According to the Logistics Management 2013 Technology Usage Study, 50 percent of logistics operations are currently using a Warehouse Management System (WMS) and 44% of those not using one plan to purchase in the next 12 months. Whether you are currently using a WMS and looking to upgrade, plan to purchase one, or are still unsure of the benefits, there are many things that should be taken into consideration to assure your Warehouse operations align with your business goals and if a WMS is right for you. We have outlined below some of the key benefits to implementing a Warehouse Management System into your operations.
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is used to help companies control the movement of storage of materials within a warehouse. Some of the top benefits to a WMS include inventory management, space savings, and customer satisfaction.
The first and probably biggest benefit to having a WMS is full visibility into your inventory. Gone are the days when you had to have an operator manually determine what your inventory was and where it was located. Without having a full view of the inventories on hand, inefficiencies can pile up. This includes the potential for product overage or underage, higher inventory costs and the potential for poor customer service. A WMS will allow for you to track, manage and view inventory real-time; thus allowing for greater cost savings and inventory control.
Without strong visibility into your warehouse, you may have inventory spread out or taking up storage space that could otherwise be cleared. Through a WMS, distributors are given visibility into storage areas and locations in the warehouse based on rules set and established for your unique space and environment. This will allow you to better organize product while also yielding additional space. More space = more inventory!
Many distributors are often challenged with the ability to manage operations when they are bogged down with inventory accuracy and location. This causes delays in shipments to both the distribution centers as well as customers. Not only does a WMS allow you to properly manage your inventory and distribution schedules, but you can also respond rapidly to customer-specific requests and manage the quality of work performed and what tasks are associated with individual work orders.
The benefits to a WMS are clear. Though some are still unsure if the system is right for them and if the costs will justify the means. According to Inbound Logistics, operations that do not currently have a WMS will likely see ROI in 12 to 18 months. Before looking to implement you should be sure you have a clear path for what you are looking to gain with your Warehouse Management System and build a plan to align those goals with your system. Between operations alignment and overall cost savings the ROI will be almost immeasurable!