Does your Warehouse Management System (WMS) meet your needs?
Having an effective warehouse operations requires having a WMS to fulfill at your business goals. Warehouses have unique needs based on their size, products and customers that must be met with the right technology in order to manage operations effectively. As your business changes, you need a warehouse system that can keep up or you will need to upgrade to a better system. Accepting a deficient system will cost your company money and customers, which could lead to going out of business. The question is does your warehouse management system (WMS) meet your needs.
Reasons to update your Warehouse Management System
A good WMS should pay for itself from 2 months to 2 years. There is no reason to have a warehouse system that does not bring in more money than it costs. The ROI can come from many areas such as expanding sales, increased output, less staff, seasonal staff at lower rates, less shipping errors, less inventory write-off, less real estate costs, less capital in inventory, improved customer satisfaction, increased billings for special tasks, better space utilization, no more physical inventory counts, improved revenues, faster inventory turns and more.
A WMS can turn a non-profitable distribution system into a profitable one. A WMS is not an expense, but an investment. Businesses need the right one to get the most money out of it.
Owners of a company need to know where their money is. Much of it is tied up in inventory. This inventory has to be accurate and the whereabout known at all times. Many warehouses suffer from inaccurate inventory. A WMS should not have this issue. Some inventory have expiry dates. A WMS needs to have proper controls to ensure the inventory does not go bad, making it a poor investment. A WMS should be sufficient to keep the minimum amount of inventory on the shelf, reducing capital cost.
This can be done with faster turns and more accurate inventory on hand to avoid stock outs. Having all the tools in place will also give management the ability forecast better ensuring purchasing is timely and accurate. With real-time information, a WMS will provide accurate information for owners to see their inventory while increasing customer satisfaction.
Customer demands on warehouses have increased over time. Products need to be readily available and shipped faster. Visibility of inventory is required for all staff and the customer. New requirements from customers such as special labeling/packaging, kitting, or other special instructions need to be met. Picking accuracy is critical, as customers are unwilling to accept mis-shipments.
Products must get to the customers promptly to provide good customer service. Once goods have left the warehouse, proper updates and tracking are needed. Should a recall or return be required, the same accurate and timely process needs to be executed in reverse with methodology on what to do with the goods coming back.
A good WMS makes all this easy through it’s automated processes and integration with external systems such as a Transportation Management System (TMS). Do not let a poor warehouse system lower customer satisfaction or cause you lost business.
A major expense in a warehouse operation is labor. A poor warehouse system could be costing you much more in this expense than necessary. When a warehouse system is run efficiently, more output is done with less people. The quality of work goes up with less experienced staff. Time is saved in many areas of the business which will increase throughput.
Accuracy goes up with the use of barcodes and error checking features. Tasks can be divided for better delegation of staff on each order. Training staff is easier because much of the work is automated with simple instructions on handheld terminals. This can reduce the cost of labor by having less staff, less experienced staff or seasonal workers. If your goal is increased output, then use the existing staff to get more revenue. A WMS needs to reduce expenses and/or produce better results.
Better Integrations with ERP
A quality WMS has a seamless connection with an ERP system. Each has their own responsibility and each relies on the other to execute tasks. The WMS has to provide information in real time using wireless technology with the proper processes to transmit data immediately back to the ERP.
Many ERP’s may require information and processing that a warehouse system cannot handle. Your employees and customers may have requirements that need information from a WMS. If the WMS cannot supply all that your ERP requires, you should consider upgrading.
What are the signs your current WMS is not working within your business?
Many warehouse managers assume their warehouse system is as good as it gets. Some may even feel threatened by a new system or changes in general. They tend to make do with whatever tools they have been given, even if it is costing the company money.
Each business has unique needs. If you have any difficultly tailoring your warehouse system to your specific needs, it is time to look into a new WMS.
About ProVision WMS
ProVision WMS is a versatile solution which provides the tools to manage and co-ordinate warehouse operations. It improves order fulfillment, customer service, labor output and decision-making. This software, along with complementary technologies, will save you money and pay for itself in a short period. It has the flexibility to handle diverse applications requirements and help your business grow. To learn more about ProVision WMS solutions or how we can help to achieve all your business goals, request a demonstration today.