If your warehouse isn’t using a cutting-edge warehouse management system, your business is missing out on a lot of insight, productivity and functionality. Whether you’re a small operation working with a 3PL partner or a big retail player with a warehouse of its own, you should be looking into what a WMS can do for you. Here are some of our favorites:
Dial in Inventory Management
A high-end warehouse management system is going to give you extra tools to take your inventory management to the next level. Returning to inventory management basics can be a key to great success in limiting waste in the supply chain, but might cause you to miss out on some advanced features. The metrics available to your team through a cutting-edge WMS will allow you to find trends in client behavior and identify the exact levels of safety stock that could prevent you from paying more than necessary for warehousing while product is stationary. All the while, it will make the timeline from manufacturing to customer satisfaction as short as possible.
Forecast Consumer Demand More Accurately
By utilizing a warehouse management system enhanced with IoT connected to RFID scanners, you’ll get a real-time view of your warehouse’s capacity, throughput, and availability. This can lead to innovations in your business planning when it comes to consumer demand, as you’ll have quick access to metrics from the past to help train demand forecasters into the future. That means less wasted product and fewer missed sales opportunities.
Minimize Human Error
Modern warehouse management systems now have the capability to take over tasks that were previously handled by staff with greater simplicity and accuracy. For example, by setting an automatic reorder point for your most commonly purchased products, your team can keep filling orders while the automated system communicates with your manufacturer to order more product. You can even find WMS technology with integrations for most ERP software solutions, reducing the need for data entry that can be derailed by a simple typing error.
Move to Just in Time Manufacturing
By piecing together demand forecasting, inventory management, and automation, you’re able to build a supply chain where manufacturers, logistics coordinators, warehouses, clients, and your business can all work together seamlessly to reduce underutilized time, space, and product. It’s the ultimate in productivity, and in many cases it can lead to a more eco-friendly supply chain as well.
Build in More Flexibility
Everything we’ve said so far about the advantages of a warehouse management system may sound rigid and fixed, but the truth is that this system will build more flexibility into your business functions, staffing, and supply chain. Planning your supply chain to function automatically with just in time manufacturing doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to continue manually ordering more product based upon your plans for promotions or simple intuition. It just means the system will have your back and can serve as an automated safety net for when business is busy and you don’t have the time to handle it manually.
These are just a few things a warehouse management system can do for your business and your supply chain. By improving accuracy, reducing waste, maximizing throughput, and reducing response times, a high-end WMS can pay for itself if you have a big enough business for its own warehouse. But if you don’t, you can still benefit from one by pooling resources with other businesses by working with a third party logistics company. To learn more about the advantages of a great WMS from a 3PL, reach out to our team.