Warehouse Management

Over the last few years, warehouse management systems have evolved greatly. Though at first these systems were just meant to facilitate movement and storage of goods in a warehouse, nowadays, they have quickly expanded to accommodate roles such as transportation management, light manufacturing, order management, and many other functions.

In short, a good warehouse management system (WMS) nowadays should streamline all day-to-day warehouse operations. It gives warehouse managers a central location to administer vital tasks like inventory tracking. Apparently, WMS programs may be standalone applications or part of a larger Enterprise Resource Planning system.

Benefits of a warehouse management tool

Warehouse supervisors use warehouse management tools to transfer and control inventory in a centralized system. Those that head warehouses identify remote data visibility as a key benefit of investing in a WMS solution. Other benefits of using warehouse management software include:

  • Accurate inventory counts
  • Transparency and visibility
  • Fewer returns
  • Fewer picking errors
  • Reduced operational expenses
  • Efficient labor allocation
  • Better demand planning
  • Automatic replenishment of items
  • Stock visibility and traceability
  • Improved customer service
  • Optimized warehouse processes

Choosing a good warehouse management system

With so many warehouse management options available these days, it can be quite a demanding task to choose one. The initial step a business owner should take when looking for a WMS is to evaluate the needs and identify which system best addresses them. Usually, there are a few decisive factors that make a WMS commendable for your business.

  • Maximum functionality – A good WMS should streamline your warehouse processes. For example, if your firm has a hard time gauging your warehouse employees’ productivity, a good WMS tool should be able to track what task each employee has performed, giving you a direct visibility of his/her efficiency.
  • Ease of use – If a warehouse system is easy to use, it will cut the number of hours you spend on staff training.
  • A good WMS should provide complete transaction management to track shipping, receiving of goods, cycle counting, order picking, and moving items.
  • Scalability to accommodate future growth
  • Support for multiple picking methods
  • Advanced reporting capability
  • Back office integration with inventory control, order entry and purchase order modules
  • Commitment to warehousing and logistics

Additionally, there are many types of warehouse management tools. Usually, the size of the warehouse determines whether a company needs standalone software or a Warehouse Management System as part of an ERP. Some software developers tailor their WMS according to the industry they are intended for. Therefore, business owners should look for a system that is customized to their industry; whether it is retail, eCommerce, or enterprise.

Overall, an effective WMS solution makes sure there is minimal loss in warehouse processes and helps warehouse supervisors and staff to know where every product is, how much to reorder, and when to reorder. Most significantly, warehouse management tools help in customer satisfaction efforts since products can reach customers on time while avoiding errors and back orders.

The difference between acquiring a good and an ineffective WMS is a matter of just knowing which questions to ask. Contact us and we will be glad to help you.