Businesses of all types and sizes are leveraging online retail technology to offer their goods to customers all over the world. A winning e-commerce strategy can take your company to the next level, but first, you need to figure out how you’ll manage your inventory and customer service. This is where a warehouse management system (WMS) comes in. These tools give you everything you need to manage products, streamline processes, and save you money. Here’s what you need to know.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a type of software that is widely used in the manufacturing and retail industries because it tracks all materials and goods as they come in and go out of the warehouse. In basic terms, a WMS helps optimize all your warehouse processes.
Streamlines all the processes in the warehouse
It’s extremely important not only because it tracks all of the materials in your warehouse, but it can also create systems to streamline how workers pick products and pack orders. It provides you with the ability to track merchandise entering the warehouse, being packed onto shelves and into various places, and when it leaves the warehouse for order fulfillment.
Since the warehouse management system has all of the information at hand, when a customer sends an order, it will immediately be able to check if the products are available. Instead of a person manually cross-referencing the order and the stock, the WMS will automatically mark the order as ready for packing. This saves a great deal of time and effort. Many WMS services end up paying for themselves when used effectively.
An optimized place for every product
A warehouse management system can help you speed up your order fulfillment, and it can also help you keep track of what is selling well. When you’re able to see what products are leaving the warehouse the most often, you can find new ways to optimize the way you set up the warehouse. You can track raw materials when they come in and make sure they’re in the best place for stocking and manufacturing. The best-selling products can be next to the loading dock or the packing area, as opposed to being on the opposite end of the space.
A WMS can also be designed or configured for the organization’s specific requirements; for example, an e-commerce vendor might use a WMS that has different functions than a brick-and-mortar retailer. Additionally, a WMS may also be designed or configured specifically for the types of goods the organization sells; for example, a sporting goods retailer would have different requirements than a grocery chain.
WMS and IoT
Connected devices and sensors in products and materials help organizations to ensure they can produce and ship the right quantity of goods at the right price to the right place at the right time. All of these capabilities have been made cheaper and more widespread by the internet of things (IoT). Such IoT data can integrate into a WMS to help manage the routing of the products from the pickup point to the endpoint. The integration enables organizations to develop pull-based supply chains, rather than push-based ones. Pull-based supply chains are driven by customer demand, which allows the organization more flexibility and responsiveness, while push-based supply chains are driven by long-term projections of customer demand.
Customer Service and Tracking
Your warehouse is an important part of your customers’ buying experience. Making sure products ordered are in stock and customers get what they purchased is crucial to providing good customer service. WMS improves picking accuracy so orders are correct the first time.
WMS also makes organizing and tracking shipments easier through automation. Worker assignments, shipment routes, and cutaways are all easily managed and tracked. This warehouse automation, up-to-date information, and real-time tracking all lead to better accuracy and happier customers.
Return on Investment
The right Warehouse Management System can improve your sales and increase profits not simply by helping you sell more, but by selling faster and more accurately to happier customers. Furthermore, your existing workforce can pick and receive more items in less time, with fewer errors. This precision reduces customer inquiries and simplifies customer support.
Part of the online retail landscape means being able to fulfill any order as efficiently as possible. To do that, you need a warehouse management system to understand where all of your materials and goods are in the warehouse to ultimately reduce order latency, processing costs, and order errors.