What are the advantages of a warehouse management system?
- Reduction in operating costs
- Better inventory visibility
- Improved labor allocation
- Amplified security
- Increased customer satisfaction
For any type of industrial or commercial warehouse, efficiency should be at the top of the fore. Though warehouse managers typically employ many methods to achieve this goal, they should definitely equip themselves with knowledge of the advantages of warehouse management systems.
Simply put, a warehouse management system is a software application that assists in organizing and managing the daily operations conducted in a warehouse facility. This system handles almost every level of the operations, from inventory management to packaging and shipping of products — just to name a few. This software allows users to make valuable, data-driven advice in order to improve warehouse management operations.
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of investing in a warehouse management system.
Reduction in operating costs
The interface of a warehouse management system software should provide the user with heightened ease of use and intuitiveness. It typically displays a simulation of a warehouse’s operation and how certain decisions can affect outcomes on productivity levels.
As such, one advantage of using this kind of system is that it helps reduce your warehouse’s operating costs. A reliable WMS can provide valuable advice with regards to the most efficient labor practices and space maximization.
For example, the software can tell the user where they can strategically place equipment, products, materials, and other objects, in order to provide a higher level of optimization for the flow of the warehouse. If you invest in a more advanced WMS software, it can even present to you a highly-detailed warehouse floor simulator that allows you to rearrange these objects virtually.
If you’re able to plan out your warehouse flow through the help of a computer, you will be able to free up the costs that you would have otherwise spent on just manually rearranging the elements in your warehouse.
Better inventory visibility
Another advantage of using a warehouse management system is that it allows you to view your warehouse inventory more easily.
In traditional warehouse set-ups, the inventory is consistently checked and inspected by a reliable staff of warehouse managers. They would have to manually take into account the number of items stored and the duration of their storage. Aside from this, they might also have to conduct the necessary course of action in order to remove perishable items.
While relying on highly-skilled staff can efficiently do this work for you, this can be time-consuming, especially if your warehouse is relatively understaffed. With WMS, you will be able to easily document your inventory as it provides real-time data on barcodes, serial numbers, and RFID tagging.
The user would be able to easily track the movements of each item on the warehouse floor, as well as accurately anticipate outgoing and incoming inventory items. High levels of visibility can also help you better predict demand forecasts, providing you with insight on which products to invest in, for better financial outcomes.
Improved labor allocation
The bulk of the information you would receive from warehouse management systems is largely-metric based. While the software itself can quickly help you interpret data in order to make the best decisions for your warehouse operations, the task of coming up with well-informed decisions on labor allocation falls on you.
Nevertheless, the WMS can provide you with alternative ways of approaching the variable factors of your warehouse – size of the facility, product handling, and size employees, to name a few. For example, if you are significantly understaffed, the WMS can help you better delegate the functions of everyone in your staff, in order to raise the level of efficiency.
A possible unintended consequence is that your employees would be able to gain the drive to aspire for other positions in your warehouse. The high level of challenge is not only value-adding to you (because you’re able to determine who’s good at what, and subsequently make decisions based on that), but most importantly to your staff.
One important characteristic of any reliable WMS software is the integration of every member of your staff. Their WMS user accounts may contain relevant information such as personal data, employment status, or payroll data. A reliable WMS software would require users to conduct transactions using their specifically-tailored user accounts.
While it is understood that you have hired only the most-trusted staff to manage your warehouse operations, it would still be for your advantage and for everyone to keep in place a comprehensive security system like WMS. Each transaction can be traced back to the user, which reduces instances of theft and other unscrupulous practices.
With the amplified security, you would be able to increase the level of accountability among your employees, and also avoid cases of unfair treatment and a rift among the staff members.
Increased customer satisfaction
Finally, a warehouse management system software allows you to view all relevant pieces of information in one place, featuring an intuitive interface.
This can be particularly useful for client-facing teams within your operations, which can easily access anything related to inventory or product availability with WMS. For example, if they’ve received a client request on a particular product, the WMS software can let them know if there are any stocks left of the product in their inventory. Your business’s representatives would also easily be able to answer queries regarding order status, returns, and other product-related questions.
Implementing the advantages of a warehouse management system is something that you should not miss out on if you continue relying on a non-centralized system for warehouse organization practices. These benefits would have significant positive effects for your business as a whole — from the procurement of goods, up until shipping these products to their final points of distribution.
With the guide above, you will hopefully consider investing in a dedicated WMS software for your warehouse.