The past 10 years have seen a dramatic change in the supply chain in so many ways that it can be hard for an individual to keep up the pace. Increasing freight and transport costs have led to higher prices. It can be difficult to determine the quality of labor within a supply chain. Effective warehouse inventory management software is the best way to stay ahead of changing landscapes. These software systems can provide greater control over transportation, labor and inventory, regardless of whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor or a site that sells e-commerce products.
Many businesses have a management system that has basic warehousing functionality. Companies may find that they need more complex solutions or outgrow the capabilities of the platform.
High-Level Warehouse Inventory Management Software Benefits
A system that can manage various warehouse functions such as picking, packing, and quality assurance is efficient. Any company can benefit from a fully-featured warehouse management software in the following ways:
- Controlling the movement and storage of materials or products. This could include managing slotting, cube usage, and inventory locations.
- Advanced shipping notices, receipt planning, and also schedules transportation and various appointments
- Improved warehouse labor management. This can be achieved by controlling work order, productivity reporting to employees and tracking assignments.
- Visibility of warehouse activities and quick access to reporting analysis, dashboards and other useful data
How to choose the Most Practical Software for Your Warehouse
There are many warehouse management systems on the market today, with different prices. Each one has different functionalities. To narrow your search, think about all the problems that you want inventory management software to solve. You should determine if additional functions are required to improve productivity, customer service, reduce costs, and manage inventory.
You can also use formal RFP processes to request vendor demos, create user requirements and make reference calls. After you have done thorough research and done proper diligence, you can determine how management software will benefit you company.
Typical Benefits of a Management System
- Receiving, marking, and Quality Assurance: many systems will have the ability to deliver warehouse functions such as carrier scheduling, receiving personnel, advance shipping notices and various transactions. Other functions include creating barcode license plates for pallets, identifying locations where product was received, the quantity, and paperless options for receiving. Status reporting on incoming receipts can also be done.
- Quality Assurance: store vendor or product sample testing, store product specifications, marking in retail, support vendor compliance programs and wholesale customer print and ticket formats.
There are two things you need to do once inventory has been received in a warehouse. It is necessary to cross-dock the products to packing stations before they can be packed or shipped for storage. A well-designed system will make it easy to put away the products. This involves identifying things such as storage type, profile characteristics, cubic capacities, and so forth.
One of the greatest benefits of management software is its ability to slot production. Software assigns product SKUs to pick areas based on their size, weight, velocity, sales, or other criteria. This functionality increases productivity by reducing picker travel time. It also suggests changes to the slot sizes that require less replenishment. This technology has Velocity Reporting, which allows employees to re-slot primary slots and thereby increase space by moving fast-selling items to hot pick slot locations.
Production and Assembly
There are many management systems that can perform functions like work order, kitting and assembly control.
Picking is another major expense for warehouses. Picking options will be expanded if you have reliable and functional software. Other options include paperless picking systems, pallet picking and bulk, carousel picking.
Shipping and Manifesting
Some vendors rely on third party software solutions. It is important to determine what shipping and manifesting options a vendor offers. The most basic functions can be sufficient to support complex routines. Software modules and add-ons can be used to support transport for companies that have a fleet of vehicles.
Another benefit of this technology’s ability to track inventory locations throughout warehouse operations in different locations is also visible. This functionality will allow you to better use cubic space, and it also keeps a solid audit on all slot locations and stored items from receipt through shipping.
How to Identify which Software Best Fits Your Business
There are important things you should consider when choosing the right vendor or system for your company. First, you need to define your company’s user requirements.
Next, identify the software vendor that seems to offer the functionality your company requires. Also, you need to have a realistic range of investment. The vendor should be concise and only have 3-4 vendors.
Invite two of the best vendors on your list to learn how the system works. It is important to fully understand the responsibilities and tasks that each vendor will have to execute, as well as the professional services required to implement the system internally.
After making all your observations, you can now choose the right strategic direction and vendor to meet your company’s requirements. You should have two finalists ready to go until you negotiate the deal. Once you have negotiated the deal, you can begin to disarm the management process.