Warehouse Management Systems are meant to be the engine that drives all the daily operations within your warehouse, but are you properly utilising the software to get the full benefit of your investment? The average company only uses 65% of the available functionality of their WMS and yet they wonder why there are gaps in operational efficiency.
Core WMS functions
The main role of WMS is to be a centralized system through which tasks can be carried out, tracked, and monitored on an internet-enabled device. Is your warehouse making proper use of what your WMS has to offer?
The first step is to develop a clear understanding of all the requirements needed from your warehouse system, how it should be expected to perform, and then assess whether this is in fact being implemented. When considering your checklist keep these five, often overlooked, functionalities in mind:
- Efficient ecommerce management
With the rapid increase in ecommerce orders there is a need to find the best possible strategy for distribution. WMS can come to the rescue by efficiently managing the flow of goods, automatically tracking stock and balancing demand loads.
- Improved wave picking handling
Wave picking is the process by which orders are grouped into batches of related items so that collection can be made in a single pass through the warehouse. Rules are being built into WMS software that give shippers additional options regarding how they want to handle wave picking effectively.
- Maximised data analytics
The availability of large amounts of data makes WMS metrics a very powerful tool, but is your company fully mining this data to measure and improve performance levels? Use this valuable information to set internal standards and to see where new technology and equipment is needed. Once those investments are in place, the WMS can be used to measure performance levels and the desired return on investment.
- Staff involvement
Any WMS system is only as good as the staff using it. The beauty of a good WMS system is that employees on any level can assess and give feedback on the effectiveness of a system. Get managers and staff on board throughout the process of activating a new function.
- Mobile integration
WMS vendors are increasing developing applications for use on smartphones which can be run very affordably. Staff are quick to get up to speed which is particularly useful for warehouses who have a high volume of temporary workers.
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