You’ve heard about automation and digitization – they are buzzwords that have been making the rounds for quite some time but if you think they belong exclusively to large corporations with gargantuan IT infrastructures, you and your warehouse(s) are falling behind the times.
80% of shoppers point at shipping and speed as being key factors in the choice they make when it comes to WHERE they purchase items from.
44% of consumers use speed of delivery as motivation for repurchasing from a certain online store.
This means that implementing the right warehouse management system (yes, one based on those two pillars of automation and digitization), gives your business the competitive edge, ensuring your customers trust your services and always return for the same level of excellent service.
So, what exactly are the benefits of this warehouse management system – how does it help you and your team save time and space, while increasing profits and improving company reputation?
1. A warehouse management system sees all and knows all
Can you be everywhere all the time?
No, but your warehouse management system can and is by offering you a 360-degree view of both space and team organization and full control over all operations. This includes actual product placement and inventory, allocation of human resources and equipment, stock intake/picking/packing and order shipping, and tracking of every single item both on-premise and in transit to being delivered.
Is a product running low? The WMS notices it’s reaching a predetermined threshold and automatically orders a resupply before the stock becomes critical and incoming orders cannot be fulfilled.
How many items from a certain batch are there in the warehouse? Where is one particular product located? Is an item on the shelf, in transit, or already delivered? What are the bestselling items and what is the impact of the time of year of sale trends?
A warehouse management system provides instant access to all this information and so much more based on your business objective. It allows you to view all relevant statistics and KPIs in order to make the best decisions for your company. All you need is a device connected to the Internet (from a desktop to a smartphone and you’re in the know at all times!) and you have total control over everything in your warehouse.
2. A warehouse management system is great at arranging
Imagine seeing the FULL potential of your available space… rows upon rows of shelves waiting to be stocked to the rafters… how can you ever take advantage of every single inch?
Remember that a warehouse management system sees all? So it has the best vantage point to provide you with the best solution for instant access to products while allowing for enough room for your staff to physically go about their daily tasks.
Using the data it gathers as part of regular operations (intake, delivery, supply, etc.) the WMS creates a plan that allows for easy picking, packing and shipping of orders:
- 80% of commerce revenue comes from 20% of products so the WMS knows to select bestselling products to be stored closer to the packing stations.
- Product bundles based on items frequently sold together means these products can be stored together for fast picking by your team.
- Seasonal shifts mean certain items need to be moved to the far-reaching corners of the warehouse – this can be done before it becomes a hindrance as WMS carefully monitors buyer trends and lets you know when it’s time to swap the flip-flops for boots.
3. A warehouse management system is a warm 3-step welcome
New stock is always great but every single item needs to be properly logged and then taken to its designated spot – ideally as quickly as possible so it can be sold and sent to its eager customer. This speed is the cause for most intake errors: slipping through the cracks created by human errors, products are logged incorrectly and sometimes not at all and lead to unpleasantness when they surprisingly resurface months later.
The WMS eliminates this issue by streamlining the intake process to just three steps:
- Your team members use a mobile scanner to scan either the product or purchase order
- The information is immediately sent to your warehouse inventory and the products become available for sale
- The products are put away in the warehouse
4. A warehouse management system walks more than a mile in your shoes
If your warehouse is well managed, then fulfilling orders should be akin to a walk in the park for your team. They know WHAT they need and WHERE to get it from. But if this was the case, why do workers assign 60% of their time to the physical action of walking around the warehouse in search of their targeted products?
With individual access to the central management system, no one has to go on long walkabouts around the facility. A simple click is all it takes for pinpoint accuracy when it comes to product location.
Is your team member already at the product location but is not sure if it’s the right item? A simple scan with their mobile terminal will give them all the information they need (for example, availability of said item so there are no pickups of items that have already been assigned to a different team member).
Regardless of the size of your warehouse, business, and workload, the warehouse management system carefully monitors all employee actions on the floor of the warehouse and generates objective reports that highlight where efficiency can be increased either by assigning certain areas to certain team members who seem to be accessing them more frequently or by signaling for a need to organize certain products closer together based on sales reports.
5. A warehouse management system just makes things easier
Oversee operations, reduce human errors, and automate processes? By using automation and digitization for your business, WMS helps you cut down on logistic costs, improve customer satisfaction, streamline employee actions, and foster an environment based on efficiency and realistic planning.
And in a world where everything can change in the blink of an eye, wouldn’t it be nice to have a foundation that can adapt faster than said blink?