Why WMS Is Crucial for Your Future Expansion
Corinne Bertino, Bob Carver
February 24, 2022
If your operation is still relying on manual processes to manage inventory, or tracking it solely within an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, you’re probably limiting your potential for growth. And while today’s highly competitive market is driving unprecedented pressures to perform, it also offers significant opportunities — if you have the infrastructure to handle them.
A recent On The Move webinar explored the power of warehouse management system (WMS) software. In addition to exploring its features and benefits, this presentation examined why WMS is an essential component to any distribution and fulfillment (D&F) operation that hopes to expand beyond a certain level in today’s omnichannel marketplace.
What Is WMS? (And Why Do You Need It?)
At its most basic level, WMS essentially has four benefits:
- It provides full inventory visibility and significantly increases accuracy.
- You get inventory data in real time, by location, all the way down to the granular level — not an hour or even 15 minutes later, when it might already be out of date.
- Throughput rates are improved by better orchestration of workflows throughout the entire facility, maximizing your labor and the use of picking and put-away devices and material handling equipment (MHE).
- You’ll save time and money by automating critical tasks throughout your facility.
In addition to these day-to-day operational benefits, fewer mis-picks, the ability to track delivery progress and more accurate orders increase your customers’ satisfaction. Not only will you have happier customers (which is a benefit in itself), your team will also spend less time handling customer service inquiries.
When Should You Consider WMS?
Although there are many factors that could justify the need for WMS, they all boil down to one consideration. If a lack of systemization is preventing your operation from growing, it’s probably time. Common roadblocks include:
- Manual processes and/or ERP are no longer enough
- Limited ability to scale
- You see obvious growth opportunities, but can’t take advantage of them
- Your current systems are overwhelmed
- Included ERP modules require investment to implement and don’t fully address the challenges
The Role of E-commerce
E-commerce is a critical consideration when you begin thinking about WMS. After all, e-commerce orders aren’t just a growing part of your business; they’ve brought disruptive changes to our entire industry. Today you have to deal with fulfilling more individual items, faster turnaround times, more aggressive service level requirements and agreements (SLRs and SLAs), exploding SKU proliferation, and a whole lot more.
WMS provides the capabilities you need to meet these demanding requirements and fulfill e-commerce on time, delivering accurate inventory and full visibility while maintaining customer satisfaction.
Where to Learn More
If you weren’t able to attend the live webinar, you can still access a full recording online for more details about how WMS can help you to overcome your current limitations and unlock your full potential. You’ll also get expert recommendations about what to look for in a WMS to ensure that you don’t overpay for capabilities you don’t need while future-proofing your system to enable growth and stay nimble in changing market conditions. “Why WMS Is Crucial for Your Future Expansion” is available on-demand.
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