Warehouse Management : The Human Factor
A significant cost of running any Warehouse and Logistics operation is the workforce. Automating the warehouse operation using a WMS system can provide numerous labour and cost savings based on improved workflow and better utilisation of the workforce.
System directed work processes in the warehouse means that the operators can be guided through the sometimes complex tasks of inbound receiving, putaway and order fulfilment. The use of WiFi terminals and barcode scanning eliminates errors and speeds up the whole operation and ensures that the correct items and quantities have been received, they are located in the right locations and available for system guided picking. The system takes away the need for order matching using paperwork and any keying of data to update the stock situation.
The key to success is smooth workflow. Using a WMS System the work tasks can be presented to the workers either on a "get next task" basis or by assigning picking tasks to specific workers, e.g. Fork truck drivers etc. This eliminates the need to go back to the office to get their next pick note or task hence saving time.
As all activity and every task is recorded, the system can provide valuable information on picker / packer activity and work rates as well as how long it takes to pick particular customer orders. This information can be used to support incentive based pay schemes by rewarding workers for improved warehouse efficiencies.
There are also benefits and savings to be made in terms of being able to manage increased order volumes without increasing the staffing levels. The business can grow by doing more with less or the same labour levels due to the increased throughput made possible by WMS System Automation.
In short - Automate, Monitor, Reward, Improve - Do more with less!