Optimizing the warehouse is essential, especially in an economic climate where businesses are working to improve every aspect of operations that can either reduce costs or increase profits. Automating and centralizing much of the daily tasks involved in warehouse management is unique in its dual approach: it reduces costs through speed and process improvements, while elevating inventory management and warehouse visibility. Warehouse management software provides measurable gains in these areas, from receiving shipments to order fulfillment. With inventory being the single largest expense incurred in business operations, there’s no room for mismanagement.
Using spreadsheets and text documents to track inventory flow is just not sufficient. These programs do not assist in efficiency, consistency and quality control. In contrast, warehouse management system software helps companies keep accurate, real-time inventory counts, monitors and improves turnaround times, and automates daily tasks. For increased efficiency, some advanced WMS solutions can even be linked to accounting and information systems.
While the advantages provided by warehouse management software are numerous, there are three that stand out as being especially important:
1. Mobility – Few warehouses can be managed effectively from a chair. Mobility is inherently part of the job, which is why it’s important to implement a solution that can move as freely as you require. Mobile warehouse management is a fairly recent technology that enables scanning and uploading of item information, and a massive reduction in the amount of data entry required to track products, quantities and locations. In this way, mobile warehouse management software applications offer huge strides in speed, accuracy and efficiency.
2. Tracking shipments – Organizing and tracking shipments becomes infinitely easier when backed by a warehouse management system. Automating the assignment of drivers and warehouse workers, tracking location, route and status during shipment, and keeping close tabs on inbound, outbound and putaway are just some of the tasks that can’t be matched by paper-based management. Even better, with all information centralized, generating a report becomes an easy task.
3. Inventory management – It’s your choice: hours of paper shuffling or the click of a mouse. Undoubtedly, software makes inventory management and determining successful products a much faster, easier and efficient task. Warehouse management systems provide the sort of speedy, accurate feedback that enables companies to respond faster to the demands of their customers and the market as a whole. Wondering which items should be ordered in larger quantities? Which items should have order numbers reduced? Which month sees more/fewer orders? It’s easier to find out through software, with numbers to back up the decision. Forecasting need is extremely important in terms of maximizing profitability, and not something that should require rummaging through file cabinets.