Chemical warehousing is an undertaking that requires strict adherence to government regulations and safety compliance. The sphere of chemical warehousing includes more than storing hazardous materials in a safe way, too. From storage and distribution to the paperwork, quality assurance, and sales of such materials, there is an overwhelming amount of data to track. Utilizing both a warehouse management system (WMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can optimize your warehouse management, thereby increasing efficiency and production.
But there is more to it than that. Here are all the reasons you should be using a WMS and ERP for chemical warehousing.
Benefits of a WMS For Chemical Warehousing
Should you be using a warehouse management system for chemical storage and distribution? Yes. A WMS assists with managing a warehouse in a number of ways, from cataloging inventory, to controlling, organizing, planning, and directing staff.
Management is crucial in chemical warehousing because one error could cause delays and fines. A WMS significantly increases visibility throughout your business. Even before a shipment is scanned by an employee, a WMS provides you with real-time data through barcodes, RFID, and serial numbers. Materials and finished products can be tracked from their source and all through production and transportation.
Because you gain more traceability, any tainted goods or faulty products can be easily recalled. Because of federal regulations pertaining to the storage and distribution of hazardous materials, maintaining thorough records also ensures compliance.
Once you have implemented a WMS, you will notice how efficient your chemical warehouse becomes. Stock procurement, inventory movement, and storage will all improve. Furthermore, because you will have more oversight into the status of your inventory, you can strategize better. This will diminish handling errors and reduce the number of products damaged or lost because they passed their shelf life.
Maximizing the space in a chemical warehouse, where specific materials have to be separated and stored a certain way, can be challenging. A functional WMS like Agility from WiSys helps you expand the usable space within your facility by analyzing each object and deciding the ideal location. You can also plan out the most logical routes for picking and packing, saving your employees time and effort.
Benefits of an ERP for Chemical Warehousing
Now that you have seen why a WMS is ideal for chemical housing, let’s look at the benefits of an ERP:
Optimize Supply Chain and Production
ERPs are an excellent tool for analyzing supply and demand. With advanced forecasting tools available in ERPs like SAP Business One, you can calculate anticipated yields, delays and restrictions, lead-time, and demand. These insights can also be shared throughout the warehouse and other connected groups. In turn, you will be able to solve issues and meet demand more readily.
ERPs can also track order history, performance, and costs to help you find ways to improve and reduce the cost of operation.
As you already know, the chemical industry is given little flexibility when it comes to compliance. ERPs equipped with automation tools can perform a number of duties that ensure the safety of your workers, including measuring temperatures, analyzing warehouse conditions, cataloging ingredients as well as saving recipes and mixes. You can also simulate compliance testing based on international and government regulations.
Why Do You Need Both a WMS and ERP?
Many industries can do well with either a standalone WMS like Agility suite from WiSys or an ERP like SAP Business One. Both systems have functions that optimize your facilities and labor force. However, integrating a WMS and ERP to be used simultaneously is a far better way to unify multiple warehouses, as well as order fulfillment, sales, and finances. In the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, inventory management is just as necessary as human resources, finances, sales, and planning.
Because supply chains are growing ever larger, oftentimes encompassing large retail distributors, third-party logistics, and material suppliers, there is no be-all-end-all solution. That is why you need to combine a WMS and ERP, such as Agility WMS and SAP Business One. Not only is a WMS integrated with an ERP far more scalable than a single system, but it is also one of the best ways to avoid redundancies (or data silos) within your database.
Your ERP and WMS will be a seamless solution that automates everything from real-time reporting to obtaining key metrics for recall management. From the point a sale is generated to the end-user distribution, you will have everything covered and be able to track the entire process should something go wrong.
That is how you get better validation, more visibility, and faster velocity.
Stable and Transparent Solutions For The Chemical Industry
There are few industries that are as regulated and restricted as the chemical industry, which is why focusing on safety, visibility, and traceability is your priority. By coordinating your chemical warehouse with a WMS and ERP, there will be no issue with the safe handling and storage of hazardous materials. Now that you know the reasons why you should use a WMS and ERP for chemical warehousing, don’t hesitate to find a suitable WMS.
WiSys has a fully customizable and flexible WMS called Agility that is ideal for chemical warehousing. Give us a call today to learn more about our unique solutions or to schedule a demo at 770-955-3530.