The enormous growth of e-commerce, faster supply chains, and digital transformation put massive pressure on companies to modernize and improve their logistic processes and warehouses.
One of the critical upgrades for any modern warehouse is a specialized software solution like Warehouse Management System.
If your company relies on excel spreadsheets (or even worse on paper) and expects to be competitive, you may be in trouble. A quick and efficient warehouse is now possible only with the help of a quality WMS solution. With WMS, you are getting automation of all warehouse processes, and accurate flow of goods through the warehouse and detailed and transparent insight into your inventory.
For all SMB companies and enterprises with second thoughts about implementing WMS, we made a list of key benefits such a solution can offer for your warehouse and business overall.
1. Optimizing floor space
One of the essential features of the WMS solution is the optimization of warehouse space. The software has the ability to analyze workers’, machines’, and goods’ movement on the warehouse floor. Once you implement WMS, you can make an ideal scheme in The Warehouse designer for optimal usage of floor space to the exact parameters of your warehouse needs.
That way, you can automatically define receiving and put-away processes of the goods in your warehouse and optimize labor productivity rates by ensuring your staff is working the smartest possible way.
By doing that, you will reduce unused warehouse space and automatically increase available floor space. Cutting down the needed time for your staff to find a specific item is a bonus that leads to lower operational costs. Broad compatibility is another advantage of the professional software solution.
Modern WMS is compatible with all the usual protocols used in the warehouse, depending on the type of goods and warehouse. It also takes into account the specific needs of your warehouse and the type of goods you are storing. WMS automates and accelerates processes no matter if you use First-in-first-out (FIFO), Last-in-first-out (LIFO), or First-expires-first-out (FEFO) protocols.
LIFO, for instance, is commonly used for higher rotation of goods, and it enables fast-moving of goods in the warehouse which is a cost-effective use of space. On the other hand, FEFO is an efficient protocol being used for goods that have short expiration dates or are easily perishable. Also, it is excellent for traceability. These are some glaring examples, and in reality, storage policies are defined in every warehouse depending on your special requests and procedures, with the same common goal – to optimize floor space.
In that regard, WMS is a flexible system that simultaneously enables storage of the exact goods in the best warehouse location and for staff to pick the exact items that should be picked.
2. Inventory management and tracking
After you implement WMS, you’ll gain a solution that supports maximum inventory accuracy and visibility across the warehouse, in real-time. WMS has automated procedures, and the automation is supported with hardware devices like RFID or barcode scanners. Their use on every step in the warehouse enables detailed tracking of all goods. It also reduces lost, forgotten, or misplaced items in the warehouse.
The tracking process begins with the initial item scan when receiving the goods. You’ll get confirmation about the exact items that arrived at the warehouse. After the initial scan upon arrival, all future actions with the items are followed by a barcode scan on the current item location. That includes scanning while placing the item on the transport unit, moving the item in the warehouse, and shipping.
The scanning procedure helps WMS know the exact location of every item in the warehouse. You will know in which warehouse (if there are more than one) the item is located, which line on the warehouse floor, which transport unit, and on which exact location the item is placed.
The time your staff spends on product search is minimized and at the same time, the errors will drop and productivity rise.
WMS doesn’t have to be warehouse-bound. You can integrate WMS with the existing ERP solution. The whole company can then have insight into exact inventory status in real-time. An accurate inventory list leads to better planning and more in-tuned flow from manufacturer to user or client. You can anticipate supply and avoid back-orders with this information, resulting in more satisfied users.
3. Better staff efficiency
Staff labor and costs associated with that are among the highest expenditures in a modern warehouse, and utilization of their work is among the essential features of WMS. There is more than one-way WMS can help with increased employee productivity. Automation and working with barcode terminals eliminates all of the paperwork leaving more time for the core tasks of your staff.
Advanced WMS features will make the connection between incoming tasks and employee skills and availability. Such interconnectivity allows the right person to get timely tasks, optimize travel times through the warehouse, and ultimately increase productivity.
The system can automatically assign employees for specific tasks, but the warehouse manager can also manually address the worker’s ticket for incoming orders.
Another way WMS will help with more efficient labor includes the barcode scanning mentioned above. It eliminates the need for double-checking, increases the accuracy of the processes in the warehouse, and automates data input. These things lead to increased productivity and reduced time needed for double-checking, which is still common in the paper-managed warehouse.
You’ll also get detailed analytics about your staff performance. By using various reports you know how many items they picked during the defined time period or how many orders were finished on the exact date.
WMS hugely increases staff productivity, leading to direct savings to your business.
4. Automatic inventory and invoice tracking
WMS could be integrated with other business software solutions like ERP software, which means all documents are automatically transferred between these two software business solutions. That means all the “paperwork” and document creation is automated, and these two systems are working together flawlessly.
To give you an example, let us look at incoming orders from the buyer. The order arrives in the ERP solution, and it is automatically being transferred to WMS. Based on the outgoing order, the ticket is assigned to one of your staff workers, and he/she starts with picking. After the order is finished and packed, the process ends with the automatic creation of delivery notes and sends all data into TMS (Transport Management System) that tracks deliveries to the customer.
With such automated processes, you can handle paperwork like orders and invoices much faster. More seamless and accurate service means fewer user complaints, which is crucial for customer retention.
5. Lower operating costs
For most companies, the main driving force behind WMS implementation is increasing warehouse efficiency and cost reduction. You can save money or cut costs with WMS in many ways. Overall cost reduction is manifested cumulatively through multiple features and benefits of this advanced software solution.
Productivity increase is among the most glaring benefits. When you implement a quality-designed WMS, there is more than one way to reduce costs in the warehouse. The advanced managing system in WMS increases the flow of goods, utilizes staff and machines workday, resulting in better productivity and more savings.
The aspect of movement optimization means less money is spent on the amortization of warehouse machinery and tools, fewer papers, and other consumables. All necessary data is noted automatically into the system, and there is no more extensive paperwork.
Thanks to barcode tagging of goods, with highly accurate inventory lists, perishable goods are picked on FEFO (First-expires-first-out) principle by leaving the goods with the longest expiration date in the warehouse and eliminating ones that are going to expire soon. You will reduce waste and eliminate unnecessary costs.
Another way WMS optimizes the utilization of warehouse space is by storing pallets and goods optimally on the warehouse floor. You use more space and increase productivity with a similar amount of effort.
With the better flow of goods through the warehouse, the company will have more deliveries with fewer employees. It will positively affect the whole business. Already mentioned WMS – ERP integration raises the efficiency of the entire organization due to timely information distribution.
There are a couple of other ways WMS can reduce costs:
– There are no more miscalculated amounts of goods in the warehouse. WMS is superior in Inventory tracking, and you can have significant savings with fewer lost items in inventory.
– Item availability – WMS will warn you if you have little or no goods in the warehouse to place a timely order to eliminate out-of-stock situations. In the end, your buyers don’t need to look elsewhere because you will always have items for sale, which improves inventory availability.
– WMS can help when you’re dealing with many suppliers, enabling more diverse offers for the users. You can manage clients with a few clicks in the system.
– You can also integrate carriers in the system, to track the goods once they leave the warehouse until the arrival to the final recipient.
Savings as a keyword
Some of the essential WMS benefits include warehouse processes optimization, better workflow, and moving goods through the warehouse, directly influencing productivity and lowering costs. WMS also eliminates huge paperwork chunks, automates several accompanied processes, makes worker and machines movement optimization. The same goes for storing goods in the warehouse.
A more accurately run warehouse leads to more precise inventory insight, faster delivery, and an improved supply chain. You will save money with higher utilization of working hours, less paperwork, and optimization of warehouse storage space. You can also enhance your revenue through faster and more efficient deliveries, reducing customer complaints, and moving goods with the same resources.
In case you’d like to find out more, contact us and we’ll provide you with our consultancy.