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 and profitability.
Below are key areas of improvements in warehouse operations through technology
Accuracy within the warehouse is a huge contributor to costs. Whether it is due to mistakes in keying in order inventory information, misplacement of products, incorrect picking, packing, shipping, or mismanagement of inventory, incorrect data can seriously affect operating costs that cut into profit margins.
Having an Automated Data Collection system (ADCS) that digitizes inventory management and assists pickers and packers within the warehouse can increase accuracy up to 99.9%. Several picking options should be included with any robust WMS system to achieve high accuracy levels such as Discrete, Wave, Batch, and Zone picking, along other advanced functionally within the system to optimize the entire supply chain.
Increasing warehouse efficiency can have a big impact on costs. With Automated Data Collection, there is no more data entry from paper, no re-keying of info into a system and all data is real-time. This allows staff to do more productive things with their time in addition to needing less staff overall. Access to data is more readily available as well so that inventory counts are automatic rather than having to shut down the warehouse for days at a time to count products.
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.
Additional warehousing improvements through technology cover areas such as:
- Labor Management
- Inventory Management
- Customer Service
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