“We want accurate inventory management!“
What does that really mean? Why is Warehouse Management Software (WMS) so important? What are the symptoms of a growing business that needs WMS?
Warehouse Management means that you have bin level control over where each item in your inventory is. Common features of a Warehouse Management System include:
Directed Put-Away: This is when you receive goods and the system can direct a warehouse worker where to retrieve those items, and where they need to be put away.
Directed Pick: This means that when you are going to pick inventory for production, assembly, or shipping, that the system directs the warehouse worker where to get their inventory, and where to bring it.
Automatic FEFO Stock Rotation: FEFO means “First Expired First Out.” For inventory items that have sensitive expiration dates, it’s critical to ship the product in sequence so that your warehouse is not left full of expired inventory.
Cross Docking: To improve warehouse efficiency, Cross Docking alerts the person doing a put away to bring the goods immediately to the shipping, or production area, when needed, rather than put the goods away automatically.
Cycle Counting: This feature improves your effectiveness when counting physical inventory. Many businesses will actually “shut down” for a couple of days and count every item within their location. Cycle Counting assigns a selected list of inventory items or bin locations for counting on a periodic basis.
Automatic Data Capture Systems (ADCS): This means that your warehouse workers are not working from paper, but are virtually paperless. Working with a handheld, or wearable, bar code scanner to make the WMS entries in “Real Time.”
Who needs WMS? People that say:
“Where is this item in my warehouse? I cannot find it!”
“Why is there inventory blocking this aisle and empty shelves on the next?”
“My customer received the wrong product!”
“I just purchased a truckload of items I already have.”
“We are shipping new products and letting expired product sit on the shelf.”
Common Misconceptions About Warehouse Management
Bar Coded Receiving and Bar Coded shipping does not mean Warehouse Management. Management involves all product movement in your warehouse that’s managed and recorded. After the Receipt of Goods, and until the posting of the Shipment, everything that happens to an item and where it is located is what a Warehouse Management System does.