that each party performs its tasks is also another responsibility of the Project Implementation Manager.

–          Implementation Specialist – The person in charge of technical details about the implementation, who works on the harmonization and integration of the existing ERP solution, with the new WMS system, and conducts initial testing and validation of the program. It also provides support to the client and customer support within the warehouse. He or she is in charge of helping with the technical side of the implementation.

On the client-side, the most important person for a successful implementation is the warehouse manager. This person is the main point of contact between the WMS provider and all other internal participants. This is the person who is responsible for performing all tasks on the client-side and is in charge of communicating with the WMS service provider. Given the best knowledge of current processes in the warehouse, this person can ask the best questions and is committed to successful implementation and solutions that will be made just for the client. People from the sales and/or procurement department often appear on the client’s side, since they use an ERP solution on a daily basis.

Last, but not least, it’s very important that there is a common company wide agreement on implementing WMS, with strong support of C-level or directors. This is their main role – to promote implementation and to push when necessary.

How long does implementation on average take?

It is not easy to give an unambiguous answer to this question, given that the implementation depends on a number of factors, such as project complexity, the complexity of the warehouse processes and methods of required automation, and most importantly, the amount of resources that the client can allocate to the implementation project. The faster the service provider can get the information he needs, the faster individual problems are solved and the faster the process progresses.

According to our experiences so far, successful implementation takes 3 to 6 months. Of course, some of our existing clients have successfully completed the implementation of WMS in a shorter period of 3 months, but given the complexity of the project, this usually happens rarely.

Often on the client side there is a situation that the person in charge of leading the implementation does not have enough free time to fully deal with the implementation. This can result in breaking the originally agreed deadlines, or, worse, forcing implementation within the deadline but with insufficient preparation and training.

Precisely because of this, it is necessary to be aware of the complexity and honestly set deadlines, without unnecessarily rushing the project.

Useful tips for successful implementation: Tips and Tricks

–          During implementation, it is useful to keep a detailed list and status of the tasks for which both parties are in charge so that we can better monitor progress. Also, a detailed list of open questions is always welcome, so that everything can be cleared up before the go-live day.

–          It is always important to define one person on the client side who has the authority to make a decision and answer a question during testing.

–          We suggest that all types of documents that normally circulate within the ERP system and that handle goods be defined in advance so that the WMS can be set up as well as possible.

–          Before starting, it is useful to consult with the WMS provider about the layout of the warehouse and the position of the racks, and the marking of locations within the racks. This way, the WMS service provider can give useful advice before the warehouse is physically arranged.

–          It is often said that most problems after implementation come due to insufficient testing and employee education. Both sides in the process need to make an extra effort to get both done well.

We hope that with this we have answered many questions regarding the implementation and that things are much clearer now.

Aktiva Info has extensive experience in implementations in the region and is ready to answer all individual questions and give useful and concrete advice, from the initial meeting to efficient and fast customer support after a successful implementation. 

In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.

6 questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a WMS provider

If you are actively looking for an experienced WMS provider, or are informed about the potential implementation of a WMS system in your warehouse, we have some useful information for you that is very good to know before making a decision. Namely, today it is often not enough to just buy the most expensive software and expect it to solve all the problems you encounter. Choosing the wrong software, or worse, poor implementation or inadequate customer support often lead to dissatisfaction and inability to improve business processes.

To make your decision-making process easier, in this blog we bring you 6 questions to ask yourself when choosing a WMS system.

1. Are you familiar with all the business processes and specifics of your warehouse?

Before you even start looking for a WMS provider, it is important to make a detailed analysis of your warehousing business and all the processes that take place within the warehouse. The most important thing is to pay special attention to all the specifics of your warehouse since such specific processes are what can distinguish one provider from another. Namely, not all WMS systems are equally adaptable, so not all systems can be fully adapted to your processes.

2. Does the WMS provider have operational experience in implementations?

Try to find a WMS provider that has operational experience in warehousing processes. Software developers often cannot fully understand all the processes that take place in a  “live” warehouse, since they never encountered those, and your provider also needs to have people with operational knowledge of storage processes. This way, in a winning combination of software engineers and people with experience in warehousing processes, a system is created that practically solves all your problems and facilitates the work of your employees in the warehouse.

3. Can the WMS system be customized?

As mentioned earlier, the WMS system must be customizable, to fully capture all the specifics of your storage processes. We advise you to choose a provider who will be able to customize or upgrade your system to fully adapt to your processes.

Tip: Choose a provider that has customers in the 3PL area (Third Party Logistics), as such companies have a very wide range of options in the system as they do not know what requirements the next customer will have for storing the goods.

4. How easy can WMS integrate with your existing systems?

This question is very important for interaction with your existing ERP system. Quality WMS providers already have pre-designed connectors for the most well-known ERP systems on the market (e.g. SAP, 4D Wand, Pantheon, etc.), and they don’t need a lot of time to connect to your ERP. Also, if a potential provider is already connected to one of the larger ERP providers, it proves that it has already successfully done the integration with other large clients.

Note: some ERP solutions also have a storage module within their solution, however, it is important to mention that such a solution does not have nearly the functionality of a standalone WMS system. We recommend that you look for a WMS provider that specializes in WMS, and an ERP provider that specializes in resource planning.

5. How does the WMS provider provide post-implementation support?

WMS support is not only crucial during the implementation. Once WMS is implemented, the warehouse as such becomes “alive”, and all potential problems should be resolved as soon as possible. Precisely because of this, customer support must be prompt and accurate and the problem eliminated with as little waiting as possible. When choosing, openly ask your provider about customer support.

6. Is the WMS provider only a service provider or also a partner?  

This question is self-evident because of course, you don’t want someone who will just sell you the software. It is important to find a partner whose ultimate goal is to improve your internal processes and your business, and who will be available to you for any problems or potential system upgrades.

We hope that through these questions we have helped you make a decision on choosing a WMS system provider.

For more information about Aktiva Info, see the About us page, and for more information about our WMS, see the Servis24 WMS page.

In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.

The main features every quality WMS should have

Warehouse Management System as a software solution that optimizes storage processes is offered by a large number of companies on the market today. To make the process of choosing a quality WMS easier for you, we have listed the main features that a quality WMS solution should have.

Of course, the quality of the solution and the number of features are not the only important thing when implementing such a solution, but they are definitely a prerequisite for successful operation. The basis of the list of these features is our many years of experience working with a large number of clients from different industries in the region, through which we know what each industry needs to improve its warehousing operations.

To begin with, the necessary features that every WMS must have relate to the basic operations of handling goods, from receiving and entering the goods, transferring the goods, to commissioning, packing and the goods themselves exiting the warehouse. In the following blog, we will explain in detail each of the listed features.

Receiving and entering of goods

Proper entry of goods into the warehouse and their placement in a specific location are the first steps in optimizing storage space. Namely, after certain goods are unloaded from the truck and placed in the entrance area of the warehouse, it is necessary to store them in the “smartest” way possible. The mere receiving of goods in the warehouse is done through manual barcode terminals, together with checking the correctness of incoming documents, in order to completely eliminate errors. In a situation when the goods entering the warehouse do not have a barcode, it must be possible to create them from the WMS system and label them correctly. The goods thus received are placed in a precisely predefined location in the warehouse, automated by the system or defined by the user, depending on the specificity of the process.

Once the items are placed at their locations, the next type of manipulating them is transferring them or picking the goods and preparing them for delivery.

Transferring goods

Often a particular type of goods has to be transferred from one location to another within the same warehouse, or from one warehouse to another. The reasons are various, and this is mainly done due to additional optimization of storage space. In order for these goods not to be “lost”, they need to be transferred property, and any quality WMS should support this possibility.

By scanning the item, transport unit and starting and destination location, and the mere transfer of goods, you always know where the goods are, and in what location they were before transferring. Additional scanning of the destination location guarantees even greater accuracy. This reduces the time required to search for goods in the warehouse, leaving the warehouse worker more time for other tasks. No more lost items or wasted time searching for goods in the warehouse.

Picking of goods

In order for a particular item to be prepared for shipment to the end-user, the warehouse worker must collect it and prepare it for shipment. Quality WMS offers automatic creation of work orders on a daily basis by the system, and assignment to warehouse workers depending on the condition of certain goods and warehouse settings. The logic of collecting goods for delivery, i.e. picking, is set depending on the special requirements and specifics of the warehouse, and the system via manual terminals allows warehouse workers to be guided from the first location where the goods are located, all the way to the last, all with time optimization. From single picking, i.e. commissioning item by item, to collective, i.e. batch picking, we can significantly affect the time a warehouse worker spends collecting goods within the warehouse (approximately 60% of productive hours).

Shipping of goods

The last step before the goods leave the warehouse involves sending the goods to the exit zone, packing, and preparing for shipment. Quality WMS automatically creates all the necessary documents for shipment, and in the case of integration with TMS (Transport Management Sustavom) allows tracking of goods after they leave the warehouse to the end-user. The goal of WMS is to automate processes as much as possible and reduce paperwork to the lowest possible level, so that warehousing is ultimately accelerated.

The above features of WMS refer to the basic processes of handling goods within the warehouse. Of course, these features alone are not enough for a quality WMS. Below, we are presenting features that greatly facilitate the work in the warehouse and the productivity of the warehouse, but also bring companies to a higher level, and we believe that every quality WMS should support them.

Analytics and reporting

For any quality business decision making it is necessary to have relevant analytics and reports that form the basis for decision making. Each quality WMS solution will offer you different reports on the core indicators of your business. Some of the significant reports relate to the state of stock, the flow of goods through the warehouse, employee statistics, a list of vacancies and occupied locations, an overview of the movement of items by LOT number, and a traceability overview…

Also, given the diversity of business processes from your WMS provider, you should also be able to run new custom reports, for the specific needs of your business.

Integration with ERP systems

WMS as a software solution is usually a standalone system. To achieve complete, end-to-end business transparency, WMS integrates with the existing ERP solution that is used. Two-way communication between ERP and WMS allows the order for stacking goods after processing in WMS, ERP returns the exact processed quantities in the warehouse, so the end customer gets a document with the goods with the correct quantities. This way, it is known at all times what quantities of certain goods are in stock and whether it is necessary to order new goods in order to avoid an “out-of-stock” situation.

A quality WMS provider will enable integration with all major ERP systems on the market, and also enable custom integration with ERP that you use.

Workforce management

The total labor cost in a warehouse makes a significant expenditure for the operation of each warehouse. In order to optimize such costs, it is necessary to manage staff well with WMS: from the possibility of automatic or manual assignment of work orders to employees to detailed analytics of the work of each employee. Using “productivity scoreboard”, it is possible to easily show the productivity of each individual worker in the warehouse with the aim of mutual motivation. For each employee, the number of work orders, picked items, and the average picking time can be displayed, sorted from the most to least productive, thus better monitoring productivity.

Serialization and traceability

Traceability as a legal obligation refers to the labeling of a product by batch or LOT item number, in order to be able to monitor the quality of the same product throughout the supply chain. Within WMS traceability is monitored by tracking an item from consumed raw materials to the finished product and the final customer. Traceability is tracked in the system automatically, based on the batch or LOT number of each item for which traceability is required.

This way, a quality WMS allows you to know for each item from which raw material it is made and when it, for example, expires.

Inventory count

Inventory, as a legally defined process that includes an annual inventory count of assets, liabilities and capital, is usually performed once a year. Quality WMS improves the inventory process, shortens it, and makes it easier for warehouse workers. Inventory using hand-held terminals makes it possible to completely eliminate errors when counting stocks, and reduce the possibility of surpluses and shortages to the lowest possible level. Also, in addition to the annual inventory, WMS should provide a daily inventory by location (i.e. cycle count) in order to check the condition of certain locations and goods in the warehouse.

Conclusion

In addition to the above features, we would also like to mention the fact that a partnership between the service provider and the client is very important for the implementation and maintenance of WMS. It is important that possible problems when using the application are resolved quickly, and that the service provider is flexible enough and ready to adapt its application to the client’s specific processes.

The mere fact of the existence of these features without quality support is not enough for the successful operation of WMS, so we recommend choosing a partner that is flexible enough and fast when collaborating after implementation.  

In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.

How to facilitate inventory and reduce errors with WMS?

As the end of the business or calendar year approaches, the annual inventory project begins to be mentioned. Given the legal obligation, the inventory must be done at least once a year, and it is known that warehouse workers and the management often do not do this project with pleasure.

However, inventory does not have to be chaotic and stressful for workers and the company at all. It is in fact a reflection of the year-round management of the warehouse, goods, inventory, and other assets belonging to the final report, and as such has many benefits to the successful running of the company. To facilitate the process itself, there are specialized software products for process management and automation in the warehouse, but before we touch on all the benefits of such software, we need to define in more detail what exactly is inventory and why it is carried out.

What is inventory?

An inventory is a legally defined process that includes an annual inventory of assets, liabilities, and capital and is conducted to reconcile the book balance with the actual balance of all the company’s assets and liabilities.

The inventory process itself in terms of warehousing operations refers to counting the quantities of stock in the warehouse and checking their condition.

Namely, the purpose of the inventory is to count each item in the warehouse in order to determine the shortage or surplus of stock in relation to the bookkeeping figures, and ultimately to determine the inventory surpluses or shortages.

Time of conduct and types of inventory

Although the law does not clearly define the exact date of the inventory, companies are required to carry out this process no later than the end of the business day when it is necessary to list the assets and reconcile this list with the book balance. In our experience, the annual inventory is in most cases done at the end of the year, before 31st of December of the current year, and before the opening of the new business year, in order to start the new year with a “clean” slate. Inventory is also an obligation when changing the status of a company such as liquidations and bankruptcies, but we will focus here on inventory in regular warehousing and business operations.

When we talk about the types of inventory, most often the already mentioned regular inventory is carried out – at the end of the business year where the subject of the inventory is the entire assets and liabilities of the company. Extraordinary inventory is carried out in case of extraordinary changes, such as sale, bankruptcy, or liquidation of the company, or in case of special requests for the extraordinary inventory of assets within the company. The third type of inventory is kept in companies that have warehouses with turnover and large quantities of goods, and for the purpose of continuous implementation, it was given such a name – continuous inventory or Cycle count.

Challenges of inventory

What is considered a precisely managed warehouse? The goal of any arranged warehouse is to have over 97% accuracy of the goods in stock. In the vast majority of cases, the situation is not like that, and the inventory shows a surplus or deficit of the actual state of the stock. Surpluses or shortages occur mainly due to human error in the warehouse, untimely registration of goods, but also due to the expiration date, accidental destruction of goods, and similar reasons.

If the inventory is carried out manually, with printed inventory lists, it can be a lengthy process that is extremely prone to errors due to the human factor. Companies that rely on employees’ excel spreadsheets, and access inventory without a system must count entire product ranges, with each individual product located on individual transport units. This unnecessarily prolongs the recording process and increases the possibility of error. Also, in such a situation, it is necessary to increase the workforce through additional temporary employment of new employees, which can significantly affect costs. Additionally, without a software system, warehouses do not have strictly defined locations of goods and the search itself is extended.

How to reduce inventory errors using WMS?

There are various tips on how to conduct an inventory in principle and reduce the number of errors and make the whole process easier for all participants. If you’ve already done some annual inventory, you’re probably already familiar with some of them. We will focus here on the benefits you can get using the Warehouse Management System software solution which, due to its automation of warehouse processes, greatly simplifies the process.

If you are wondering how to get started with an inventory and what are the tips for its successful implementation, experts agree that good and quality preparation is crucial to facilitate the process, and it can be done with quality labeling, clear instructions, and inventory lists, all options WMS automatically offers.

The Warehouse Management System and its extended arm in the form of a barcode terminal bring several benefits that will improve warehouse management accuracy and facilitate inventory.

The process of tracking an item begins when it enters the warehouse, during which the employee reads the product with a scanner. This reading is then continuing with any change in the condition such as movement, commissioning, packaging, and all other changes in the status of the goods. These statuses and records of each step of the item in the warehouse are recorded directly in the WMS, so all WMS users in the warehouse know the exact location and condition of the goods at all times. This creates a quality preparation and foundation for the inventory count itself.

Not only is it possible to get an extremely accurate view of inventory through WMS’s way of tracking, but the Warehouse Management System easily integrates with the company’s existing ERP system, so the warehouse status can be seen at all levels of the company.

Faster and more accurate inventory

WMS allows inventory reports to be generated automatically, so it is theoretically possible to have quick inventories on a weekly or even daily basis. When it comes to a comprehensive annual inventory, an advanced warehouse process management software system makes it easier to count items. Employees have precise insight into the condition and location of goods in the warehouse, so the inventory process is accelerated, and re-scanning facilitates and reduces the potential for errors. A

lso, when checking items, employees are guided by manual terminals, according to the logical sequence of locations in the warehouse, and thus errors are minimized. If you have unopened pallets and packaged products, a simple barcode scan can “count” a large number of products extremely quickly.

Continuous automated warehouse management is an excellent basis and preparation for inventory. It is known at which location the goods are located within the warehouse, as well as the other status of the item itself. The WMS system can prepare extremely accurate inventory lists, and due to the nature of continuous monitoring, the inventory process itself will be faster and more accurate.

As a consequence of using WMS, inventory surplus and the deficit will be reduced. They are still possible because people still play a significant role within the company, and mistakes happen. However, with WMS they are minimized. Just as the Warehouse Management System brings greater efficiency and savings in day-to-day operations, it also speeds up the inventory process, which is much more precise.

In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.

WMS – explained

If you run your warehouse with excel spreadsheets or even worse, on paper, and you have a nightmarish inventory process, or something is always missing from the inventory, we think it’s time for you to familiarize yourself with WMS.

Warehouse Management System or WMS is a software solution for warehouse automation and tracking of all warehouse processes. Quality WMS aims at 97% inventory accuracy and handles all of the warehouse processes – from receiving (goods in), put-away, picking, packing, and shipping of the goods. That way, all processes in your warehouse are monitored, automated and optimized by a software solution that gets you many benefits, more of which below.

What are the essential features of WMS?

Imagine a tidy warehouse without any paperwork where items are categorized and stored in an orderly fashion. All items are automatically stored on warehouse shelves, in proper order and all are entered by scanning via a barcode terminal. There is no hassle, lost items, and the whole company has an overview of the inventory status in real-time. This is not an illusion. Your warehouse really can look like this.

The warehouse management system tracks the movement of items through the warehouse. The software solution has some ERP software elements, but usually, WMS is integrated and connected with 3rd party ERP solutions used by companies that are implementing WMS. That way sales, marketing, management, and other departments in the company know the exact inventory status in real-time, making their job easier and enabling them to plan more accurately.  

Main features of quality WMS:

– Automation of all warehouse processes such as: receiving (goods in), put away, picking, packing and shipping of goods, inventory checks, etc.,

– Documentation workflow with automated import to company business software (ERP),

– More efficient workforce management. Optimization of workflow with the more precise flow of the goods and elimination of mistakes,

– Receiving, tagging, and picking of items over barcode terminals and storing real-time information in the information database.

Types of WMS solutions

WMS usually is a standalone software solution. In most cases, it is connected with other business intelligence solutions like ERP systems. For example, if you are using SAP ERP you can integrate it with your newly picked WMS system, in order to have a smooth data exchange between these two.

Another subcategory of WMS is a solution that comes as a module of the existing ERP system. The main disadvantage of that type of WMS add-on is that it doesn’t have complex features that are available in a standalone Warehouse Management System and is less customizable, therefore it may not be able to cover all your processes and needs.

While some smaller organizations still work with spreadsheets, from SMBs to corporations, WMS is an essential part of the modern warehouse. WMS is a scalable and modular solution that can be tailor-made for a company, and in general, businesses choose WMS as a standalone software solution.

Standalone WMS can adapt to the company size, warehouse complexity and specific warehouse processes, which can help you grow your business and scale more easily.

Main benefits of WMS

Warehouse workflow and process automatization bring numerous benefits you might miss at first sight. To give you a better overview of how WMS can help your company, we made a list of such solutions’ top advantages.

a) Cost reduction and space optimization

WMS is an intelligent system that tracks all processes inside of a warehouse and can provide the best solution for maximum warehouse space optimization. With movement analysis and knowing where you store your items, materials, or goods, you can make the best business decisions on where you should place goods for maximum movement efficiency. That way, you’re saving valuable storage space and workers’ time.

Other optimization areas

– Better warehouse space utilization,

– Timely and correct item delivery that results in fewer shortages or excesses of goods,

– Less time spent on employee training and onboarding,

– Faster picking and packing, and no more searching for lost items.

All this leads to a reduction of operating costs and better flow of goods through the warehouse.

WMS can also perfect item movement with standard protocols like first-in-first-out (FIFO), last-in-first-out (LIFO), first expires-first-out (FEFO).

No matter how complicated your processes are, WMS will help you with automation and therefore reduce your costs in the long run.

b) Real-time inventory visibility

WMS enables better accuracy and visibility of your inventory, and all of that in real-time. By running different kinds of reports you know the exact amount of each and every item you have in your warehouse. Such precision and transparency are achieved with barcode scanning of every item and every location in the warehouse. This way you are decreasing the number of lost items and improving your inventory accuracy. And when you integrate such precise metrics with your ERP, it will boost efficiency and decision-making inside of the whole company, not only in your department.

c) Labor efficiency

WMS also automates assigning of tasks to the right person in the warehouse. Alongside that, optimization of travel time within the warehouse is one of the greatest benefits that the WMS can provide to improve labor utilization. By defining the best picking method, you are shortening the path from point A to point B, which makes your staff more efficient. You can even do the analysis of your goods and rearrange your warehouse layout so that high-moving goods are closer and faster to pick and pack.

Elimination of paperwork and introduction of barcode terminals enables employees to work efficiently and to focus only on their core tasks, and at the same time decreasing errors in picking and packing.

d) Serialization and tracking of items

Items in the warehouse can be easily tracked with their serial number and their batch, e.g. their LOT number. That way, if you are manufacturing from raw materials, you can track the whole process, from raw materials to the finished product and serial or LOT number will tell you of which items finished product is made.

WMS can help with tracking and connecting items with incoming orders, and you will have a better overview of the flow. It also contributes to planning and resource allocation. You can cut costs with detailed inventory insight in real-time, which results in avoiding unnecessary orders or lost items.

e) Improving supply chain

Warehouse Management System influences the whole supply chain with its automation features. Incoming goods, papers, and all processes in the warehouse up until delivery are simplified and automated. Accurate and quick shipping with the elimination of unwanted steps will increase efficiency and cut costs. By implementing WMS, you can also improve partner relations by improving supply chain efficiency and enabling better service for your clients.

f) Cutting operational costs for warehouse equipment

The warehouse that uses WMS is highly automated, which reduces workforce and equipment load. You can cut costs on the amortization of equipment, smaller electric and gas bills, and materials like paper.

WMS’s other advantages include better user experience through the faster workflow from ordering to delivery and further adjustments in warehouse workflow through constant learning from reports.

Who is using WMS?

If you wondered which industries use WMS, the answer is not focused on industry type as much as on the warehouse’s size and complexity.

Distribution companies, 3PLs, retailers, manufacturers, and other trade companies use WMS. Warehouse Management System is extremely useful in the food industry, electronics, textile, tobacco, and any other industry which handles bigger inventories.

The need for WMS comes when you are not handling your inventory properly, and you are way too big to use papers or Excel sheets.

WMS scalability allows even smaller companies to acquire quality solutions and ease their practices, and prepare them in advance for the growth of their business, therefore improving scalability.

Conclusion

Warehouse Management System comes with numerous benefits. A quality solution will help with the automation of standard procedures in the warehouse. This means you will get real-time reports on workflow and warehouse inventory.

Better equipment and workforce utilization and better space management are among the essential benefits.

WMS is a business software with detailed statistics, automated data export for all departments, including accounting and sales.

In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.

Why invest in WMS? Top 5 reasons revealed!

What is a modern Warehouse Management System? If we consider the warehouse as the essential part of company logistics, WMS is its software necessity.

Historically, warehouses were managed via pen and paper. After that, the first computer upgrade included Excel spreadsheets, and digital transformation brought software solutions that manage processes and workflows in the warehouse, such as picking, order fulfillment, and delivery.

Increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness are the main ideas behind Warehouse Management Systems. WMS has in-depth data analysis, reporting, voice control systems, connecting with other business intelligence systems, and some additional hardware components like RFID or barcode readers to achieve these improvements.

There are numerous benefits of the WMS solution, and we have five crucial reasons you should invest in a Warehouse Management System.

1. Real-time inventory control and management

If you need to check the inventory status manually when someone asks about it, maybe it is time to invest in a WMS.
Professional modern WMS improves inventory control – you will have less stock, improved order fulfillment, and reduced order cycle time.

You can achieve these benefits by tracking every unit in the warehouse to the tiniest details. Tracking inventory with barcode scanners, you will know the type, series, and correct item name for every item in your stock. All information is uploaded in real-time into the system, leading to much faster and more efficient inventory management. At every moment you are able to check which items are low in stock, and which ones are overstocked, so you can make better business decisions.

The entire company has an overview of the current warehouse stock inventory because WMS is connected with other business intelligence software like ERP.

2. Better employee efficiency

Staff salary is among the most significant costs in the warehouse. With all automation, your employees are still a crucial piece of warehouse operations, and with WMS, you can optimize and utilize their efforts.

WMS will enable better efficiency, quality control system and speed up the product warehouse lifecycle. The first step in increased efficiency is the reduction of paperwork and manual lists. For even the smallest warehouses, relying on pen and paper processes can slow down the picking process. When you put away inventory without a verification scan, you’re more likely to make an error in data recording – which then must be corrected during the picking process. As said before, automation will eventually lead to fewer human-made errors. Also, you must ensure your staff is working in the smartest possible way to fulfill every order.

Movement and individual employee’ efficiency analysis leads to better movement patterns. WMS will enable upfront ideal picking routes through the warehouse so each staff member can cover more ground more effectively. Also, after doing a proper analysis of the movement of your goods, you will be able to better set up your warehouse layout, meaning all goods that are spending a minimal amount of time in the warehouse, i.e. are fast-moving, should be stored closer to the exit zone. That way, your staff will spend less time walking and have more time to focus on their crucial tasks.

3. Better user experience for your clients

Too many complaints to the customer service can damage your or your clients’ company reputation. Even worse, it can cut your or their revenue. When sales don’t have accurate info about inventory, the company can experience a delivery backlog, or even worse, you can run out of stock. If you have a faulty system for order fulfillment, you can send items to the wrong address or send the incorrect quantities.

Quality Warehouse Management System will alleviate most human errors and enable inventory control best practices. Software solutions using scanners will lead to detailed real-time data and improvements in warehouse accuracy almost up to 100%. Every person in your company will be able to know the exact amount of inventory, which helps you with your orders.

Reliable inventory management will result in a better user experience, fewer customer service complaints about late, inaccurate, or missing deliveries. That way, your relationship with your customers or clients will be on a higher level.

4. Warehouse space optimization

WMS tracks item flow in the warehouse. You know the exact position of every item on the shelf, in which row they are, and in what part of the warehouse, all of that in real-time. All changes, including picking, transferring, or counting, are noted in WMS. Tracking improves picking and inventory accuracy and reduces possibilities for errors.

WMS has many unique features like intelligent picking, rotation of goods, commissioning, and automatic consolidation to maximize storage space. The most important of these is directed put-away. Whenever you are receiving some goods, WMS can tell how and where to put away every exact item. There are many different rules for put-away. For example, you can use fixed or dynamic locations. Fixed locations are used for a specific type of item, which benefits in better organization of your warehouse layout and speeds up the putaway process since staff knows in advance where those items should be placed.

Dynamic locations, on the other hand, involve storing items in the first available, temporary location that a warehouse can find. It’s quick and versatile and has to have a real-time WMS implemented. Real-time information and advanced software-managed methodologies for moving goods through the warehouse can utilize expensive storage space with more efficiency.

Simultaneously, management and other company departments will all have needed information about warehouse utilization as the changes happen.

5. ERP integration and ROI

Quality Warehouse Management System can easily connect and integrate with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution or other business intelligence software your company uses. There is no need for extra steps for integrating data from WMS to other company systems outside of the warehouse. Once integrated, data flow is automated and documents are exchanged in real-time.

By investing in WMS, you will for sure witness a positive return on investment. WMS influences sales and increases profits in a simple way. You will sell faster and more accurately, and customers will be more satisfied. Simultaneously, warehouse workers can store goods more efficiently, spend less time on their job, and make fewer mistakes. All these factors lead to increased profit margins and lower costs.

Investing in the software warehouse system

WMS is a software solution with hardware components. It’s important to check whether your WMS provider can provide tailor-made solutions for your warehouse and your specific needs. Every warehouse is different, and you should be able to cover all your processes with your new software.

Warehouse management is an essential part of logistics for every serious company. It’s a missing piece that enables improved accuracy and efficiency. Better warehouse management leads to business improvement on a company level and in the supply chain from manufacturer to delivery.

An efficient warehouse directly influences customer satisfaction, and higher efficiency leads to cost-cutting, which are crucial keywords for company management.

If you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to contact us.