Why Not WMS?
Why wouldn't you add warehouse management software to your existing ERP solution? Yes, there's an upfront cost of implementation, including software, hardware and other costs like consulting and planning. Do these costs translate to savings? Of course they do. Do the costs outweigh the benefits? In general, they do not. So, why not WMS?
The argument can be made that there's no need for software to handle the warehouse. After all, the folks who do the picking have all that under control. Well, except when that one guy is on vacation, but aside from that …?
And, then, the discussion covers the fact that there aren't any new products being added to the warehouse. Oh, except for those inbound containers from the new offshore supplier … and the newly designed goods that start into production next week.
What about the integration for purchasing and payables? Sure, the PO receipts are easy to update. Just click "Receive All" and post. Oh, wait, all the goods didn't come in, there's one line that didn't ship. Don't forget about that one item that the receiving guy said came in damaged so that half of the goods needed to be sent back.
Order fulfillment? Anyone can fill an order, it's easy. Just take the piece of paper from Accpac and go down the aisles. Even the new people that we hired last month are starting to get the hang of the process; another week or two and they should be able to pick orders by themselves.
Does any part of this sound familiar? Warehouse automation, while prevalent (recent studies show that 53% of businesses use WMS software), is still not as widespread in smaller organizations. Yet, as business owners struggle to increase business volume and profits, one overlooked area is warehouse automation.
In the past year, our organization has helped businesses implement warehouse management software, integrate EDI between the warehouse and Accpac, and also linked up tracking data from shipments to provide better information to users and customers.
Warehouses, as small as 10,000 square feet in size, have implemented and reaped benefits from warehouse management software. From simple to sophisticated needs, there are ways to accomplish better efficiencies all along the supply chain.
The newest versions of warehouse management software include enhanced reporting, which in turn provides better visibility into labor statistics and order fulfillment.
What about lot or serial number tracking? From the moment the stock comes in the door until it leaves on a truck, movement of goods can be tracked and traced throughout the warehouse. More importantly, this information can be available in the event of a product recall, something that's been in the news all too often.
New tools provide better picking path directions, better stock layout and better ways to keep things moving smoothly. For example, most business owners can name their top 10 products but are those the fastest moving products in the warehouse? Aside from cross-docked or drop-shipped products, the pickers need to be able to get to the fastest moving goods easier than the products that only move on a seasonal basis. Warehouse management software can help highlight the fastest moving goods so that pick locations can be updated appropriately.
Is it time? Call our offices to start your warehouse automation process today so you're ready before the holidays or at the start of the new year!
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