Managing a warehouse can be a logistical nightmare between inventory control, organizational layout, staff, accounting, incoming and outgoing shipments. There are numerous factors that cause money to flow down the drain in a warehouse, however with the age of technology, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have become smarter, more comprehensive, better integrated, and increasingly cost-effective solution that are designed to improve both efficiency, profitability and better customer service levels.
Although sometimes more difficult to quantify, such as a firm return on investment figure, an increase in better customer service levels is a positive intangible result from warehouse technology. Whether your business sells directly to consumers or to retailers or both, being able to provide quality customer service is the deciding factor for repeat business for many customers. As a result of warehouse management system functionality, orders are more accurate, they are filled faster, and there are less back orders. Furthermore, advance ship notices and EDI compliant labels can be automatically created and sent. Specific customer needs can be noted and fulfilled by the system. All of these contribute to less shipping errors and service level improvement, which translates into happy customers and reducing charge back and penalties.
In working with a large retailer, being able to comply with their EDI requirements, including advance shipment notices, it is necessary in order to avoid orders being sent back, and being liable for all the charge-backs and penalties associated. A warehouse management system with EDI capabilities eliminates all of those costs by creating retailer-specific labels and ASNs for every order automatically.
Avoiding stock-outs can contribute a lot to the bottom line in addition to improving customer service levels. The more often you have orders fulfilled quickly and the less back-ordering your customers experience, the more likely they will be to keep returning. If customers get frustrated waiting for their order to be filled they many go elsewhere for that product or simply move to another provider altogether. It also contributes to less wasted time and space holding orders, splitting orders, paying for shipping, and time wasted by an employee traveling to an empty bin.
A warehouse management system that integrates with your ERP makes business flow much smoother, and allows for easier and more accurate tracing of costs. The WMS System can be customized to your accounting methods so that inventory can be tracked and the re-ordering process can begin when necessary. Orders can be tracked as well, invoices can be sent to customers at the appropriate times. This eliminates the question whether inventory was accounted for, if orders were paid, and the possibility for revenue loss due to the misplacement of physical pieces of paper for orders.
Learn more about the Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems