The most common reason for the lack of visibility is continuing to employ paper-based systems at a time when warehousing is rapidly transitioning to electronics. Utilising warehouse inventory management software has never been simpler for businesses thanks to technological advancements.
To succeed in the cutthroat market of today, this software helps increase staff productivity, optimise efficiency, maximise capacity, and ultimately boost their bottom line.
Continue reading to discover more about how warehouse management software may increase the visibility of your inventory.
Software programmes called warehouse management systems were created to optimise warehouses and streamline operations. In summary, a warehouse management system (WMS) ensures that supplies and goods are moved most effectively and economically possible. There are several features you can expect from WMS, including the following:
- Warehouse layout
Unorganised warehouses waste space and make the pick-and-pack operation take longer. Numerous WMS platforms can assist in customising the picking logic and workflow to make sure that the warehouse is set up for efficient inventory allocation. Even bin slotting may be established by a WMS to maximise storage space while accounting for seasonal inventory requirements.
- Picking and Packing
A WMS can be used to optimise zone picking, wave picking, and batch picking. It may also provide warehouse workers with lot zoning and job interleaving functions to help them with their pick-and-pack operation.
- Receiving and storing
This technology, which is accessible on some WMS platforms, speeds up inventory put-away and retrieval by using pick-to-light (PTL) or pick-to-voice (PTV) technology.
PTL: At each fixed pick point, light displays are put in shelving units and storage racks. Pickers can see which order line to pick by lighting up the display units one at a time.
PTV: A computerised voice directs pickers to the correct area and instructs them on the quantity to be picked, as well as any other instructions, through a headset.
Which employees need to improve and which deserve a high-five? A WMS platform can track employee performance by employing key performance indicators (KPIs) that show who is performing above or below expectations.
- Inventory Counting and Tracking
Conducting frequent inventory counts to ensure merchandise is where it should be and in good shape is both time-consuming and costly! WMS software frequently enables employees to maintain count frequency by just pushing a key or scanning a barcode.The WMS then automatically tracks goods and inventory as they move around, saving up important time and lowering labour expenses.
- Product safety and security enhancement
Warehouses that suffer from compliance or safety issues should have a system in place that creates automatic reports regularly to ensure that everything is in order. Many WMS systems can do this, as well as flag possible difficulties with high-risk commodities (such as foods or pharmaceuticals) or high-value items (such as technology, which is susceptible to damage during transit).
- Scalability as Your Company Expands
Most firms want to expand, which necessitates the use of a WMS. Without one, as your company grows, warehouse and inventory management will become even more difficult.
Furthermore, you want a WMS that can develop with you, so it’s frequently a good idea to acquire one with all the bells and whistles right immediately, even if you don’t utilise all of the capabilities right away.
How WMS Aids in Visibility & Real-Time Tracking
- Monitor the Movements of Your Employees
Track, monitor, and analyse your warehouse efficiency to gain control. Track your warehouse personnel using GPS, beacons, or other sorts of trackers. This will allow not just for more discipline and cheaper labour costs, but also for data collection for warehouse work analysis. With a tracking solution, you can see if forklifts are driving or idle, and if they are driving at the permitted speed. Collecting and analysing forklift route statistics can provide considerable benefits by uncovering and removing potentially collision-hazardous regions, as well as discovering the most frequent destinations, putting them closer to packing or shipping areas, and therefore reducing wasteful runs of your order pickers. WMS software can also provide improved real-time and statistical tracking data visibility, allowing managers to make decisions at a look.
- Dynamic slotting
As we can see, dynamic slotting is one of the most sought-after features in warehouse management software development. Manufacturers and dealers commonly encounter seasonal swings in demand, and the ability to build and activate relevant seasonal slot maps makes a significant difference in allowing more frequently accessed products to be stored in a more convenient physical location.
- Track your equipment state
Consider using not only a GPS monitoring system to know where your forklift is, but also some other sensors to determine whether the forklift is loaded, how long it travels full or empty, and whether a crash occurred and assistance is required.
Geo-fencing improves warehouse operation safety and serves as an efficient anti-theft strategy. WMS users can create geofencing zones and receive alerts when equipment or assets with RFID tags leave or enter the zone. The system can also automatically initiate required business procedures when assets cross the geo-fencing region borders that have been established. The geo-fencing technology also allows forklift speed limitations to be established for different warehouse zones, such as narrower aisles and warn forklift drivers.
The greatest method to save money with warehouse management software is to automate daily management operations. WMS typically aids in daily planning, staff assignment to work orders, order picking (also known as wave picking), directing, progress monitoring, and performance analysis. However, the one task where automation makes a significant difference is picking. Barcode scanners and QR code scanners made storage bin or storage unit identification a breeze, but they have a significant drawback of taking up workers’ hands and impeding manual collection.
Implementing a mobile application for a hands-free device speeds up picking and lowers errors while enabling real-time inventory control.