Remember when warehouses were filled with boxes, racks and forklifts? Well, with one exception, they haven't changed much. If you look carefully at the warehouses with the lowest loss rates and fastest receiving and shipping times, you will find a computer in the corner. The warehouse management software on that computer automates the operations of the warehouse, making everything run smoothly. Here are five ways that warehouse management systems can make your supply chain work better:
- Simplify receiving. Computerized asset management solutions like warehouse management software assist with the entire process of putting inventory into your warehouse. They track your delivery schedule, database what will be arriving, and can even let you know how many staff to have on hand for unloading. This not only saves you management time but also makes it easier for you to ensure that you are getting complete and correct shipments.
- Find items in inventory. Do you remember where you put your last box of that item? The one that the temp worker unloaded at the last second? Your warehouse management system stored its barcode or RFID tag, remembers where it was placed, and can guide you right to it. If the item is RFID tagged, the warehouse management system can even find it if it got mislaid.
- Schedule stock rotation. In a large warehouse it can be almost impossible to remember what items need to be rotated and when. Warehouse management software keeps track of everything in the warehouse and lets you know when stock needs to be moved and where it needs to go. This capability is especially useful when warehouses store perishable items, such as in cold storage facilities or FDA-regulated warehouses.
- Automate picking and shipping. A warehouse management software package does more than help you put stock in your warehouse and keep it there. It also computerizes the process of picking stock and shipping it, saving your staff time so that they can fill more orders.
- On-the-fly management. One of the great things about modern warehouse software is that you do not have to be sitting at your desk to use it. Mobile wireless systems can scan barcodes on boxes or use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to let you manage your warehouse without sitting at your desk.
In today's just-in-time world, warehouses need to turn stock faster than ever. Warehouse management software helps you do this with less effort, less time and less cost.