8 Topics to Consider with Best-In-Breed WMS Selection

WMS

The effective management of your warehouse and fulfillment/distribution operations is critical to the ongoing success of your business – but you’re not sure whether to select your ERP’s warehouse module or a best-of-breed warehouse management system (WMS). Unfortunately, the answer is not simple. There are key and critical topics to consider with Best-In-Breed WMS Selection vs. ERP WMS to decide what are your best options.

The fact is, implementing an add-on ERP module without fully understanding the implications to your business could actually prove more costly when considering the potential impact on total cost of ownership (TCO), competitive advantage, and customer satisfaction. Your system’s total cost of ownership is determined by all costs associated with initial implementation, which includes functionality fit, any up-front business process modifications, and integration; the ease of adapting the solution to your ever-changing requirements on an ongoing basis; and the upgrade process.

In today’s highly competitive economy, the ability to respond to changing business and customer requirements more effectively and more quickly than your competitors is critical. The strategic importance of your selection cannot be overstated. Budget overruns, dissatisfied customers and lost competitive advantage are very real threats.

With so much weighing on making the right decision for your business, the importance of learning more about the true differences between ERP warehouse modules and best-of-breed warehouse management systems is clear. This paper will examine the various areas that can be used to help determine which type of solution is the best fit for your business. This examination will include the following:

  1. Business Strategy
  2. Maximizing Business Results: The Cost Factor
  3. Functionality Fit
  4. Vendor Focus on Supply Chain Solutions
  5. Company Culture
  6. Infrastructure and Architecture
  7. Product Composition and Maturity
  8. Implementation and Ongoing Support

As you look at the topics listed, you will see that different organizations within your company will focus on different items. If you are an IT or operations professional, Implementation and Ongoing Support will be a key concern. Many of the other topics listed will also be important to you, including Functionality Fit, Vendor Focus, Company Culture, Infrastructure
and Architecture, and Product Composition and Maturity.

However, at the end of the day, Maximizing Business Results is the most critical component of all. Getting the value that meets your core business strategy is what truly matters. All of these items need to be viewed with this perspective in mind.

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Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc a HighJump WMS Partner in Pennsylvania

How WMS can help Small to Medium Businesses

WMS for SMB

In an ever-increasing complex supply chain management environment, organizations that carry products are seeking solutions to help gain better inventory control in the most effective manner.  In a competitive market, it is imperative that a business be as efficient as possible.  Margins are tight and the movement of inventory in the most cost-effective way, and accurately, is imperative to profitability.

Warehouse Management Systems are powerful systems designed is such a manner to help an organization reach their supply chain management challenges. HighJump Warehouse Edge, a best-in-breed Small-to-Mid-Sized Warehouse Automation Solution, is equipped with advanced functionality for the best flow of inventory in a warehouse-no matter how complex.

ENTERPRISE SCALABILITY

HighJump Warehouse is designed for small to mid-sized businesses, meaning it doesn’t require an army of IT staff to support. You are able to start with the functionality that you need now at a price that makes sense, and scale for growth over time. Our seamlessly integrated modules and applications are available to you when you need them.

BREADTH, DEPTH, AND REACH

HighJump Warehouse is built on a web-centric platform with standard best-of-breed warehouse management features, as well as dynamic directed putaway, several bar code supported picking styles, container building, cartonization, repackaging, voice and RFID to name a few.

ADVANCED WORKFLOW ENGINE

Microsoft’s advanced workflow engine in the HighJump Platform is incorporated. Workflow empowers you to customize the functionality of the WMS rather than writing code. Better results and easier upgrades.

EXTENSIBLE PERFORMANCE REPORTING

HighJump WMS incorporates the powerful HighJump Report application to enhance the core reporting capability, deliver new Performance Reports, and allow for better user definable reporting extensions.

ENHANCED SUPPLY CHAIN INTELLIGENCE

HighJump WMS delivers more powerful access to key performance indicators (KPIs) that can assist a business manager in more effectively making decisions within their business. New Pivot capabilities enable users’ virtually limitless ways to slice and dice information. The Win 8.1 tablet app mobilizes information wherever it is needed to illuminate trends and highlight outliers so that effective decision making becomes commonplace.

ONE MODULAR SOLUTION SUITE TO FIT YOUR ERP

Functionality is important. Couple that with a tight integration to your ERP and an enduring company that cares for its customers and its R and D budget, and you’ve got a good fit. HighJump’s configurable web services integration platform stands between the warehouse and your ERP, order management, eCommerce or purchasing system(s). Leverage one of the many pre-built integration tool kits for popular ERP systems from Microsoft, Sage, SAP, NetSuite, Infor and more.

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Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. A HighJump Warehouse Management Systems Partner

Increasing profitability through better Warehouse Operations-Part 5

5. Reduce the errors that are made. Most errors cost between $100 and $200 each. Items that make up this cost are 1) overnight freight on correct item which includes picking, packing and shipping. 2) cost for return freight including receiving, inspecting, and putting away. 3) Lost sales for the returned item in transit or potential write off for damaged goods. 4) Lost confidence in your company from the customer

As you can see making mistakes is extremely costly. For example, you ship 100 orders per day and have a 98% accuracy rate. This is 2 mistakes per day. Considering 220 working days per year, this is 440 errors per year. At the low end of $100 cost per error this is of course $44,000 per year. There are probably other things you can do with that $44,000 each year.Money in Warehouse-1

This can be a difficult one to correct completely without adding more processes for checking orders which of course means more labor and  more cost. However, there are ways to reduce errors. You should start by looking at your ordering through picking process. Are there steps that you can improve upon? Do your employees thoroughly check each order before it goes out the door? Is each order checked by more than one person? This is a very costly verification system.

You need to have a system that is simple and easy to follow.  Have an easy to read pick ticket. Don’t use a shipping document as a picking document. This has too much data on it for your customer and will be hard for pickers to find pertinent information. The information should be displayed in the order it is required: location, stock number, description, unit of measure and quantity required. Make sure that the document lists items in pick route order to save the picker time and avoid missing line items.

Make sure your employees follow the system. A system can be paper driven or fully automated with handheld Radio Frequency scanners. Do not let your warehouse employees make decisions on exceptions. For example, if an order comes along that shows a back order and there are plenty in the bin for the order, make sure the picker follows the order. What that means is do not pick the quantity on back order. Why? the quantity in the bin may be allocated or reserved for another customer or order. In this example not following the system will result in a mistake and unhappy customer that is expecting his or her order to be filled.

Yes, you can and should bar code everything you touch. But just because you have everything with a nice little code on it does not mean that now you are efficient. Sure you can receive things in with a bar code and put them away. If you are doing that now, nice job. However, most of your mistakes are made while picking. You should bar code everything so that you are prepared to take the next step and really manage your warehouse.

If you have your paper or manual system streamlined as best you can and still find that mistakes are being made, maybe it is time to look at an automated system. Let’s face it there are people involved and they can and do make mistakes. An automated system can drastically reduce errors and cut down on labor time tremendously when implemented correctly. This allows you to truly manage your warehouse and make money with it. There is a very short return on investment time in purchasing a warehouse management system with radio frequency scanners. These systems can in most cases pay for themselves within 12 to 18 months.

Make money here:

○     Reduce errors that cost you a lot of money. These are $100 to $200 each.

○     Invest in a warehouse management system to reduce errors and save labor

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