Running a successful warehouse will not happen on its own or by fluke, as it requires a lot of effort and a perfect warehouse management solution. It is an effective warehouse management that will quickly fulfill the orders of customers while providing accurate and timely deliveries without generating any complaints. So, the need is to streamline your warehouse operations with the help of an effective warehouse management solution for smooth functioning.
It deals with managing the processes that take place in daily warehouse operations. It could be getting and organizing a warehouse space, managing inventory, labor and completing orders. An effective warehouse management is the smooth warehouse operation for better productivity that too at low cost. Warehouse management is very important and its smooth functioning must be ensured as it looks into effective utilization of warehouse space, organized inventory, availability of ample staff, quick deliveries of orders and effective communication. This is not visible to the end user, but good warehouse management leads to quick and superior quality service, which strengthens the supply chain while forming good relations with suppliers and customers.
Now the question that comes to your mind is how to streamline your warehouse operations? Well, the answer to this is an effective warehouse management system.
Warehouse Management Processes
For smooth functioning of your warehouse operations, it is important to focus on the 6 core processes of warehouse management. Each process is linked to another process, so optimization is important. The six processes are...
Receiving- It looks into the right quantity, condition and timely delivery of the incoming items.
Putting away- The items are moved to the appropriate storage location after being received.
Storing- Inventory is now stored safely and in a logically managed way for quick picking.
Picking- Items are picked according to the orders.
Packing- Items that are ordered are now packed safely with packing slips.
Shipping- The item is finally out for delivery at the right time and in the right vehicle so that it reaches the customer at the right time without any delay.
Warehouse Management System
It is important to know about WMS, as it is a software designed to help you manage your warehouse. The software helps to manage a warehouse in a simple way, optimizing every aspect of warehouse management. It is capable of conducting demand analysis while providing a real-time view of the quantity and inventory location. It can tell you about the efficiency of your warehouse operations and let you know about areas for improvement. It also helps in guiding users about daily processes like picking, receiving, packing and delivering orders by making use of the predefined rules. A good WMS will track and monitor the complete supply chain, manage resources, track goods-information flow, reduce inventory costs, gather data based on demand, reduce errors, and work to reduce shipping time.
Features of Warehouse Management Solutions
Warehouse management solutions cover different kinds of warehouse operations like-
Inbound logistics- It deals with the entry of goods by suppliers, along with data input to maintain real-time updates of the inventory for smooth tracking.
Outbound logistics- It looks into automated shipping labels that help in tracking the outgoing shipments, certificates, and bills, as well as the loading and unloading process.
Inventory management- It is about the warehouse map in a pictorial form to know about the storage area, managing of storage slots, tracking of inventory turnover, and real-time inventory data to know about the resources.
Workload management- It takes care of the cross-docking and strategic storage policies.
Order features- It deals with the order pickers while supporting automated picking management to facilitate quick order fulfillment.
Apart from covering the aforementioned warehouse operations, the WMS also provides tracking support for cross-warehouse, cross-organizational, and production lines. Good algorithms can be used to create custom dashboards and set alerts.
Warehouse Management System with other Softwares
For successful warehouse management and streamlined warehouse operations, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) can work with other software, such as a Transport Management System (TMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. TMS is used for optimization of the transportation right from the time when the orders leave the warehouse till the end. This is helpful in managing the supply chain more effectively. ERP is designed specially to help you in managing the orders. It can communicate with the WMS to give specific details which helps the WMS to give live status of the orders.
How to streamline your Warehouse Operations?
You must focus on the following points to streamline your warehouse, as it will surely lead to an improved warehouse.
Choosing an appropriate software-Depending on the size of your warehouse and the needs of your business, you must choose the appropriate warehouse management software. WMS integration with other business solutions, such as e-commerce, order fulfillment, inventory management, and point of sale, leads to smoother functioning. Cloud based WMS keeps you connected to data source, services and other requirements. A good WMS will lead to smooth functioning of your warehouse operation that in turn will enhance your business.
Designing your warehouse- Your warehouse should be designed in such a way that it provides you the maximum benefit. A good warehouse design supports better organization as it helps in fulfilling the orders quickly, satisfying the staff and making less mistakes. Chart and guidelines can be placed in the warehouse along with the best-selling products at approachable counters. Inventory arrangement is important and it must be from best to lowest selling product, as it makes the process of picking and packing easier.
Notifications of delayed deliveries- You must know about the delivery of your next shipment. You must receive advanced shipping notifications (ASN), as it helps you to prepare for receiving the shipments with less possibility of delay. You can get the ASN feature linked to your warehouse management software for smooth functioning with no delays.
Employee feedback- People working in your warehouse understand it better so any kind of suggestion or feedback they give about the warehouse layout or process must not be ignored or overruled.
Tracking with labeling and RFID- Entering data manually is a time taking process and can also cause errors. Labeling is important in a warehouse, as it helps in quick tracking. Barcodes and radio frequency identification (RFID) can be used for labeling, entry of data quickly and correctly. This leads to error free picking and tracking.
Make a choice for the best Warehouse Management Solution
It is not that implementing a WMS will do wonders for your warehouse operations; to ensure a smooth working of your warehouse operations, you must choose the right WMS. Your decision to choose the right Warehouse management solutions will give a new picture to your business by taking it to the next level. You need to be clear with your requirements and budget, as this will help you choose a licensing model, such as SaaS, and software, such as a cloud-based system or on-premise. Cloud-based WMS is a good option and it has the same advantages as SaaS solutions. This software is easy to implement, scale, and update from time to time, as it does not require any maintenance.