Are all WMS the same? Which one will fit your business requirements and provide significant cost savings?
People are under the misapprehension that every warehouse management system (WMS) is the same, but nothing could be further from the truth. Effective warehouse management is more complicated than just knowing where your stock is and how much you have. The right cloud WMS system could save you time, numerous cost savings and ultimately increases your customers’ satisfaction. On the other hand, the wrong WMS can actually damage your customer service and reputation while dragging down productivity, as it drives up costs.
Warehouse Management Systems in the Cloud are becoming increasingly popular
It seems like everybody is using a WMS of some sorts these days. From embedded WMS “modules” included as part of an ERP solution, cloud solutions, to best of breed bolt-on WMS systems. Make sure the WMS solution you choose is able to scale with a company’s growth and adapt to meet future requirements. Otherwise, it’s not a long-term WMS solution.
What are the key benefits your company can profit from?
The correct WMS will allow you to optimise your processes to suit your business and the types of materials you manage. There are many ways to pick your stock and in different rotations, the correct WMS will allow you to pick using a variety of algorithms, including wave, zone, and batch picking.
With the right WMS, you and your team will be able to reduce customer complaints to a minimum, resulting in cost savings and minimal stress. This will help your team to focus on improving the rest of the business and they will become more productive and a lot happier. In addition, make sure the WMS accepts a variety of input methods, including bar codes, RFID or smart scales and equipment automation.
Effective Staff Allocation
Depending on the size of your facility and any special material handling requirements, it may make sense to distribute picking and put away tasks differently or interleave them for maximum efficiency.
The pick/pack/put away combinations in most warehouses are endless, and a good WMS will help you to make the best use of your available resources without wasting effort.
High levels of forecasted growth or peak seasons usually mean more people being employed and trained. Are you spending hours training new staff for these peak times? With technology to automate the key processes and improve efficiency, you will be able to achieve your objectives without the need to increase headcount significantly and reduce time on training, resulting in further cost savings.
Improved Supplier and Customer Relationships
An efficiently run warehouse helps to reduce delivery lead times and order accuracy errors. Perfect orders mean happier customers. Suppliers are happier too when they can make deliveries without long waits for a dock or someone to accept the delivery. The correct WMS can help improve relationships with all parties in your demand and supply chain.
Reduced Operational Expenses
By ensuring perishable or expiring inventory is picked first, a good WMS can help reduce waste and make substancial cost savings. Efficient use of space and labour also reduces waste; and a WMS can calculate the optimum location for each item to ensure that the use of space is balanced against the pick and put-a-way effort.
Improve efficiency and make your budget go further with a cloud WMS solution
Better Demand Planning
When you ship perfect orders, your demand history is not cluttered with repeat shipments or replacement materials for incorrectly shipped items, helping to ensure that your demand history is clean. The correct WMS not only improves your perfect order rate, it can use the history to predict future demand using a “best fit” algorithm to calculate demand.
Better Inventory Allocation
Optimising facility layout is a good first step to reducing costs in your warehouse. Whether your facility is 3,000 square feet or 300,000 square feet there is room for improvement. Analysing inventory flow through rate can help your operation to identify fast moving items and which items should live in areas that can be replenished and picked easily. Identifying these items can help to optimise inventory location priority.
Optimise storage space, increase pick efficiency and achieve near total despatch accuracy with the right WMS
Ensuring inventory is stored in the proper environment and used in the best order helps to minimise scrap, waste, and obsolescence. Improved record accuracy allows you to minimise safety stock, on hand quantities and lot sizes so you can achieve the efficiency and cost savings of a JIT strategy.
A good WMS system requires workers to enter transactions using their own user account. The result is an audit trail that ties transactions to the specific worker, which helps to reduce pilferage and other forms of shrinkage and provide opportunities for coaching.
A WMS helps provide structure in the workplace, and through our research, we learned that this structure boosts employee morale. When an employee knows exactly what they are supposed to be doing, they are more fulfilled by their work. They respond well to the efficient processes, increased accuracy, and situational autonomy provided by a WMS.
Statistics compiled found that companies with happy workers outperform their competitors by 20%.
You will be able to track and plan everything your business does, including employee performance. You will be able to see who is performing well and where improvements could be made. This will allow you to delegate the right responsibilities to the right people, making your workflow and workforce operate much more smoothly.
Report on warehouse performance, perform year-on-year comparisons, and gain better insights into how your employees are coping as your business scales.
Transparency and Visibility
Providing visibility into inventory usage and on hand balances helps suppliers plan their own production, reducing lead times and costs of excess inventory. Additionally, this visibility allows customer service staff immediate access to real-time data enabling better end customer support.
You should be able to rely on your WMS vendor to keep abreast of trends in the industry and to support new ideas with a continuous stream of new functionality that helps you to reduce costs, improve operations, and optimise processes with each new release.
A modern cloud based system can offer the functionality to a business that needs a solution without big upfront costs and long timescales. With effective handling procedures and advanced multi-location control, you’ll know how much stock you have and where to find it. You’ll be able to optimise storage space, increase pick efficiency and achieve near total despatch accuracy. A product that’s intuitive and easy to learn will need minimal time to commission, but once up and running it will deliver benefits which transform the efficiency of your business.
Before selecting a WMS, make sure that the system you are considering has the right capabilities and fits your business model and culture to provide you with all of these benefits and cost savings.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.