10 Ways to Tell if You Need a Warehouse Management System
Your warehouse distribution center is one of the places that has a direct say in your business profit. When the system is working well, shipment output and revenue increase. A slow, unproductive warehouse can drain your company’s resources and impact your bottom line.
As a warehouse manager, you may have some processes in place to keep everything running smoothly. An automated system will make your inventory counts accurate, increase productivity and decrease receiving time — all necessary factors to stay ahead of the game in a competitive market.
Wondering if your warehouse is operating at its highest level? Read on for the top 10 signs that you need a warehouse management system (WMS) to improve your work processes.
1. The Warehouse Is Running Out of Space
If your products are growing out of their space, your first thought may be to move to a larger warehouse. Moving can be costly to both your budget and timelines. An efficient warehouse may not need more space to operate.
A WMS can optimize your workflow so that you produce more from the same space, even as the business grows.
2. The Warehouse Is Disorganized
A chaotic space impedes workflow. You run the risk of damaging or misplacing your stock and putting your workers’ safety at risk. Employees need to know where all the products are and be able to create the best pick route.
A WMS will help you arrange your stock in a way that works best for productivity and safety.
3. The Warehouse Uses a Spreadsheet to Track Inventory
In a small company with a low number of inventory items, it is possible to keep track of your stock in a spreadsheet. For a larger company that has a lot of items, this system is inefficient. Spreadsheets are difficult to update and cannot reflect the live inventory counts.
A WMS can automate this process, so you can see how much you have and where it’s going in real time. Your workers will be able to spend more time doing their tasks and not updating cells in a spreadsheet.
4. Your Inventory Numbers Are Often Inaccurate
If your numbers of shipped and received items don’t match, this can be a result of human error at the picking stage or shipping dock. It’s often a sign that you need a WMS, since it is essential to have correct numbers.
A WMS solution will help your warehouse keep accurate tallies to avoid backorders or excessive inventory.
5. Items Are Often Out of Stock
If your company isn’t able to forecast its sales, the warehouse may not be able to meet demand. A high number of out of stock products reflects poorly on your business. Plus, backlogging orders slows down the warehouse’s productivity when it’s continually trying to catch up instead of working with the flow.
WMS systems come with tools to help you forecast sales and manage your channels. These tools will help your warehouse get the quantities it needs for every item.
6. Deliveries Are Frequently Late
If your warehouse is chaos, it will take your workers longer to assemble an accurate order. This may mean that orders are shipped late, or your company has to spend more time expediting to get products to the customer on time.
A WMS software solution will streamline workflow, help orders get fulfilled on time and deliver invoices.
7. Your Orders Have High Error Rates
Your warehouse needs to assemble orders accurately. Mis-shipments create a loss of time and resources because of items that are incorrect, missing or damaged, reducing your efficiency. Quality checkpoints at the pick, pack and shipment stages can help solve this problem, although human error can still happen.
A quality control check by a WMS system makes sure that all orders are accurate and undamaged. This control will make sure that your warehouse is saving its shipping resources.
8. Fulfillment Costs Keep Rising
Every warehouse needs to keep track of their fulfillment cost. This number is important in a world that demands fast shipping. While your warehouse uses quality products and packaging, this cost should decrease as the warehouse creates a smooth workflow.
If your fulfillment costs keep increasing to the point that they’re taking away profit from your business, it’s time to look into a WMS.
9. Your Workers Are Stressed and Dissatisfied
An inefficient workplace puts a heavier workload on your employees. If workers feel that there is too much to do in a day, they may become unhappy at work or leave the company.
A WMS helps with efficiency, so workers don’t feel overwhelmed. Your workflow will become more productive as your employees become confident in their tasks.
10. Warehouse Inefficiency Is Constraining Company Growth
As other areas of your business grow, your warehouse needs to keep up. Any delays in the warehouse will keep your business from increasing its market reach and profit. Productivity is especially crucial during your peak seasons, where the potential for maximum revenue is high.
Locate your inefficient areas and processes, solve these issues and work in tandem with company demands using WMS software.
Invest in a Warehouse Management System From FDM4
Your warehouse should work with the flow of your business model. A warehouse management system will help you keep everything on track to stimulate business growth and increase your profits.
At FDM4, our warehouse management system is built for efficiency. Manage your assets, streamline your processes, optimize your warehouse space and improve your workflow — all in a user-friendly integrated interface. Our satisfied customers see accurate inventory counts, inventory visibility, high productivity and reduced receiving time. Plus, our system can be used on a desktop and a touch computer so you can bring efficiency to every place in your warehouse.
If you’re ready to upgrade how your warehouse operates, contact us online or give us a call at 1-866-676-3364. Our technicians will answer any questions you have and help you get started on making your warehouse a place of ultimate productivity.