Top 5 Reasons to Employ a WMS

Companies running their supply chain with a pen & paper or a spreadsheet system can unknowingly harm their company’s productivity, fulfillment accuracy and bottom line. Lost customer loyalty, stock inadequacies and labor inefficiencies lead to a harmful brand stigma that once in place, is hard to shake.

Here are my top 5 reasons to put the pen and paper down and transform your operations with a top-level WMS.

Trust your forecasts and trends – Running your business on “gut instinct” will eventually fail you. While there is something to be said to having a feel for the business, important business decisions require solid data collected in real-time. Analysis of this data results in a concrete predictor of future needs and orders. With a pen & paper or spreadsheet operation data needs to be recorded, normally a few times a day, and often results in holes and gaps due to a loss of recording sheets or the information was not measured or entered. With a Tier 1 WMS solution you get instant access to real time data presented visually in dashboards or in different types of charts. Custom reports for your business and metrics are available at the push of a button allowing you to make informed real-time and long-term decisions.

Secure your customer – The saying goes, “You don’t gain a customer’s loyalty with the first order, you gain it with the fourth and fifth one.” It’s true, many companies don’t realize the harm they do to their brand when they fail to meet customer expectations. Late deliveries, incorrect orders or worse, poor communication, are the top reasons online shoppers take their business to other websites. A WMS confirms there is enough stock for orders, enables more productive and accurate picking and labeling. This ensures you delight and keep your customers.

Reduce your labor – Over the past ten years, the finding and retaining of labor has been the top concern of business leaders in the supply chain industry. I have been in meetings with business leaders who have expressed frustration on the inability to keep employees from job hopping. A WMS can help by streamlining picking methods making them more productive and accurate, but more importantly, it eliminates frustration by taking the guess work out of daily tasks and creates an organized and confident staff. By employing picking methodologies like pick to box, employees walk less but get more done. The result is a decrease in labor needs and the retention of employees all while your business grows.

Inventory control – Prior to implementing a Tier 1 WMS, a client told me he constantly worried that if a few key warehouse staff members called off, they would need to send out “search parties” to find products for shipping. A WMS eliminates this issue by implementing a systematic, repeatable system that fully tracks putaway, picking and shipping requirements. A WMS allows operations to know exactly what they have and in what quantities. It also helps companies strategically store fast and slow-moving products. Another advantage using a Tier 1 WMS is inventory cycle counting, this all but eliminates the need for the dreaded end-of-year inventory shutdown.

Peace of Mind – As a manager of a supply chain there is always an abundance of challenges that need to be addressed due to changing business, political and cultural landscapes. Running an efficient warehouse operation with an effective WMS helps take the stress out of your operations. When issues do arise, the WMS can pinpoint the problem, leading to a quick solution. Managing the supply chain becomes more of a practice of maintenance and adjustments to the demands of the business. In other words, you run your operations, instead of it running you.

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