A lot of logistics professionals talk about warehouse management systems. Often, it sounds as if it will transform your operations and business. Here’s the thing: It does. Whether you manage a small warehouse or multi-faceted distribution center, warehouse management systems will simplify even the most complex systems.
Below, we will look at six key benefits of a warehouse management system, which can help you decide whether this system is relevant to your business needs.
1. Inventory control at the touch of a button
Running warehouse inventory from multiple systems, or on paper, takes a lot of time. You need to coordinate information from multiple sources, which is both laborious and increases the likelihood of errors.
A warehouse management system coordinates and compiles your inventory data in a single repository. That means that you can easily manage inventory without switching between different systems. As a result, this can help in the following ways:
- A real-time overview of exactly what you have in stock
- All inventory covered in a single system
- Easy to access remotely
- The system works even when key personnel are not in the warehouse to oversee it
- Easier to run data analytics on a composite data set than trying to analyze data across multiple platforms.
So, your inventory control will be more accurate, more useful, and faster. With the right choice of warehouse management control, it can also be more user-friendly to manage. The good news is Sage 100cloud can be easily integrated with a variety of warehouse management systems, such as Scanco, which will work seamlessly with the ERP.
2. Shift relationships from frustration to delight
Warehouse management systems offer benefits which directly lead to better relationships. Customers are less disappointed, and suppliers can manage their supply to your company much more smoothly, minimizing missed orders and expensive rush production. Other benefits of WMS include:
- Real time oversight of stock, so you don’t sell what you don’t have
- Managing customers’ expectations better about delivery lead times
- Suppliers get more advanced alerts of when stock levels run low, allowing them to optimize their production and delivery schedules
- Item by item management reduces the risk of shipping expired stock by accident
This helps you earn more money from customers, and, save money and time on your relationships with suppliers. This is a win-win for business, as others have proven.
3. Improve productivity
Most warehouses are not as productive as they could be. There are many reasons for this, including:
- Deliveries run behind schedule, with a knock-on effect as warehouse staff hang around
- Stock isn’t stored efficiently in order of likely future use
- Conflicting information leads to time spent looking for stock, and some order splitting due to lack of products in stock
- Slow moving stock is held for long periods of time, tying up capital
This translates into hard business costs. Sometimes it can sour customer relationships, costing not only today’s order but also any future business from that relationship.
A warehouse management system eliminates unnecessary business costs by providing a clear overview of what is available and where enabling it to be matched up to storage and shipping needs. This leads to a significant and sustainable productivity improvement.
4. Cut overhead and operating expenses
Improved productivity can come from multiple areas. One source includes having the ability to do more with less. That means that either you can reduce your employee count and salary expenses, or you can redeploy staff to focus on your core business operations, increasing your business’ earnings. With WMS, some of the labor costs that can be reduced or eliminated include:
- Reconciling conflicting stock counts in different systems
- Manual data entry
- Time spent correcting errors
- Time dealing with customers and shippers due to unfulfillable orders
- Chasing down misplaced or hidden stock
- Frequent stock taking exercises
Duplicating information across multiple spreadsheets through manual entry is also expensive not only in terms of manpower but also in terms of computer usage and materials. With a warehouse management system, that effort needs only be executed once in a central place. Redundant operating expenses will fall away, as shown in academic studies.
5. Reduce loss and shrinkage
Warehouses naturally suffer some loss. It might be a misplaced pallet which has expired by the time it is found or a mislabeled carton which is sent out and must be returned. Unfortunately, it can also be shrinkage where employees or visitors take advantage of your lax warehouse management controls to pilfer stock. In fact, there are multiple sources of loss in a warehouse.
A WMS will not automatically help to solve these problems. But, it will give you a rich data set, so you have real-time, detailed information on what is happening in your warehouse. That makes it easier to identify and stop sources of loss.
6. Simplify your processes
Setting up a warehouse management system can be quite simple with Sage 100cloud. It’s as simple as a quick integration. You can choose to execute this with your in-house staff or a trusted vendor. Usually, a trusted vendor can also share best practices and help to optimize setup and installation.
Once it is up and running, your WMS will simplify the stock control processes you use – sometimes dramatically. With Sage Inventory Advisor, you can also avoid a warehouse full of too much product.
Gone are separate spreadsheets on different computers, notes stuck on the wall, and drawers full of consignment notes. Information is combined in a single view. As a result, this means that the information is more accurate, there is less redundancy, and the information is easily accessible.
Processes can be seen and understood across the organization much more conveniently. Now, you have an excellent management system.
A warehouse runs on a complex set of processes – but that does not mean that it needs to be complicated. In fact, a WMS will not only simplify your warehouse management processes, but it will also reduce staffing costs in addition to increasing profits and customer satisfaction.