The three driving reasons why a business would install a warehouse management solution are;

  • Gain greater control of inventory
  • Improve accuracy of order fulfillment
  • Increase labor productivity

Often of  the dominant reason for many companies  is increasing productivity.  The idea of working harder or smarter can get some of the job done but the ability to do more with less overhead and in less time has become quite interesting to those distributors looking for ways to improve profits.  Todays supply chain relies on WMS solutions to provide the technology to realize  breakthrough gains in productivity.  Below, those areas where gains can be made and where you can see what your staff is actually doing are reviewed.

The Elimination of Paperwork & Data Entry

This is one of the key reasons companies are implementing a WMS.  The use of scanners, handheld computer devices and voice recognition technologies free the warehouse floor staff from dealing with paper and handwritten notes and forms such as receiving documents and pick tickets.  The clerical staff no longer has to later try to decipher these forms and manually enter the information contained on them.  This eliminates not just the labor involved in this tedious work but also the errors that will occur.  By integrating the WMS to the host system thousands of dollars can now be redirected to the bottom line.

Reduce Search Time

The stock location component of a best in breed WMS using RF barcode technology accesses the location database allowing the warehouse staff to record all put-away, moves, replenishment and pick transactions as they occur in real-time and at near 100% accuracy.  This eliminates an enormous amount of lost time searching for product.  It can provide a logical pick path through the warehouse to reduce the travel time for pickers.  It eliminates pickers from showing up at a pick bin that does not have the needed amount of product to fulfill the pick.  It drives the stock handlers to the bins that need product and tells them how much to put in them.  This technology also should provide task tracking of all the duties in the warehouse giving management the information they need to adjust manpower to the appropriate tasks and eliminating having to much staff.  This is a Is one of the biggest areas that a WMS can save a company serious dollars.

In part two we will cover a few more ways you can see what your warehouse staff is doing and where revenues and be improved.  Stay tuned!