DC Growing Pains May Be Telling You Something

DC Growing Pains May Be Telling You Something

Few industries have seen quite as many disruptive changes as distribution and fulfillment (D&F) over the last five years. The days when most distribution centers (DCs) spent the majority of their time processing cases or pallets of products bound for brick-and-mortar stores are long gone. Today, you’re more likely to be dealing directly with consumers ordering individual items online. Satisfying their increasing expectations — not to mention aggressive service level agreements (SLAs) — is getting tougher by the day, thanks to a historically tight labor market.

The good news is your business is probably growing faster than ever — or could be if you were able to get some common warehouse challenges under control. Here’s a few that might be on your list:

  • Improving throughput rates
  • Reducing total shipping cost per unit
  • Better inventory accuracy
  • Real-time visibility of inventory locations
  • Responding to changing consumer buying trends
  • Scaling warehouse operations for peak shopping seasons
  • Automating warehouse processes

If any of these “wish list” items sound familiar, you’re not alone. We talk to D&F operations facing these challenges every day. Time and again, we’ve also seen one solution transform businesses like these, capable of unlocking their full potential for expansion.

Breaking Through Warehouse Bottlenecks

All of the issues listed above are signs that it’s time for more efficient warehouse processes. You may have already taken a step in that direction by implementing some kind of enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to help manage and integrate key parts of your business. In growing warehouse operations, however, gaps eventually will start to appear, which manual processes or ERP systems aren’t equipped to handle alone, such as scaling operations, adding automation, or business future-proofing.

When a DC reaches this stage, a warehouse management system (WMS) is the next logical — and critical — step. The advantages are significant, from increased picking efficiencies and inventory accuracy to improved customer service and satisfaction.

As you can imagine, these improvements quickly cover the cost of the software, often in as little as 18 months or less. In fact, once they’ve implemented WMS, many D&F operations tell us they can’t imagine how they functioned without it. And it’s not overstating the case to say that your future growth won’t be possible without it.

Is It Time for Your Business to Consider WMS?

On February 17 at 2 p.m. EST (11 a.m. PST), Honeywell Intelligrated will present an On The Move webinar exploring what your operation can achieve by implementing a WMS, and discuss why it’s crucial for your future expansion. Corinne Bertino, a supply chain software consultant with more than 20 years of experience, and Bob Carver, a supply chain technology expert with over 35 years of experience in the information technology and supply chain/logistics industries, will examine the indispensable role WMS plays in modern e-commerce and consumer interactions, and how it can remove many limitations that may be holding your business back.

Register today to learn if it’s time for your business to consider implementing a WMS, what it can do for you, and how to make sure you get the capabilities you need with fast return on investment (ROI).

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