I have seen  many warehouses that have had very well thought out manual and paper driven operational procedures and they function pretty well.  These well thought out plans and processes are many times the backbone to most successful implementations of a WMS. It is very helpful that a warehouse operation have some written procedures for receiving, replenishment, picking and returns  Not to mention covering as many of the “what ifs” that can and do occur.  And while in most case some of these manual processes are changed or eliminated due to proficiency gains made possible by the WMS many are incorporated into the WMS and moved from paper and manual processes to automated and technology driven processes in order to gain more accuracy, efficiency and accountability.  This then allows the warehouse manager to work on the business not in the business.  In my opinion that is a tremendous gain for the warehouse the company and their customers.

One of  biggest issues is that these manual processes do not get written done or kept up with but are passed on word of mouth from one associate or manager to another.  This causes breakdowns  and bad habits to  seep in, which then begin to cause profits to leak out.  In many cases growth begins to slow or go in reverse because the “old way” of doing things just can’t cut it.  Customer begin to buy else where, employees leave because there is to much stress and pressure.  If a company adopts the “this is the way we have always done it” approach to the warehouse operation you can bet that at some point bad things will begin to happen.

It does not cost anything to investigate how you can stop this from happening to your business.   Look around at what is happening in your industry, what is your competition doing in their warehouse.  Attend webinars and seminars, read white papers and ask questions.  It is far more expensive to stay tied to the old or comfortable way of running your warehouse then in investing in  technology that can help you be more productive and profitable.  Click here to download an informative paper on how a warehouse operates when a warehouse management solution used.