How the right Warehouse Management System Software (WMS) can take your business to the next level
- industry Highlights
- 5 years ago
For businesses that highly involve activities such as freight forwarding and logistics, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) definitely are among the most challenging if not the most difficult supply chain software applications to deploy.
Companies that are often new to WMS mostly take for granted that big and established companies and their broad mass of users and stakeholders really have a decent understanding of what WMS is, how it works, drives value, etc. Sadly, that is rarely the case.
Some of the challenges when deploying a decent WMS include:
- Linking the physical world of the distribution center with the logical world of a business application – it is most probably unmatched in any other area of supply chain software. Physical world is probably highly dynamic and putting together everything in the business chain isn’t easy.
- WMS often must manage all the unique ways that different customer orders must be handled, from labeling to pallet building. For companies that have dozens or hundreds of customers, this simply adds a lot of options and handling complexity.
- Multi-user complexity – which party does what from a software perspective, how materials are handled and how me manage tightly synchronization in design and programming from two or more different providers.
What does a well-designed WMS do?
In short, it integrates computer systems, material handling equipment, storage equipment, and people into one cohesive working system. Effective warehouse management involves a lot more than simply knowing where and what material has been stored. In fact, choosing the right WMS for your operation can have profound effects on your business and deliver important benefits.
- Optimized Processes
The right WMS will give a chance to optimize your processes to suit your business and the types of materials you manage. If we focus on the many ways how we can pick materials, the correct WMS can allow you to finish the job in a number of ways. Additionally, WMS should accept a variety of input methods, including bar codes, RFID or smart scales and equipment automation.
- Staff levels & efficient Labor Allocation
Warehouse labor costs can be extremely high when there is a large throughput of items. Implementing a good WMS can reduce time and staffing levels. Depending on the size of your facility distribute picking and put away tasks can be managed differently for maximum efficiency. A good WMS will help you make the best use of your available resources without waste of effort.
- Ease of use – go mobile
Imagine if your WMS also goes mobile – you will eventually will become more independent from the people supporting the whole software system. A proper mobile solution guarantees real-time action, offering also a remote control of the mobile devices. This allows users to see what is happening instantly and prevent a situation where the user tries to explain an error that happened hours ago.
- Minimize errors
Mobile support means lower delivery lead times and order accuracy errors. Perfect orders = happier and satisfied customers. Mobile WMS can help improve relationships with all parties in your demand and supply chain – suppliers are happier when they can make deliveries without having to wait for a dock or for someone to accept the delivery
- Better security
When you have a secured WMS system where staff mark off transactions using their own user account, you secure a perfect history, easy audit trail and reduced pilferage, leaks and coaching opportunities. And if you go mobile with your WMS, you can manage permissions and provide control of the whole action – all this combined leads to a better end customer support.
Implementing WMS can be a smooth process that ends in success without drama, frustration and losses. And also after the deployment you should be able to rely on your WMS vendor support and updates for new functionalities when needed. But beware if you are considering it – the whole process requires 100% commitment from start to finish. It requires preplanning, realistic expectations, plenty of tests, and lots of training. If those elements are in place, you’ll win half the battle before it starts.
Learn more about our mobile SAP Warehouse solution that take your business to the next level.