In part 1 we discussed the negative impact on profits poorly structured processes related to inaccurate inventory control and poor accuracy and high costs of performing physical inventories and endless cycle counting.  By automating with a warehouse management system, the creation of electronic real time inventory control, paperwork and its associated high cost of manpower is virtually eliminated.

Man in Warehouse-1

Today,  we will turn our attention to the receiving and put-away processes.   RF terminals provide instant access to open PO’s or other records providing real-time information to all those who need it.  This reduces the time it takes to receive products by 16% to 25%.  The faster you get the items into your inventory the faster you can sell them and ship them out.  The increased accuracy at the receiving station greatly improves the accuracy and integrity of the inventory.  The reduction in time it takes to do receiving reduces the needed manpower.  And lastly, creating an electronic real-time connection between the WMS and the business management system eliminates paperwork,  the time required to upload the PO information manually and its inherent delays and mistakes.  This all adds up to significant savings for the company.

So, we have received the products and we now know instantly that they are in the building, now what.  With a warehouse management solution installed the put-away process is easy and accurate.   You can create rules within the system to drive the put-away process so that mistakes in where the items are stored are eliminated.  You have a complete view of where the entire inventory is at all times, where it is going and who is moving it.  With the use of RF enabled devices the material handler scans the item then scans the location and completes the process.  Fast easy and extremely accurate.  Because of the speed and accuracy in the put-away and replenishment processes money is saved.  In addition let’s consider these points;

  •  Electronic/RF data processing of PO’s will eliminate manual filing systems and the need to update and track orders as they are closed/fulfilled.
  •  Real-time receiving will eliminate the need to keypunch and verify receipt transactions.
  •  Real-time receiving will eliminate the need for any paperwork transfer to data processing.

Here are some intangible gains a company can expect from a WMS;

  •  Real-time visibility of goods/materials received can eliminate “stock out” situations for order picking or “dead time” for manufacturing.
  •  Reduced floor space as a result of faster throughput.
  •  Tighter purchasing procedures through more timely visibility of vendors (early, late, partials, etc.)
  •  RF is a critical link in “Just-in-Time” manufacturing environments; receiving to manufacturing work as data becomes available.
  •  Automatic cross-docking for critical deliveries.
  •  Ultimately greater customer satisfaction.

In part 3 of this series we will tackle what is arguably the biggest problem in today’s paper  driven warehouse, picking and shipping.

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Posted by iCepts Technology GroupA Pennsylvania Partner for Accellos One Warehouse Management Systems