If you own or operate a small business, you may have wondered if there was any worth in getting a warehouse management system. Aren’t WMS only suitable for larger enterprises and distribution centers? While it is true that a WMS can bolster those kinds of organizations, warehouse management systems like Wisys’ Agility WMS is fully scalable and provides many benefits to small and mid-sized businesses as well.
This guide to WMS for small businesses will tell you everything you need to know, as well as how to choose a warehouse management system that is right for you. Let’s get started!
Why Does a Small Business Need a WMS?
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are more than just software applications. WMS is real-time support for warehouses, distribution centers, e-commerce stores, and other enterprises that need to optimize functionality and boost their productivity. In short, if you have a business that handles physical goods in some way, then you are going to need not just any WMS, but a really good one.
Small businesses run into many problems that can be solved with the use of a WMS. Some of those problems include:
- Data accuracy: Many SMBs rely on repetitive manual data entry to track their inventory and sales. Too often, this data is erroneous, causing problems throughout the supply line and with compliance.
- Lack of communication: Data within your business can become isolated in separate departments, creating data silos that hinder productivity, efficiency, and data security.
- Paperwork: Spreadsheets and paperwork are inefficient and susceptible to mistakes and misplacement.
- Too much data to handle: Often, there is a lot of data being generated between incoming and outgoing goods, orders, sales management, employee management, inventory management, and more to have all these systems separated.
When implemented as a standalone or integrated with an ERP, a WMS can automatically track incoming goods, sales, inventory levels, and item locations, services, shipping, employee hours, and much more. With the data collected from a WMS, you can even forecast buying trends and inventory turnover, so you can implement strategies to ensure better inventory movement.
In turn, this translates to a reduction in expired items, wasted resources, and lower staffing costs.
3 Benefits of a WMS For Small Businesses
Here are three distinct ways a WMS can help an SMB daily:
You will most likely agree that keeping track of your inventory, no matter how big or small, is a tremendous headache. Not only do your employees need to recall where every item in the warehouse is located, but you also need to remember to reorder products and keep track of how fast certain items are selling. If you plan on doing this with a spreadsheet, it is going to be problematic.
A WMS makes inventory management easy. Paired with a barcode system (or even without), you can track the products coming and going, as well as assign locations and bin numbers. You can also use the WMS to redesign your warehouse layout, optimizing picking and packing routes. Having data consistently updated also ensures that you have accurate stock counts. When you use a WMS, you can say farewell to the days of surprise stock-outs and backorders.
Supplier and Customer Relations
Whether you have 50 or 100,000 customers, the level of customer satisfaction should remain the same. If you attempt to manage orders and transactions alone, it could become overwhelming. Warehouse management systems not only monitor the supply line but also track the quantities of items within your warehouse. Purchases can be traced back to the manufacturer should there be a defect or mistake.
When a WMS is integrated with an ERP like SAP Business One, the customer relations management (CRM) module, can also automate invoices and generate other useful notifications for you and the customer or supplier.
The workforce you have is limited, being that you are a small business. In order to keep things working smoothly and have time to run every other facet of your business, you can use a WMS to organize your employees. Warehouse management systems come with features that enable task management and scheduling. Employees can access dashboards and notifications from a mobile device, so they know exactly where to go, what to do, and when to do it.
Choosing the Right WMS for Small Business
When you are deciding which kind of WMS to get, it is important to consider your business goals and the systems you currently have in place. For instance, do you plan on growing your business in the near future?
Most small businesses do not know their needs 5 or 10 years from now, which is why a scalable WMS is essential. Scalability is the ability to alter or add more features to your WMS. This ensures your warehouse management system grows with you.
Take Agility WMS from Wisys as an example. In the beginning, you may choose Agility Essentials, an out-of-the-box solution that can also be customized to suit the needs of your business. Agility Essentials can be later enhanced with other software, such as Agility Fulfillment.
Looking For a Flexible WMS Solution?
This is a time when there is an increased demand on the supply chain. Even small businesses are affected, and so you need the right tools to keep up. Implementing a warehouse management system (WMS) like Wisys’ Agility will benefit your small business immensely, just by simply ensuring all information is accurate and updated on time. Ready to streamline your operations and reduce costs with Agility WMS? Get in touch with us today by calling 770-955-3530 or by requesting a demo.