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warehouse management

Speed Delivery with a Better Warehouse Management System (WMS)

As the industry moves toward peak season, notes Supply Chain Dive, supply chain leaders will face new challenges due to growth. While this season will set new records, growth rates are not expected to be larger than they were in 2018.  However, unique customer demands continue to increase, and a failure to plan for stronger demand will not excuse any issue, especially failures in the systems of record.  Supply chain leaders need to understand how failures in the warehouse management system (WMS) could lead to poor experiences, how it affects efficiency, and a few best practices to increase the speed of fulfillment and delivery through peak season and beyond.

What WMS Failures Lead to Delays in Delivery?

WMS failures are the consequence of a conglomeration of issues, including outdated data, inaccurate data, poor planning of resources, and subpar inventory management. These failures amount to delays in order fulfillment and delivery. Unfortunately, customers do not care; they will go to Amazon or a competitor if your company cannot deliver within the same two-day or next-day promise of the e-commerce giant. According to Big Commerce, 25% of shoppers report canceling orders due to slow delivery speeds. While some factors extend beyond your control, such as the processes used by partnering carriers or inclement weather, leaders must work to increase fulfillment speed. As a result, supply chain leaders will need to rethink their strategies for managing the warehouse.

Warehouse Management
Demands Efficiency and Extreme Accuracy

An effective warehouse strategy requires the utmost efficiency and accuracy. All data should reflect the most recent, if not real-time, status of inventory, labor management, replenishment, and customer service. In today’s world, information is power, and those that apply data can augment their strategies to make better, more informed decisions.

How to Use a WMS to Increase Delivery Speed

Using a WMS will naturally lead to faster fulfillment. However, following these additional best practices will increase delivery speed:

  1. Hold suppliers and vendors accountable with your WMS, guaranteeing all inbound shipments follow the appropriate routing guide.
  2. Use metrics to track the performance of inbound and outbound freight, including the time to load/unload, order accuracy, and accurate billing.
  3. Leverage big data analytics to improve replenishment processes, as well as understand more about what customers want and expect.
  4. Use data to reslot the warehouse at critical times throughout the year, such as before the onset of peak season and before making significant system changes.
  5. Incentivize carriers with a smooth-running dock, reduced incidence of dwell time, and better amenities.
  6. Consider applying for shipper-of-choice status, which may be available to both distribution centers, as well as retailers and smaller shippers.
  7. Integrate your WMS with your TMS, labor management system, dock scheduling software, and all other systems.
  8. Take advantage of advanced picking technologies, such as voice-guided picking and vision-assisted technologies.
  9. Consider using 2D barcodes, such as QR codes, that can store and track more information than traditional barcodes and are less cumbersome to scan.
  10. Retrofit your facility with sensors connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to understand and manage all activities from inbound through outbound shipping.

Push More Products With Optimized Warehouse Management

Better control of your warehouse will yield positive results for your company and higher customer service levels. Instead of hoping things go well, guarantee their success with integrated and intelligent systems. It is possible to achieve faster fulfillment with better warehouse management processes, even when systems have been upgraded within the last five years. Technology continues to evolve and offer more opportunities for improvement. Request a consultation with Veridian to learn more about how optimized operations lead to success.