Right now, there are a lot of changes going on throughout the very tight supply chain. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have to be able to compete with giants like Amazon and Wayfair, which means adopting processes that rival those enterprises. Fortunately, there is technology out there, such as Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, that optimize the 3 Vs: validation, visibility, and velocity.
The 3 Vs are a sequence that will help you achieve higher productivity and efficiency, regardless of the size of your business. Let’s discuss how you can use a WMS and the 3 Vs to benefit your SMB.
Using a WMS to Get The Results You Want
One of the main challenges that SMBs face is receiving actionable data. Without reliable, real-time data to utilize, you end up with issues in your warehouse. For example, if you are waiting on employees to enter data into the system, there is a gap in knowledge. This can cause backorders, out-of-stock situations, and even incorrect shipments that lead to customer dissatisfaction, returns, and a poor reputation.
This is why you start using an ERP like SAP Business One. Unfortunately, SAP Business One can only do so much alone. What you need is a tightly integrated and fully customizable solution, like Wisys’ warehouse management system (WMS).
A WMS gives your SMB the ability to catalog incoming and outgoing shipments, view real-time and trustworthy data, and streamline every process from start to finish.
What Are The 3 Vs?
The 3 Vs are validation, visibility, and velocity, and they are part of a progression that involves implementing a WMS, automated data capture, and real-time transactions and reporting. By streamlining the flow of data throughout your business and warehouse, you can eliminate redundant actions and touchpoints. In turn, productivity and efficiency skyrockets.
Here is how each of the 3 Vs affects your SMB:
How are you collecting and reporting data within your business? Are your employees manually entering data into a disjointed system? Not only does this slow down your business, but it is also tedious and increases the chance of mistakes. As labor shortages continue and people switch to working from home, more advanced data capture technology becomes essential.
In some industries, you don’t have a choice about how you validate items. The manufacturing processes within the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries are under pressure from the government to collect data throughout the entire process, right up to end-user consumption. Failure to validate this data could be catastrophic for your business.
How Does a WMS Help With Validation?
Item validation is simplified when you choose a WMS for your SMB. Upon integration, you can use tablets, handheld scanners, and sometimes even phones to scan the barcodes or RFID tags on shipments to automatically validate the data that already exists within an ERP like SAP Business One. The warehouse workers can then check serial numbers and locations, including lots and bins. Furthermore, when it comes time to pull items for an order, the workers can use the WMS to see if they are choosing the correct item.
Since a WMS means that all data you are viewing is updated in real-time, there is no question that the inventory levels match what you see. Therefore, you get a clean snapshot of how inventory movements affect your business.
Validation influences visibility. By understanding where your products are located and how much stock is in your warehouse, you can use that data to make better business decisions. Since the WMS automates inventory tracking, you have certainty about where items are located.
Why is visibility important? Take, for instance, the representative who is working from home and speaking with a customer about a product. Long ago, that representative may have been able to physically walk into the warehouse to see the stock levels. When you have a WMS to scan incoming and outgoing shipments and an ERP to accurately report those changes, your staff can see in real-time whether or not a product is available without needing to leave their computer.
Visibility means you can forecast. It also means that your business is able to maintain a level of transparency, increasing your reputability.
If you want to grow your SMB and match the output of much larger companies, then you need to increase your velocity. Here’s the good news: the 3 Vs naturally progress towards optimized operations and output.
With increased accuracy from streamlined item validation practices and more visibility, your workers will be able to work swiftly and with fewer mistakes. Additionally, the data synced between computers, tablets, and scanners diminishes the time spent searching for products, assists with pick-and-pack, helps you plan inventory movement based on FIFO, FEFO, and LIFO practices, and more. You can even integrate your WMS with a transportation management system (TMS).
Achieve The 3 Vs With Wisys
Owning and operating a business or warehouse is challenging in today’s fast-paced economy and tight supply chain. Selecting a flexible WMS solution from Wisys can help you automate your data collection and item validation. From there, the workings of your business become more visible, and you can make decisions that increase your overall velocity. Give us a call at 770-955-3530 to learn more about how Wisys can help!