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.