Wholesale Distributors and organizations that carry a lot of inventory realize that mistakes are extremely expensive. Mistakes cost your customer’s productivity, time, money lost sales and customer dissatisfaction. It costs you lost productivity, lost sales, lost freight and shipping costs, inventory problems and the distinct possibility of lost customers. New customers are hard to come by so taking care of the ones you have is imperative. Mistakes are a very big problem for distributors whose net profits are already razor thin. It is imperative, therefore, to find ways and methods for reducing inventory errors with warehouse technology.
Warehouse Technology, such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), are sophisticated systems designed to create highly efficient processes for handling inventory and picking orders that will eliminate the inefficiencies and mistake riddled processes that plague most distributors resulting in increased inventory accuracy. Increased inventory accuracy will enhance your customer satisfaction numbers and most likely help you attract new customers without adding to your workforce.
Inventory is probably one of your biggest assets as a distributor; what not optimize the entire shipping, receiving, picking, and packing process to streamline the flow of inventory in and out of your warehouse.
Below are some key areas of improvements through WMS:
Whether you chose RFID or barcoding as a means of identifying various products, product coding greatly adds to warehouse accuracy. Pickers and packers can simply scan the items they are looking for to fill an order and immediately know if they are correct. This contributes to less accidental switches and confusion when picking and packing order.
Using a WMS solution to help design your warehouse for efficiency will help your pickers know exactly where they need to go for a product location. This reduces misplacement of items. In addition, pick times are lessened when items are arranged so that quick turnover products are close to packing and slow moving inventory is placed in lower traffic areas of the warehouse
Having exact product codes and locations greatly improve the quality of the inventory data your company has for inventory management. Knowing exactly how many items are in exactly which bins, to be placed in exactly which orders, can aid in managing stock-outs, misplacements, mis-shipments and even potential theft within the warehouse. With better inventory visibility, orders can be sent faster without back-orders and costs can be cut by less inventory loss.
Knowing exactly where a product is in a warehouse and knowing how many are left in the bin help pickers fill orders faster. Packing can be expedited with fast-moving products closer to packing locations. In addition, scanning products help to get the orders filled correctly the first time and almost completely eliminate returns due to picking and packing mistakes.
With product data made available by scanning, bin replenishment can be made easy. The system keeps track of how many items are in each bin and slot and can be programmed with rules so that certain product numbers never drop below a certain amount. This removes the guessing from the reordering of inventory and the back-order problem when there are not enough items to fill a customer’s order
BIG RETAILER EDI:
When supplying products to a large retailer, it is important to provide them with correctly labeled items that will be read by the retailer’s computer system. Having incorrectly formatted labeling or no Advance Shipment Notice can result in the return of the order and a charge-back for that returned order. With product codes and inventory tracking in conjunction with EDI capabilities, order accuracy can be increased to 99.9%.
Learn more about the Increased Inventory Accuracy through Warehouse Management Systems