The are many warehouse management system benefits but the primary goal of warehouse automation is simple … to reduce costs and save money. And while the main goal is simple, getting there takes strategic planning, execution and an investment in time and resources.
The foundational benefits of implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) are:
- The ability to track inventory from receiving to shipping. Warehouses are fluid by nature and as inventory moves through the warehouse, it is not uncommon to lose track of where inventory is stored. This results in warehouse staff spending time searching for the lost inventory.
- Consistent and accurate stock rotation. Similar to the previous problem, you want to insure that your warehouse stock rotation (i.e. FIFO) adheres to your business objectives.
- Optimized utilization of warehouse space and storage. The bottom line is that a disorganized warehouse utilizes more space than an organized one. Through better space utilization, you provide a safer work environment and the ability to grow at minimal cost.
- Cycle counting. Traditional physical inventories typically shut down order fulfillment activities, take time and incur additional costs. Cycle counting enables you to strategically count inventory over time. This results in consistent inventory accuracy and identifies problems sooner.
- Elimination of picking errors. Your customers hate receiving the wrong product and you hate the direct and indirect costs associated with it. A WMS solution validates that products are picked correctly and optional packing modules can provide a final QC prior to shipping.
- Faster fulfillment times. In an era where large on-line retailers provide guaranteed delivery times, it is critical to move towards faster fulfillment times so that product is picked and shipped as soon as possible.
- Real time updates to purchasing and sales staff. Too often there is a disconnect between your real inventory in the warehouse and the inventory in your purchasing or sales departments. Without real time and accurate updates, purchasing staff struggle to maintain inventory levels. Sales staff also have difficulties during the sales process if they are unable to provide confident information to prospects and customers.
- Improved customer service. All of the above benefits work together to improve your customer experience. However when problems arise, your staff has the information and tools to resolve them faster. And when your customers are happy, it has a positive impact throughout your entire organization.
- Detailed audit trails of warehouse transactions. Accurately tracking the movement of inventory is important, but equally important is the ability to create detailed audit trails of warehouse processes. This enables you to manage warehouse productivity and address any deficiencies.
With these warehouse management system benefits, your organization improves its operational efficiencies and lowers costs.