Every business that sells physical merchandise will inevitably need a warehouse as it grows out of its initial space. But warehouses aren’t just for storage. They’re perfect for staging your products are they are manufactured, purchased, packed, and shipped. But keeping track of every product in a sea of shelves feels impossible, even with a small warehouse. That’s where a warehouse management system (or WMS) comes into play.
What is a Warehouse Management System?
Thanks to the Internet of Things, keeping your warehouse organized has never been easier. A warehouse management system can keep track of every product that flows in and out of your warehouse. No matter what method you use to stock your shelves, any worker with a handheld device can quickly find its exact location and get it where it needs to go. Coupling this with warehouse robots, you can effectively automate your warehouse floor.
Beyond tracking items, a WMS can also provide live statistics such as whether an item is in stock or in need of replenishment. These stats can also be automated with thresholds that order new stock whenever volume gets to a certain level, building order lists and sending them out to your suppliers without you needing to lift a finger.
Benefits of Having a Warehouse Management System
Despite the familiarity of manual methods, a warehouse management system gives you inventory control like never before. By knowing where everything is, how much you have, and automating processes within your business’s own supply chain, you’ll soon find your warehouse humming along with packages rolling out and happy customers’ money rolling in.
Here are a few other benefits of a proper WMS:
With inventory tracking and useful statistics updating in real-time, a warehouse management system by nature is a tool built for efficiency. But did you know you can optimize your supply chain both inside your warehouse and out?
Inside, workers can store, organize, and find products and lots with ease. Handheld devices give each member access to the WMS platform at any time, allowing more work to be accomplished in less time.
Outside, the WMS can track incoming shipments and outgoing deliveries. If you have an ecommerce business, the system can link with your website so that your customers know what’s in stock, which carriers they can choose, and see estimated fulfillment and delivery times with greater accuracy. Each link in the chain will benefit, from your supplier to your customer.
Improved Inventory Management
Before digital systems, every item in a warehouse would have to be recorded by hand and stored. Even with a computer, traditional management systems like spreadsheets are slow and prone to miscounts. Unless you could memorize the warehouse as well as the back of your hand, you would need to make multiple trips to take inventory, sometimes taking days – or worse, weeks – to get accurate counts. Needless to say, this whole process is outdated and inefficient.
With a digital warehouse management system, nobody has to memorize anything. No more tallying up stock by hand. No more clunky spreadsheets. No more dreading monthly inventory checks.
All you need is an Internet-ready device that can scan barcodes or pick the item you’re looking for through an intuitive menu. Combine that with the communication device of your choice and workers can coordinate easily with themselves and the system on the fly.
Better Customer Service
Even though a customer will never set foot in your warehouse, the magic that happens there ensures they get whatever they’re buying quickly, efficiently, and ideally without damage or accidents. In addition to your workers processing orders faster, the WMS can pair with your ecommerce site or business app to give customers accurate updates on when to expect their delivery.
Transparency, speed, and the delivery of high-quality goods are surefire ways to keep your customers happy – and happy customers are more inclined to come back to buy more.
Enhanced Data Accuracy
Your warehouse is a nexus for your business. It is the central piece where products arrive and are stored until they need to be packed and sent on their way. This makes it the perfect place to gather information to be used when it is needed.
With a warehouse management system, you can automatically gather information as items pass through this nexus. When the time comes and the information is needed – perhaps to inform a major decision – you can simply look at the WMS and make your decision. Moreover, a properly set up WMS platform not only lets you troubleshoot problems as they arise, it may also help address them before they even develop.
By its nature, a warehouse management system is built to grow with your business. Whether you have a small warehouse or multiple complexes across the country, a WMS can be adjusted to fit whatever scale you’re operating at.
If, for whatever reason, you need to reorganize your warehouse’s floor plan or your inventory system, the WMS is flexible enough to take whatever form you need. As soon as you finish updating SKUs, inventory layout, and counts, work can resume immediately and the WMS will continue working as it always has.
Improve Your Warehouse Management System with UCanTrade
In a world of technology, you don’t need to keep track of your inventory with a pencil and paper anymore. If you’d like to learn more about warehouse management systems and bring your business to the next level, talk with the helpful experts at UCanTrade. Whether you’re a small one-person business or a sprawling multinational, we’re here to help you bring order to the backroom chaos.