Warehouses have become pivotal throughout the supply chain. As e-commerce becomes more and more prevalent amid labor shortages and supply chain issues, distribution centers and warehouses are feeling the pressure of demand. In order for warehouses to function as the fulcrum in the supply chain, they must remain quick and efficient. That is why many warehouses are using warehouse management systems (WMS) to automate and enhance productivity.
Wondering exactly how a WMS impacts the supply chain? Let’s find out.
Streamlined Warehouse Processes
When you aren’t managing your warehouse effectively, there are a couple of issues that can happen. Your employees may be overwhelmed with their tasks. Items get misplaced or mislabeled. You end up with stock-outs and backorders that take forever to resolve. There are so many things that could go wrong when your inventory levels and movements are invisible.
Having a WMS gives you a near omnipresent view of the warehouse, from the products coming in and leaving. You can scan items, update inventory information in a blink or implement strategies for picking and packing. Even with labor shortages, you will be able to do more with less, because you have automated mundane tasks and are using employees you do have more efficiently.
Increased Visibility Using Real-Time Data
One of the biggest advantages of using a WMS is the real-time, high-quality data you receive from a single scan of a barcode or RFID. You will be able to cross-check locations, check item details, and verify every step taken from production to distribution when necessary. In turn, you can solve problems, such as recalling items with defects, much more swiftly.
Accurate Demand Forecasting
Integrating a WMS with an ERP like SAP Business One does a couple of things that benefit your warehouse and the supply chain immensely. Since the data gathered by your WMS can be accessed at any time and synced with modules in your ERP, you will be able to see trends and use simulations to predict demand. Using that information, you can start making better business decisions that ultimately lead to greater revenue.
For instance, by knowing when demand increases for a specific item, you will know when to order in advance and how many employees to schedule for that period. You can also accommodate your clients, suppliers, and employees better when you know what to expect.
Efficient Labor Allocation
As mentioned earlier, a WMS like Agility can be used to receive comprehensive reports and analyses of every activity going on within the warehouse, as well as information about incoming and outgoing shipments. You will know the answers to what, what, when, where, and how.
Because of this, you can select picking routes, assign tasks to specific individuals, and provide employees with varying degrees of access to data within the WMS. Since employees will have the correct item location every single time, they can work more efficiently and make fewer mistakes. Since employees can move with more certainty, their satisfaction and productivity will increase exponentially.
Decreased Time Between Picks
Since you can optimize your warehouse layout using tools provided by your WMS, you can create smoother picking routes. Your employees can be utilized more effectively, as well. This means less time spent looking for items and more time spent picking, packing, fulfilling, and organizing. The faster turnaround from the moment an order is placed to sending it out will keep the supply chain from growing stagnant.
Improved Customer Service
So you know that a warehouse management system can synchronize all data into a secure location and assist with the overall optimization of warehouse operations. Now, how do you think that reflects on your business? When you are delivering goods on time, providing accurate deliveries, and addressing the needs of your customers with ease, the overall customer satisfaction in your business skyrockets.
Improved Supplier Relationships
Many manufacturing businesses run into the same problem: they forget to order the materials they need ahead of time and then panic-buy when they have run out. Using a WMS and an ERP gives you access to material and resource planning, where you can calculate how often you need to purchase materials to continue production without any delay. By scheduling orders in advance, you can cultivate a healthier relationship with any suppliers along the supply chain.
Looking For a Flexible and Scalable WMS For Your Business?
Warehouses that are managed by a WMS are efficient and productive, thereby decreasing the strain on the supply chain. When you can meet the expectations of your customers or distributors, you gain more than just a profit. You get a loyal client that will keep coming back, boosting your profits. To fully optimize your warehouse and support the supply chain, you are going to need a WMS like Agility from WiSys that can be tailored to your business. Want to learn more about our WMS options? Give our team a call at 770-935-3550 today!