Warehouse Management System Blog

Cloud Warehouse Systems ROI Considerations

There’s an evolution taking place in the IT industry: the continuous and steady progression from traditionally installed software to cloud technology. In the cloud computing model, the vendor provides Web-based access to applications as a service, through a subscription pricing model. The vendor takes responsibility for everything, including servers, storage, backups, system updates, applications, databases, and maintenance. This eliminates the need for customers to buy, deploy, and manage IT infrastructure, saving the customer large upfront deployment costs and ongoing maintenance headaches.

Warehouse Management System Technology is now available in the cloud delivery model from some providers, offering a lower cost, reduced risk option. When evaluating WMS providers, it is imperative for every business to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO)—including both direct and indirect costs—of the technology and labor associated with adopting WMS technology. The scrutiny of new technology projects has never been higher and building a business case to justify an investment in supply chain management technology has never been more crucial. While some see cloud as being simply the next level of technology, the shift towards cloud computing also has very tangible financial benefits.

More Technology for Less Cost:

For most businesses, infrastructure, development, and IT management are not core competencies or business differentiators. The anemic economy compels businesses to look even harder at their core competencies and costs. Ask yourself: can someone else do it for you more effectively and at less cost? Take, for example, the explosive growth of 3PL/logistics services providers, hired to take on tasks manufacturers and distributors used to do themselves, because the 3PL can perform the service more efficiently and at less cost than the company can itself.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO):

Performing system upgrades is one of the most dreaded IT tasks related to traditional WMS software. Did you know there are a large number of businesses out there that have had to cough up a million dollars just to upgrade their WMS? With WMS in the cloud, your vendor performs routine software maintenance for you, including scheduled upgrades and patches. Additionally, in traditional enterprise data centers; it is fairly common to experience capacity constraints or waste caused by spikes and troughs in demand throughout the year. You either need to wait while additional server hardware is ordered, shipped, and brought into operation—which can take months and cause lost business and unfulfilled orders—or you have excess capacity, meaning wasted space and expense. The cloud is elastic and scalable, so you can access more power when you need, and scale back during slower periods.

Removes the IT Requirement, and Empowers The Supply Chain Team:

In many companies as much as 70 percent of the typical IT budget is spent just on making sure the business remains operational— tasks such as keeping servers running and performing upgrades. In the best cloud models, IT staff can devote their time to improving the business, rather than trying to solve infrastructure issues and applying software patches. IT can move from being an interchangeable commodity to a differentiator, shifting from maintenance to innovation.

When an IT team knows they need to run the underlying infrastructure, they realize there will be an inherent expectation that the business will rely on them for broader application support. Using cloud applications forces businesses to think differently about who will truly be accountable for the software and its implementation. If it is determined that the business process owners should “own” the software, the business process owners should likewise be accountable for it.

In order to make good business decisions about information technology investments, the business process owner—not the IT department must make the decision about investment and commitment to information technology. Sound business decisions about using technology cannot be made if the business owner perceives to be getting the system “for free” from IT. Similarly, a decision to invest in IT should not be limited by lack of internal IT resources or IT project prioritization. If a technology project stands on its own business merit, there should be a mechanism to execute on that project. That means that IT is freed up, and the supply chain department:

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WMS in the Cloud: ROI Considerations:

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Intangible Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems

Warehouse Management Systems Benefits

We often talk about the tangible benefits of a warehouse management system and how it is fairly easy to measure the return on investment of these tangible benefits.  Many times we get caught up in the savings a company can realize by creating accurate inventories or efficient picking processes that we lose sight of some of the most important things a warehouse management system can deliver.  Here is a short list of intangible benefits as well:

  • More efficient use of lift trucks will preclude the need to purchase additional equipment.
  • Cycle count routines will be more accurate and less time consuming.
  • Improved customer service as a result of accurate, real-time data
  • Job enrichment for users.
  • A sense of value in improving operations.
  • Reduced floor space as a result of faster throughput.
  • Tighter purchasing procedures through more timely visibility of vendors incoming products
  • Automatic cross-docking for critical deliveries.
  • Real-time visibility of goods/materials received can eliminate “stock out” situations
  • Automatic order sequencing by shipping routes.
  • Eliminate error prone pick lists and paper trails.
  • Reduce or eliminate checking process during order packaging.
  • Increased sales due to ability to trust inventory
  • Better data can provide management with tools to improve and grow business

Each and every company will have a list that is specific to their business or industry.  The fact remains that these benefits, while harder to measure, will accelerate a company’s ROI when purchasing and implementing a warehouse management system.

Learn more about Warehouse Management Systems here.

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Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. a HighJump Warehouse Edge Partner in Pennsylvania.

Enterprise Systems to WMS Integration

ERP to WMS Integration

Warehouse Management Systems are becoming popular as supply chain logistics become ever more complicated along with increasing customer demands.  With an escalating volume of inventory movement, many organizations are turning to technology to streamline operations and meet these challenges. Seamless Enterprise Systems to WMS Integration can help your company reach its supply chain operational goals.

Advanced technology through Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) allow companies to respond to evolving market pressures and deliver on ever-shrinking time to delivery windows. These systems efficiently capture every scan, every movement of inventory and are designed to make both accuracies along with cost reduction a top priority.

Improving the speed and accuracy of the fulfillment process and reducing the cost of labor are the key issues that distribution and warehouse-related businesses face. Gaining control over these issues requires technology that optimizes the utilization of your people and your assets–more than an automated data collection system that simply extends the paper processes leveraged from within some ERP System. ERP systems typically have extensive financial and inventory control functionality, however, not enough capabilities when advanced warehouse demands are required.

HighJump Warehouse Edge was built to empower you to automate your warehouse using tools like conveyors, carousels, sophisticated picking algorithms, advance replenishment methods, and order allocation, delivered in a simple, intuitive solution that can be implemented quickly and efficiently-providing your company the advanced warehousing inventory control functionality you need.

Learn more about ERP Integration to WSM Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. A HighJump Partner in the United States.

Warehouse Management Automation Benefits

Warehouse Automation

Warehouse Management Systems are becoming more popular as supply chain logistics continue to develop with ever more complicated requirements that effect warehousing along with increasing customer demands.  With an expanding volume of inventory movement, many organizations are turning to technology to streamline operations and meet these challenges.

With advanced functionality through Warehouse Management Systems, WMS technology allows companies to respond to evolving market pressures and deliver on ever-shrinking time to delivery windows.

These system are designed to create highly efficient processes for handling inventory and picking orders that will eliminate the inefficiencies and mistake riddled processes that plague most manual-driven warehouses or absent warehousing functionality systems.

Another result of WMS technology is the ability to  enhance your customer satisfaction numbers and most likely help you attract new customers without adding to your workforce.

This post can give you some insight into how Better Warehouse Management Strategies through Automation are key to meeting the demands of a  modern business supply chain logistics  environment along with reaching your organizations goals.

Warehouse Management Automation Benefits:

Enhanced Productivity:

Utilize advanced functionality to increase inventory turns and provide detailed worker accountability, resulting in heightened productivity and maximized efficiency. Optimized warehouse processes reduce picking time and product touches by allowing you to seize cross-docking opportunities. It also minimizes travel paths with slotting/re-slotting functionality, optimizes picking execution with user-configured algorithms, and intelligently directs put-away to the appropriate bins based on product handling characteristics. Furthermore, our solutions virtually eliminate the need for non-value-added activities such as manual checking and shipment audits.

Achieve Up to 99%+ Inventory Accuracy:

Through robust cycle counting capabilities, real-time information confirmation and verification, our solution gives your employees and their managers immediate feedback on work accuracy. An accurate system ensures workers are not looking for missing inventory or overloading any given location. This also helps you avoid costly errors.

Boost On-Time and Complete Shipments:

The accurate order picking functionality “best-inbreed” WMS systems allows you to deliver complete orders on time. Increased fill rates and decreased cycle times enable you to avoid costly shipping delays and backorders that jeopardize valuable customer relationships. In addition, overall process efficiency decreases cycle time, resulting in more on-time shipments.

Warehouse Space Optimization:

HighJump Warehouse Edge provides directed stock rotation, intelligent picking directives, automatic consolidation, and cross- docking to maximize the use of valuable warehouse space. The system also directs and optimizes put-away based on accurate, real-time information about the status of bin utilization.

Reduce Shrinkage and Spoilage:

Better Warehouse Management Systems solution facilitates real-time monitoring and enforces FIFO (first-in, first out) rotation to reduce spoilage. In addition, high levels of worker accountability empower you to detect shrinkage problems

Exceed Customer Expectations:

Another benefit, sometimes intangible, is to empowered to consistently deliver on customer promises with the ability to reduce cycle times, stock-outs and backorders; improve order accuracy and on-time shipments; and offer unique services

Learn more about Warehouse Management Systems

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The Top 10 Benefits of Warehouse Management Technology

WMS Software

Your existing Business Management or Enterprise (ERP) system’s control of warehouse functionality could be somewhat limited or non existent. In order to achieve a greater control over the flow of inventory while optimizing your supply chain for efficiency, warehouse technology such as HighJump Warehouse Edge can help your company reach these goals. This post will briefly touch on 10 benefits to warehouse management technology.

HighJump Warehouse Edge (formerly AccellosOne WMS) achieves this level of ROI through order accuracy, on time shipping, minimizing inventory carry costs, and decreasing labor costs. Today’s warehouse managers are consistently finding that 2 to 5% improvement across various performance metrics can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in bottom-line returns to the business. Using HighJump WMS, you are able to eliminate manual order checking by automating processes to improve your picking and receiving functions, which allows you to process more orders at a much higher level of accuracy.

HighJump WMS integrates seamlessly with many popular accounting/order-entry packages, including Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP, NetSuite ERP Business Management Solutions and shipping systems to provide the warehousing link in your total supply chain solution.

HighJump Warehouse Management Systems WMS Benefits Include:

  1. Seamless integration: Over a dozen ERPs straight to your WMS and EDI solutions
  2. Order accuracy:  Achieve over 99%+ accuracy
  3. Outbound shipments: Volume increases 15%, double your orders per day
  4. Employee productivity: Improve productivity and keep personnel costs low
  5. Picking times & lines: reduce travel time 20% and triple number of lines picked
  6. Directed putaway: Replenishment accuracy over 99%
  7. Increased speed of warehouse operations
  8. Low TCO (total cost of ownership) Compared to Alternatives
  9. Built for Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB)
  10. ROI within 4-12 Months

Learn more about the benefits of Warehouse Management Systems here.

Request a free estimate on Warehouse Management Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, A HighJump Warehouse Edge partner in Pennsylvania

WMS Technology Benefits for SMB

WMS for SMB

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are designed to make the flow of inventory in a warehouse as efficient as possible.  This is accomplished through advanced technology in the areas of warehouse operations from picking, packing to shipping. The below WMS Technology Benefits for SMB can help streamline your supply chain, and dramatically improve the proper flow of inventory in your warehouse while meeting the needs of your customers.

Increased Accuracy:  Improving accuracy, efficiency, and compliance by just 2-5% can result in increased capacity and hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual savings. This can have a dramatic impact on profitability.

Advanced Technology:  Modular design with integration-friendly architecture makes it simple to upgrade or add new modules, meaning you only pay for what you need.

Improved Stock Management Capabilities:  Most functionality is provided out-of-box, resulting in minimal customization will in turn will help reduce implementation costs.  Stock Management Functionality includes:

  • Rule-based Picking
  • Rule-based Receiving
  • ASN Receiving
  • Inbound Container Building
  • Cartonization
  • Repackaging
  • Counting
  • Cycle Counting
  • Inspection
  • Adjustments
  • Stock Locator
  • Directed Putaway
  • Replenishment

Robust Inventory Management Capabilities:  Additional Warehouse functionality revolves around advanced inventory management such as:

  • Lots/Serial Tracking
  • Expiry Management
  • Order Allocation
  • Wave Planning
  • Order Management
  • Multi-Zone
  • Multi-Location
  • Multi-Company
  • License Plates
  • Kitting
  • Returns Management
  • Order Consolidation
  • Order Entry (Sales and Receipts)
  • Dashboard Analytics and Pivot Tables
  • Reporting

Complete Operations Visibility: Complete warehouse inventory visibility with dashboard analytics, pivot tables, and 75 pre-built warehouse KPIs (e.g. monitor workforce productivity and order cycle time). In addition, a “Web-Centric” design gives you the ability to allow internal and external users visibility into the status of warehouse operations and a “role-based” user-friendly interface that can be customized by the user for specific needs.

Fast ROI:  Warehouse Management Systems users can recognize a cost-savings quickly depending upon the warehouse and scope of operations.  However, a short implementation, in as little as 90 days, means a much faster return on investment with higher profits.

Learn more about the Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems

Posted by iCepts Technology Group a Warehouse Management System Vendor in the United States

 

WMS for Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP

WMS for NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a very mature, tested and proven ERP solution; known for its robust financial and inventory management capabilities. However, many organizations seek additional supply chain execution and trading partner integration functionality in order to achieve a more enhanced total end-to-end solution.  HighJump Warehouse Edge (formerly AccellosOne) is design to meet these complex warehouse challenges and have a tight integration with many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems including Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Learn why thousands of Microsoft Dynamics customers trust HighJump with their complex supply chain needs.

Scalability: HighJump Warehouse Edge is designed for small to mid-sized businesses, meaning it doesn’t require an army of IT staff to support. You are able to start with the functionality that you need now at a price that makes sense and scale for growth over time. Our seamlessly integrated modules and applications are available to you when you need them.

Advanced Warehouse Functionality for NAV: HighJump Warehouse is built on a web-centric platform with standard best-of-breed warehouse management features, as well as:

  • Dynamic Directed Putaway
  • Several Bar Code Supported Picking Styles such as; Wave, Cluster, Zone, Batch, and others.
  • Enhanced Container Management
  • Delivery and Load Building
  • Advanced Replenishment
  • Cartonization
  • Repackaging
  • Voice Picking
  • RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)
  • Integrated ASN Manager
  • Powerful Multi-Carrier Shipping
  • And More!

Microsoft Workflow Engine: We’ve incorporated Microsoft’s advanced workflow engine in the HighJump Platform. Workflow empowers you to customize the functionality of the WMS rather than writing code. Better results and easier upgrades.

Real Time Information: The new Advanced Event Engine provides powerful tools designed to leverage the system to deliver real-time information on behalf of your employees. The system can tap new orders, receipts, bills, or customers that meet user defined criteria and generate emails, text messages, workflows, database updates, or custom actions.

Enhanced Supply Chain Intelligence: HighJump Warhehouse Edge for Dynamics NAV delivers more powerful access to key performance indicators (KPIs) that can assist a business manager in more effectively making decisions within their business. New Pivot capabilities enable users virtually limitless ways to slice and dice information. The Win 8.1 tablet app mobilizes information wherever it is needed to illuminate trends and highlight outliers so that effective decision making becomes commonplace

Performance Reporting: HighJump WMS incorporates the powerful HighJump Report application to enhance the core reporting capability, deliver new Performance Reports, and allow for better user definable reporting extensions.

Download the HighJump Warehouse Management Systems WMS for Dynamics NAV Brochure.

Posted by iCepts Technology Group, Inc. A HighJump WMS Partner for Dynamics NAV ERP

Cloud Warehouse Management Systems Benefits

Cloud WMS

There’s an evolution taking place in the IT industry: the continuous and steady progression from traditionally installed software to cloud technology including Cloud Warehouse Management Systems. In the cloud computing model, the vendor provides Web-based access to applications as a service, through a subscription pricing model. The vendor takes responsibility for everything, including servers, storage, backups, system updates, applications, databases, and maintenance. This eliminates the need for customers to buy, deploy, and manage IT infrastructure, saving the customer large upfront deployment costs and ongoing maintenance headaches.

In recent years the shift of enterprise software to the cloud has intensified, driven by a perfect storm of dramatically lowered cost of storage, increased processor speed, elimination of the need for a software and hardware to be physically connected.

Warehouse Management System (WMS) Technology is now available in the cloud delivery model from some providers, offering a lower cost, reduced risk option. When evaluating WMS providers, it is imperative for every business to understand the total cost of ownership (TCO)—including both direct and indirect costs—of the technology and labor associated with adopting WMS technology. The scrutiny of new technology projects has never been higher, and building a business case to justify an investment in supply chain management technology has never been more crucial. While some see cloud as being simply the next level of technology, the shift towards cloud computing also has very tangible financial benefits.

More Technology for Less Cost:

For most businesses, infrastructure, development, and IT management are not core competencies or business differentiation. The anemic economy compels businesses to look even harder at their core competencies and costs. Ask yourself: can someone else do it for you more effectively and at less cost? Take, for example, the explosive growth of 3PL/logistics services providers, hired to take on tasks manufacturers and distributors used to do themselves, because the 3PL can perform the service more efficiently and at less cost than the company can itself.

Cloud allows you to switch from a fixed cost capital-intensive business model to a variable cost pay-as-you-go operating expense model. Eliminating the need to gain approval for a large, up-front capital investment to cover the cost of software makes stepping into a WMS easier for many companies, especially smaller operations with less cash on hand.

In typical enterprise data centers, large initial capital outlays also make ongoing upgrades in servers, operating systems, and database software prohibitively expensive. Over time these costs remain fixed, but so does performance. The economies of scale available with the cloud allow cloud providers to purchase and maintain large volumes of hardware storage at very low costs. In this way, the cloud enables costs to decrease and performance and functionality to increase steadily over time.

While a move away from capital expenses is undoubtedly attractive to most organizations, it is in the total cost of ownership analysis that the economic benefits of WMS in the cloud become clear.

Lower Total Cost of Ownership:

Performing system upgrades is one of the most dreaded IT tasks related to traditional WMS Software. Did you know there are a large number of businesses out there that have had to cough up a million dollars just to upgrade their WMS? With WMS in the cloud, your vendor performs routine software maintenance for you, including scheduled upgrades and patches.

Additionally, in traditional enterprise data centers; it is fairly common to experience capacity constraints or waste caused by spikes and troughs in demand throughout the year. You either need to wait while additional server hardware is ordered, shipped, and brought into operation—which can take months and cause lost business and unfulfilled orders—or you have excess capacity, meaning wasted space and expense. The cloud is elastic and scalable, so you can access more power when you need, and scale back during slower periods.

Learn more about Warehouse Management Systems and Technology

The Importance of Warehouse Inventory Accuracy

Warehouse Management Software,

As supply chains continue to get more automated to streamline inventory, through the use of technology and utilizing best practices in operations, accuracy naturally beings to improve.  However, not every warehouse is automated and for various reason, If the physical inventory “on the books” and the physical inventory in a warehouse do not match, the situation is often chaotic.  For example, when a picker goes to retrieve a part and it is not there (or not enough is there), a series of manual checks and back tracking must be completed to fix the problem and get the order out the door.   The importance of warehouse inventory accuracy cannot be underestimated when you consider that your inventory could be the largest asset to a company.  Inaccurate inventory record accuracy results in having wide impact on other system  and areas in warehousing including:

  • Poor buying practices and excess safety stock associated to buyers lack of confidence in record accuracy.
  • Delays in order fulfillment associated to lost or misplaced product.
  • Lost sales due to stock outs and over commitments.
  • Costs associated to placing and managing back orders.
  • Lower labor productivity associated to searching for lost product.
  • Potentially higher freight costs resulting from expediting shipments to customers.

These issues could result in excess inventory, which ties up capital and negatively impacts capacity. The results are higher costs, low productivity and bad customer service. The self-checking nature of  advanced warehousing technology such as Warehouse Management Systems or WMS, in addition to a good cycle counting program, ensures inventory accuracy of 99+%. This high level of inventory accuracy is the foundation for a majority of the other benefits realized in using a WMS.

Learn more about Benefits of Warehouse Management Systems

 

Benefits Gained from Warehouse Management Systems-WMS

Warehouse Scanner,

End-to-End Supply Chain Management Technology is becoming more common to have a unified method to fully optimize the follow of inventory in an organization.  A big contributor for optimization can be achieved through utilizing Warehouse Management Systems as part of this total supply chain solution.  Warehouse Management Systems, WMS, can seamless integrate with popular ERP technology to achieve this result.

HighJump Warehouse Edge (formerly AccellosOne) delivers a powerful, scalable and flexible real-time Warehouse Management System (WMS) for distributors.  HighJump WMS has the power to help your supply chain management objectives from the following benefits.

  1. Increase supply chain visibility:  HighJump Warehouse Systems integrates seamlessly with many popular accounting/order-entry packages and shipping systems to provide the warehouse link in a total supply chain solution. By integrating with leading accounting packages, warehouse automation equipment and shipping systems, you connect your warehouse to the rest of your supply chain. The seamless transfer of information between your systems means more efficient invoicing, order tracking and purchasing for your distribution operation.
  2. Streamline your warehouse processes:  By using the latest in Radio Frequency (RF), RFID and barcode technology to automate your warehouse processes, you can find, pick and pack inventory in the most efficient manner possible. This means that you will be shipping the right items, in the right cartons, to the right customers, on time, every time from your warehouse. Inventory accuracy is key.
  3. Improve your customer service:  By giving your customer service staff, sales team and even your customers a window into the warehouse using web-based warehouse management system technology, you allow them to track and trace the status of inventory and orders resulting in fewer customer calls and better managed sales expectations.
  4. Decrease Labor Cost:  Through Warehouse Automation , including a standard way of warehouse operations, you be sure that you are utilizing both technology and labor in the most efficient manner possible with the potential of enormous savings from a “paper driven” warehouse with little or no guidance for efficiency.
  5. Ensure Inventory Accuracy:  By selecting and upgrading  to an electronic Warehouse Management System from a “Paper-Driven” Warehouse, you can obtain an extremely high level of accuracy across along all warehouse processes and run your warehouse operations in the best manner possible.

Learn more about HighJump Warehouse Management Systems