11 Benefits that Warehouse Management System Can Reap

31-08-2021 11:17:56 Comment(s) By Abir

WMS proves to be efficacious in all the operational process of a distribution center, right from receiving consignment to shipping and everything in between. The efficacy of WMS is far-reaching. Not only does it streamline operations, but it also reduces overhead expenses, manages inventory accurately, eliminates man-made errors, stores data for analytical usage, strengthens customer relationship and eventually renders agility and resilience to the enterprises.

In the day and age of competitive market where e-commerce has burgeoned exponentially and same-day-delivery, just-in-time deliveries are being preferred by customers, the importance of warehousing is felt like never before. With the financial world’s gazes having shifted prominently to the supply chain industry and logistics sector having been considered as an imperative instrument in keeping the world running even amidst unprecedented disruptions, efficiently managed warehouses have taken the center stage. Resultantly, warehouse management system or WMS, as it is called has gained the impetus that it duly deserved. Initially, a software solution to optimize the operations of the larger distribution centers, WMS is now functional in the businesses of small and medium degrees. 

WMS proves to be efficacious in all the operational processes of a distribution center, right from receiving consignment to shipping and everything in between. The efficacy of WMS is far-reaching. Not only does it streamline operations, but it also reduces overhead expenses, manages inventory accurately, eliminates man-made errors, stores data for analytical usage, strengthens customer relationship and eventually renders agility and resilience to the enterprises.

With WMS, warehousing becomes such a transparent process that every single stakeholder receives real-time updates of the location of their items, making tracking and tracing much easier jobs. With a lot of superfluous operation operations having gotten ridden, warehouse executives get a lot of time at their disposal to engage themselves in other productive works such as getting trained and upgrading themselves. Moreover, apart from controlling the entire gamut of warehouse actions, WMS offers its users a centralized interface which gives ease of usage and a cohesive perspective of all the complex operations going in tandem.

WMS and Inbound/Outbound Logistics

To understand the significance of warehousing in its most basic level, we can say that warehouse seamlessly acts as the medium of the process through which raw materials are turned into products and products are distributed across the grids. The stronger the warehouse is the prompter is the process. Warehouse operations are primarily divided into two types: inbound logistics and outbound logistics.

Inbound logistics is the chain of operations that bring purchased materials to the businesses. The very first step in inbound logistics is purchasing. Inventory management system, which is an inessential feature of WMS, proves to be extremely beneficial in streamlining this process. As soon as the inventory of the warehouse reaches a certain level, it notifies the partners so that stock-out is avoided and replenishment takes place as soon as possible. Once purchase order is automatically issued and the consignments arrive, they are scanned with the help of advanced devices and the entire range of data related to them is stored in a singular location. Once the consignments arrive, WMS directs the warehouse stuff to store them at proper places through various put-away and slotting techniques. This not only helps in bringing accuracy and promptness to the operations, but also unearths opportunities of optimum storage utilization.

Outbound logistics, on the other hand, comprises of processes that bring finished goods to the consumers. In this network of operations, maximum scopes of mistakes are to be found in the picking process. WMS provides the warehouse stuff the most efficient pick-path and picking guidelines so that correct product in its best quality reaches the end customers. While packing the goods, all the labels can be printed directly with the help of the information that has been stored by the RFID scanners so that minimum human intervention is sought.

Benefits of Using Warehouse Management System

Apart from and along with all the ways that WMS facilitates the movement of freight within and without the warehouse, there are certain other groundbreaking means which has established WMS as the go-to application in the domain of modern logistics.

1.  Cloud-based Application: Most of the warehouses opt for cloud-based warehouse management system that can be accessed anytime and from anywhere. Due to this ease of access and flexibility it offers, all the parties involved can be on the same page when it comes to info sharing.

2.  Scalability: Warehouse management systems frequently need upgrades to fit the need of the hour. WMS providers, most of whom are external vendors are always in touch with market trends and take the matters of upkeeps in their hands, thereby freeing the warehouse of a cumbersome job.

3.  Reduced Paperwork: One very distressing aspect of traditional warehousing is the truckloads of papers that go into the operations. The huge barrage of paperwork not only creates confusion in a moment of haste, but also misplacement and mismanagement leads to utter chaos and financial loss. Moreover, with the rest of the world partaking in green initiatives, plethora of paperwork can cause hindrances by the warehouses. WMS entirely digitalizes the operations and greatly reduces paper-based documentations.

4.  Reduces Cost: WMS is particularly effective in reducing the operational overhead cost. By automating a great deal of operations, the labor cost can be conspicuously reduced. Furthermore, by streamlining the processes, errors that could have been induced by human beings are curtailed. With a particular eye into inventory management, unwanted phenomenon like pilferage, stock-out, overstocking can be reduced. And thus, by bringing the errors down and amplifying security, loss and cost can be put under check.

5.  Transparency: WMS provides its users and customers with greater magnitude of transparency. All the actions that start with receipt of items at the warehouse to shipment for outbound distribution come under the ambit of real-time visibility. With the precise location and status of the goods known to the warehouse stuff, accurate information can be percolated to the carriers, the bottom-line distributors and the end-customers.

6.  Accuracy in Inventory: Inventory accuracy is a major deal in warehousing. Without the distribution center’s proper knowledge of its inventory, a lot of financial losses can occur. The best way to keep a tab on the stock is auditing. However, the annual inventory counts can be tedious affairs that can result in temporary shutdown. With WMS at the helm of warehouse, regular cycle counts are possible that can not only furnish accurate information, but also can be performed without causing a halt to the business.

7.  Data Collection: Having all the necessary information about the products, including the seller details and their movements, warehouses can form insightful perspectives into the trends of the market and demand of the products. With stipulated KPIs as objectives, operations can be measured against the metrics and conclusions can be drawn. With an automated and optimized workspace and analytical features, the details can be transformed into actionable data and that can be utilized in striking future business deals.

8.  Customer Satisfaction: With the better performance from the side of the DC, rendered by an effective WMS, products and services reach customers quicker and they are also notified of their goods’ statuses. Hence, the companies that apply WMS are bound to have happy customers who would have a better return value.

9.  Streamlining Labor: WMS comes with features that can facilitate actions like cross-docking. Furthermore, by generating the most effective pick-paths, WMS leverages resources optimally so that the workforce on the ground can achieve maximum targets through minimum efforts and much of operational time is not wasted. Task-Interleaving, wave picking, batch picking and other such novel operational methods yoke time and resources together for better result in terms of productivity, reducing errors and killing fallow time.

10.  Effective Bin Management: WMS can prove to be extremely helpful in the process of storage of products. With the accurate knowledge of cubic capacity, slot locations and the features of product profile, items can be stored in such a way that the expensive warehouse space can be utilized optimally.

11.  Reduces Issues Related to Scanning: Most of the warehouse management systems come with the added feature of RFID scanning. While regular scanning systems have many limitations and the feature of it being a hand-held device can waste a lot of operational time, the radio-frequency identification devices are worthwhile innovations that can furnish and store product details, mitigating scopes of errors.

How to Choose WMS?

While opting for the best-suited system for warehouse, one must keep in mind the needs of the enterprise and the size of the business. Thus a proper homework in the form of peer review must be carried out. WMS implementation can be an expensive process that can make customers flinch from resorting to it, though it gives a solid return-on-investment in the longer haul. Thus warehouse executives must attend a lot of workshops and should make their stuff undergo a lot of training before taking the plunge, lest the investment should not turn out to be a damp squib. Many-a-times it is seen that the features that are offered by the vendors meet the needs of the customers but certain things needed by them are not to be found in any of the solutions. So the warehouse owners must ask themselves if they would walk the path of developing an enterprise-sized, on-premise system or should it customize the existing system.

Questions to Be Asked

Once the warehouse owners are fixated on implementing WMS, they must zero in on certain necessary questions that must be posed before the WMS vendors, such as:

·  What is the cost of the installation process?

·  What are the equipment and added support that the warehouse must extend from their side?

·  How is the system going to add value to its existing operations?

·  How long will it take to get visible ROI?

·  What are the costs and scopes of adapting the system for better scalability?

·  How can the vendor ensure data security?

·  How easy would the system be for all the warehouse employees to use?

·  Questions related to user license

All these and more must be asked so that all the doubts and qualms are suitably addressed and no apprehensions are at play before or during the implementation.

In Conclusion…

The digital overhaul in the recent past has changed the world as well as the supply chain for good and software solutions like warehouse management system have taken the operations a few notches higher. To keep up with the pace, warehouse owners must resort to the transformative measures. Therefore, with all the critical questions and significant issues at the fore of the mind, business firms should go all out in looking for the most suitable solution in accordance with their needs and enjoy the fruits of the merit they have reaped.

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