Warehouse management has many moving parts. From inventory and shipping to customer management and security, for many looking to optimize their operation overall, a warehouse management system (WMS) is key. By automating a variety of processes, this type of software can significantly reduce human error, maximize efficiency and productivity, and have a positive impact on the business overall.
Some of the top benefits of investing in a high-quality warehouse management system include:
- Reduced Operating Expenses – A well-designed WMS reduces operating expenses in a variety of ways. This type of system determines the most effective use of labor and space, which reduces waste. Expiring and perishable items are picked first, and item locations are optimized to streamline picking and putting-away efforts. This all adds up to considerable savings over the course of a fiscal year.
- Simpler Just-in-Time Inventory – Achieving a balanced, just-in-time inventory is a breeze with the right warehouse management program. Waste, scrap and obsolescence are kept to a minimum because items are kept in the proper environment and used in the most effective order. Record accuracy is drastically improved, which minimizes on-hand quantities, safety stock and lot sizes.
- Continuous Improvement – Warehouse management software vendors introduce new features over time that reflect current industry best practices. This makes it easier for organizations to stay on top of the latest developments and allows them to continually improve their processes based on these innovations.
- Enhanced Security – Most warehouse management programs require employees to use individual user accounts when entering transactions. This creates an audit trail that connects specific employees to specific transactions, which improves accountability and reduces the risk of theft and other issues. It also allows employers to identify new training opportunities and other ways to improve employee practices.
- Process Optimization – With a warehouse management system, you can optimize various business processes. For example, you can choose from a variety of algorithms for picking materials, including zone, wave and batch picking. This makes it easier to determine which process works best for your business. Such systems are also compatible with many input methods, including smart scales, barcodes and RFID, allowing you to further streamline picking processes.
- Enhanced Demand Planning – Because warehouse management programs help you ship perfect orders more consistently, they help you achieve clean demand histories. Your perfect order rate will improve dramatically after adopting such a system. What’s more is that this software can predict future demand quite accurately using best-fit algorithms, allowing you to stay one step ahead in your industry.
- Maximize Labor Resources – A WMS lets you easily determine which picking, packing and putting-away processes and combinations work most effectively for your business. A WMS platform takes things like special material handling requirements and the size of your warehouse into consideration to ensure that labor is used most efficiently and effectively.
- Improved Employee Morale – When operations flow seamlessly, employees feel better about their work environment. There is less stress, and the improved productivity and profitability elevate workers’ moods. This all adds up to a workforce that is enthusiastic and satisfied, further enhancing the overall success of your business.
- Enhanced Transparency – Warehouse management systems provide complete transparency for on-hand balances and inventory usage, which allows suppliers to more effectively map out their own processes. This results in reduced lead times and helps minimize the risk of ending up with costly excess inventory. Additionally, since employees have access to real-time data, they’re able to provide more accurate information to customers in a timely fashion.
- Improved Relations with Customers and Suppliers – The benefits of warehouse managements systems extend beyond the organization itself. Supply and demand chains are optimized, which means fewer long waits for suppliers at docks and loading bays. Customers enjoy reduced delivery lead times and fewer order inaccuracies. The reputation of your business among customers and suppliers will improve under such a system.
The benefits are easy to see. A well-designed warehouse management platform is the best way to quickly improve the success and profitability of a business. It’s important to take the time to find the perfect WMS platform for your organization, in order to accommodate your business’ unique demands; but the sooner you invest in and implement one, the sooner your organization can start reaping the rewards.