I am astonished on a weekly basis by the number of businesses I encounter that are still managing their warehouse operation with paper and pencil. In most of these companies I see well thought out processes to handle the many functions and activities in the warehouse. And while these processes do work and the products manage to get out the door, they are holding back the business from making higher profits. Why? Because they are extremely inefficient and inefficiency robs the company of hard earned revenue.
For companies that are in warehousing, distribution or manufacturing it is time to retire the pencil and paper and move into the 21st century. Today, with profit margins being razor thin and customers looking for the very best prices and added services you need to be as efficient and productive as possible. Your warehouse has to be profitable. No longer can you subscribe to the notion that if the products get shipped out then all is well. It is time to automate as many processes as possible.
Its starts with barcoding and with automating the receiving, put-away, replenishment picking and shipping functions by moving to an electronic warehouse management system. WMS solutions are no longer just for the big guns in the 3PL, wholesale distribution or manufacturing business segments. It is time for small and mid sized companies to adopt this technology. Frankly your customers demand it. It is my opinion (backed up by a plethora of industry statistics from the Aberdeen Group, Gartner and Supply Chain Management to name a few) that those that do not step up their game will be left behind. They will wonder where their customers have gone and why they are losing money.
I said earlier it starts with the barcode because the essence of a WMS is tracking very item in the warehouse and every task performed by scanning the barcode that is on nearly every product produced today. And should you actually have products without a barcode you can create one. In your warehouse you add barcodes to every storage location where product could be stored. The combination of scanning the product and the location of that product begins to create an efficiency and accuracy not possible in a paper and pencil, manually operated warehouse.
So take those well thought out processes mentioned earlier that you have been operating with and automate them through the use of a warehouse management system that best fits your companies needs and watch your profits rise. Small percentage gains in efficiency, accuracy and productive will add up to a significant return on investment.
To read more on optimizing ROI in the warehouse click here.
To Read a recent case study on how one company has improved their operation through the use of a WMS solution click here
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