Inventory visibility is all about knowing the exact location of a product within the warehouse and also being able to track its movement when in transit. Time travel to a decade ago, predicting the total number of goods in stock was merely guesswork. Or, the manager would have to walk down the entire warehouse to manually count the same. In such a case, if a product went missing, tracking it was a tough task.
Imagine receiving a bulk order to be dispatched in two days and as you visit the warehouse to initiate the shipment, you find yourself out-of-stock. Neither can you manufacture them in such short notice, nor can you arrange for an alternative. In the end, it is you failing to keep up to your word, losing value and a high-ticket customer, right?
However, this is one thing, which you wouldn’t want to happen. In a time when customer experience is more important than ever, it is important to have a system that can keep tabs on the product and keep the system moving without any hassle. Yes, we are talking about the warehouse management system.
Warehouse Management System: Optimizing End to End Operations
Designed specifically to meet the needs of inventory and supply chain management, Warehouse Automation System is one that provides end to end clarity in everything that takes place within the warehouse.
From which product has been added to the stock status, tracking a shipment, and automating in-house operations, a warehouse management system entails all. It keeps an eye on every activity that takes place right from the distribution center to the store shelf, offering transparency and real-time visibility.
- The warehouse inventory market is projected delivery to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% within 2017-2025.
- The global market value of warehouse inventory software is expected to rise to $4.6B by 2025.
- There has been increased adoption of WMS by manufacturing companies and organizations across the globe.
Ways by Which Warehouse Management System Benefits the Supply Chain Industry
- Improved Labor Management: Eliminates Errors
Warehouse Management Systems are smart software that keeps track of all in-house activities. They access all kinds of data to assess the skills of each labor and then come up with reports suggesting which labor is most efficient for a particular job. The system has the ability to assign the right task to the right labor, optimizing the operational time, and reducing the possibility of errors.
The system uses labor forecasting to assign jobs and even schedule their tasks at the most appropriate time. KPIs are also used to assess the demand for labor, ensuring that the right size of labor is employed to complete a task in time. All of these streamlines’ operations increase warehouse productivity.
- Optimizes Space: Reducing Operational Cost
Optimizing the floor space is another fascinating feature of a warehouse management system. A WMS has a separate module that analysis the floor space and indicates the total space needed to accommodate the given set of products. In addition to this, the system also generates reports highlighting ways in which the given space can be used at its best, reducing wastage.
Taking into account the ideal location to store a product, organizations have been successful in reducing their operational cost. What’s more intriguing is the ability to facilitate material rotation of the products based on FIFO, LIFO, and FEFO practices. Put simply, the warehouse management system introduces end to end visibility and flexibility within the warehouse, enabling optimal management of space.
- Inventory Visibility: Real-time Tracking
The implementation of handheld scanners and RFID tags has made real-time tracking a reality. This gives the supply chain managers a real-time view of the products that are in stock and the ones that are soon to run out of circulation so as to update the orders and keep their inventory levels up to date. When a supplier is well aware of the stock levels and can estimate the requirements, they can make prompt decisions to avoid backorders.
An added benefit of real-time tracking is the transparency provided and the visibility offered. Products embedded with RFID tags can easily be traced, reducing the possibility of the same being misplaced or lost. The WMS works in conjunction with third-party software such as ERP and CRM to predict demand, and take decisions to keep their supply chain operations afloat.
- Optimized Supply Chain: Quicker Delivery
Delayed delivery is one of the most dreaded experiences in the supply chain industry. Neither the supplier nor the customer prefers to receive product days later than the anticipated date. Having a warehouse management system in place ensures that everything is top-notch.
The manager knows the exact location of the product, the laborers are aware of their task, products have tags for real-time tracking and there is a swift transfer of a message from one end to another. When operations and streamlined and everything works to the best of their capabilities, outbound deliveries are no longer delayed. The entire organization works in a systematic manner, ensuring on-time delivery.
Warehouse Management Systems aren’t just automated software that aligns warehouse activities but a wholesome solution that works in tandem with the supply chain managers to alleviate errors while maximizing productivity. In a time where customer demands are rising and fluctuating, the supply chain industry needs to adapt to the same, and employing a warehouse management system is the best place to start.