I recently read a discussion board on LinkedIn that asked the question, what is your #1 problem in managing your warehouse? Answers I saw included;
- Aligning staff with work (labor management)
- Irregular inbound shipments & deliveries (receiving)
- Inventory mistakes (inventory management)
- Human errors (picking, put-away replenishment)
- Quality of workforce (employee accountability and productivity)
- Late and incomplete deliveries of products (shipping mistakes)
What I thought was most interesting about all the issues was these are the exact problems that a best in breed warehouse management system is designed to address and eliminate. The creation of a more efficient warehouse operation is the ultimate goal.
I have heard from many operations and warehouse managers that the fear they have is that all the processes that have been created to run their manual, paper driven warehouse will be tossed out when a WMS is introduced. This is not the case nor does a WMS just magically create processes for handling the work done in the warehouse. The goal in buying and implementing a WMS is to take the good processes already in place and make them more efficient, reshape the ones that are not as helpful and drop the ones that are causing profits to leak out of your operation.
If you compare the return that a WMS can give you against the investment you would make in purchasing and implementing a WMS solution you will see why successful, growing distribution companies are investing in this technology.
Read more on how a WMS operates inside a warehouse.