As a distributor, one of the key areas in your business is your warehouse. You may have a single warehouse or you may have multiple warehouses. In either case, an effective warehouse management system equates to lower costs for your company and premium service for your customers.
What is warehouse management? Simply put, warehouse management is the act of organizing and controlling everything within your warehouse, or warehouses, and making sure it all runs in the most optimal way possible.
In short, an effective warehouse management system will lead to better efficiency in your warehouse, fewer shipping errors, and space savings.
Better Efficiency in Your Warehouse
Whether you have a large or small warehouse, you need to have your warehouse designed so your staff can pick orders efficiently. You have orders to fill with many line items on them. This can lead to your warehouse staff spending much time moving around the warehouse to fill the orders. In an article by Amware Fulfillment, “walking can compromise as much as 50% of the picking process, and up to half of your warehousing labor cost.”
The software should create a pick ticket that follows the layout of your warehouse. If this happens, your warehouse staff will move through the warehouse more efficiently. An efficient warehouse management system should be able to manage bins throughout the warehouse, or at multiple warehouses. By doing this, your warehouse staff will have a natural progression through the warehouse, effectively saving time for your staff.
In addition to having the pick ticket created by bin location, another way to make your warehouse more efficient is to choose a picking method that works best for your warehouse. DistributionPlus warehouse management offers batch, zone, and wave picking methods.
Less Shipping Errors
A good warehouse management system should have a proper validation system. A proper validation system ensures that the correct items and quantities are being shipped to your customers. Too many incorrect shipments can be a profit killer. It is costly to process returns and re-ship the corrected orders.
When companies are looking for a warehouse management system, order validation is an area that is often overlooked. Make sure that your warehouse management system has the means to check your orders. This will ensure that all items and quantities ready to be shipped match up with the items on the sales order.
Another way to decrease shipping errors in the warehouse is with scanning devices. Barcode scanners in the warehouse environment prevents mis-keying of numbers, resulting in greatly reduced errors. Use scanners in picking orders, and secondly, use scanners in putting away inventory to make sure that your staff is putting inventory in the correct area.
Warehouse Space Savings
A warehouse management system will help you save space in your warehouse. Without a warehouse management system, you are not optimizing your warehouse space. As a result, your inventory could be too spread out in your warehouse. Preventing this from happening will allow you to have more space in your warehouse for other inventory.
With the right tools in place, warehouse management is not difficult. Contact us to find out how we can help you with warehouse management.