Warehouse Management System: A Complete Guide
Simply put, warehouse management is the oversight of procedures, personnel, and operations. Consequently, unlike other functional divisions within a business, warehouse management requires total synchronisation with all value chain activities and insights to perform well.
A warehouse is a specialised storage facility that complies with the technical and regulatory requirements for storing designated items. Typically, it is a substantial piece of real estate, and its operations are separate and specific.
Despite the advent of online sales and the ever-increasing number of stock-keeping units (SKUs), there is a shortage of technical expertise in cash-flow warehouse management. Many individuals mistake it for inventory management. However, you must keep in mind that inventory management focuses on specific items/materials. In contrast, warehouse management is concerned with the movement and handling of merchandise around the facility as well as the economics of the operation.
Benefits of a Warehouse Management System
Benefit 1: Optimised Area and Decreased Operating Costs
A warehouse management system maximises warehouse flow by calculating the optimal use of floor space based on the characteristics of tasks and materials. In WMS installations, space and floor plan analysis is used to establish how space should be optimally utilised. This enables waste reduction – namely, the waste of premium floor space and time spent searching for products. This will also reduce the potential costs associated with excessive material transportation, time-intensive placement, and retrieval. A warehouse can reduce its operating expenditures by examining the optimal places for storing items, supplies, and equipment.
The versatility and adaptability of a warehouse management system make it simple to perform any required alterations to retain the best inventory floor location selection, select the proper inventory, and manage physical mobility and worker performance.
Benefit 2: Inventory Visibility
Utilising a warehouse management system will also provide for precise, real-time inventory visibility. This allows a business to better accurately predict supplies and minimise backorders, resulting in more delighted consumers.
Using WMS automation with scanning, RFID, or other location-tracking technologies enables visibility at the site and lowers the instances where merchandise is forgotten, misplaced, or lost within the warehouse when WMS is not enabled.
In collaboration with the corporate ERP and planning operations, warehouse management systems supply data to forecasting functions by exchanging accurate information on the demand and performance of specific items.
Benefit 3: Effective Labor
A warehouse management system may better allocate the correct job to the right person at the right time by taking into account workers' skill levels, proximity inside the warehouse, equipment, and available warehouse tasks. Optimising trip time within the warehouse is one of the WMS's major contributions to enhanced worker utilisation. The WMS may allocate labour to tasks with the greatest impact while locating the employee most equipped to accomplish a certain activity. Utilising labour forecasting, the system can construct timetables and assign work daily. Scanning things at their admission into a warehouse and throughout their motions can reduce the need for double-checking, therefore saving time and accelerating the recording procedure. Scanning enhances pick accuracy, reduces incorrect selections, and hence improves customer service.
Benefit 4: Traceable Materials
Using batch, lot, and serial numbers, warehouse management systems make it simple to trace inventory goods. The lot/batch number indicates the group of manufactured materials whereas the serial number uniquely identifies individual item. The ability to link precise lot/batch or serial numbers with receipts and shipments is made possible by the usage of WMS inventory tracking, as previously mentioned. This enables complete traceability.
Benefit 5: Internal Automation Benefit
Facility management systems make the adoption of further automation technologies possible within a warehouse. Mobile phones can automate internal job assignments and help the transition to paperless work and activity documentation. This simplifies procedures, which increases scalability and ensures data accuracy. Since mobile handheld devices may get access to the WMS system, mobile pairing with the system expedites the data entry procedure.
A warehouse management system offers several advantages. These may include inventory visibility in real-time, cost reduction, error-proofing, productivity or efficiency increases. Changes indeed vary from solution to solution based on your specific requirements. Nevertheless, it is essential not to seek out the cheapest WMS solution.
It is essential to ask the proper questions to clarify your needs. Then, working with an experienced provider can facilitate the easy deployment of a WMS.