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An Automated Warehouse Management System – Increases Business Productivity for the Distributor
By Enabliser George
Our Warehouse Management System (WMS) will control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse – you might even describe it as the legs at the end-of-the line which automates the store, traffic and shipping management.
Benefits of a Warehouse Management System include:
- Faster inventory turns - A WMS can reduce lead times by limiting inventory movement and improving the accuracy of inventory records, thereby supporting an IT environment. As a result, the need for safety stock is reduced, which increases inventory turnover and working capital utilisation.
- More efficient use of available warehouse space - In addition to reducing safety-stock requirements, a WMS can often increase available warehouse space by more efficiently locating items in relation to receiving, assembly, packing, and shipping points. This increased efficiency can both improve productivity and lower inventory holding costs significantly.
- Reduction in inventory paperwork - Implementation of a real time WMS can significantly reduce the paperwork traditionally associated with warehouse operations, as well as ensure timely and accurate flow of inventory and information. Receiving reports, pick tickets, move tickets, packing lists, etc., which are typically maintained as hard copies, can all be maintained electronically.
- Improved cycle counting - Companies can use WMS to capture relevant data (eg frequency of movement, specific locations, etc.) to systematically schedule personnel for cycle counts. Such cycle counts not only can improve the accuracy of inventory records for planning purposes, but also can eliminate or reduce the need for complete, costly physical inventories.
- Reduced dependency on warehouse personnel - Implementing a comprehensive WMS facilitates standardisation of inventory movements, picking methods, and inventory locations. This standardisation helps to minimise reliance on informal practices, resulting in reduced training costs and lower error rates.
- Enhanced customer service - By streamlining processes from order to delivery, companies can more accurately determine product availability and realistic delivery dates. A WMS can automatically identify and release back-ordered inventory and also can reduce returns as a result of increased shipment accuracy.
- Improved labour productivity - A WMS helps optimise material flow, typically by incorporating several inventory picks into one or by "cross docking". Cross docking is a process that routes incoming shipments to the location closest to the outbound shipping dock, thereby reducing warehouse handling.
To learn more about an integrated Warehouse Management Solutions or to talk to a WMS consultant, click here.