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
From order entry to fulfillment, Accellos One Warehouse works together with your ERP system to provide the end-to-end solution for the materials handling management and real-time inventory visibility throughout the enterprise. Accellos One integrates with many popular ERP systems including the Microsoft Dynamics Suite of ERP Systems. The following highlights a high-level process flow, derived from a subset of available functionality within Accellos One Warehouse focusing on Picking:
The Accellos One Warehouse picking process needs to remain flexible to accommodate widely differing environments. No two warehouse operations are exactly the same. Warehouses come in different shapes and sizes. Some are “wide open” in a square shaped space. Others are contained in buildings on multiple floors, utilizing elevators to transport materials. Warehouses will have varying ceiling heights. Some might have yard space.
Materials handling will differ by product shape and size. As a result, the warehouse racking infrastructure will vary by product size. Many warehouses keep large products in bulk stacks or pallet racks. While with small products, picking efficiency may be increased by storing smaller products in flow racking or static shelving.
Product velocity and order types also affect warehouse layout and consequently the picking strategies. Companies that ship single-sku pallets of product to customers will have significantly different warehouse operations than ones that ship trailer loads of mixed-sku pallets (grocery is a good example of this).
Even subtle differences in customer requirements for consumer products wholesalers will have substantial effects on the materials handling and picking. Operations that ship to retail distribution centers will have different fulfillment requirements than those that ship directly to stores.
Accellos One Warehouse has an abundance of picking styles that will accommodate a warehouse manager’s fulfillment strategy independent of warehouse layout, product size, velocity and order characteristics.
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