• Jim Southern

Is your Warehouse Streamlined or Flatlined?

Do mistakes and errors occur in your warehouse operation? Do those important orders get shipped with missing items, incorrect quantities, incorrect items, missed deadlines, etc? The answers we get on our travels vary from company to company:

- Yes from many - "But we have a great customer service team to put them right"

- No from some - "We check and double check every order that goes out of the door"

Whichever camp you're in its costing you more by having extra resource or additional processes and therefore time invested in either looking after the errors after they've happened, which is not good for customer service, or, having more warehouse staff employed to make sure they don't happen in the first place.

Mistakes are costly whichever way you look at it, especially when multiple errors and added effort add up to an inefficient warehouse and below par customer service. If this is your story perhaps its time to invest an a warehouse management system.

With the right WMS system, you can reduce mistakes and introduce many new methods to streamline your operations.

What are areas a Warehouse Management system can help you improve? Let’s take a closer look:

Materials, Inventory & Resources - Stock changes hands and moves many times between goods in and pick & ship. Trying to keep track of all the movements without an automated WMS system can be near impossible without errors being made. Someone forgets to record the transaction, it doesn't get keyed into the back-end system, incorrect product codes get logged, etc. it really can be a minefield, its tedious repetitive work and prone to errors and mistakes. An automated WMS takes this in its stride using handheld scanning terminals, barcode verfication and real time software. You'll always know what you have and where it is. You will also be able to achieve these improvements with less staff.

Efficiency - Your business may be fantastic at Marketing and have great products and therefore high demand and an overflowing order book, which is a great place to be. Now, can you get all these orders out of the door to your customers, without having an over-stocked warehouse and a mulititude of expensive staff? This is where a WMS system comes into its own, with system guided processes based on smart software rules, scan to verify, multiple picking methods, packing strategies and integration with carriers systems. Its what we would call "joined up warehousing".

Productivity – The key to increased efficiency is inextricably linked to productivity. This means driving and loading the workforce using the WMS software. You can allocate the work across the warehouse staff to balance the load, as in pick tasks etc. You can then monitor the progress of the days work "live" and also identify and measure worker performance. In short, you have a handle on every aspect of your warehouse operation driving up productivity, reducing errors and by default improving customer service.

In a warehouse environment, there will be mistakes, nothing is perfect, but to reduce those mistakes and improve productivity, more businesses are investing in warehouse management solutions. With streamlined processes, you have more visibility, increased efficiency and productivity across your business.

Is your warehouse "streamlined" or "flatlined"?

We've implemented many successful systems across many industry sectors over the years - Give us a call to discuss your warehouse management project.

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