Warehouse Management Systems Top Tips and More News
With half of June almost here, it’s time to finish up the shipping section of top tips with a bang. This week we’re talking about warehouse management systems (WMS). If you need more shipping advice, then make sure to check out the other top tips articles of the past two months. And remember to come back next week for a fresh batch of Amazon seller tips.
Today’s news is 625 words and takes 2 ½ minutes to read.
How do you know if you need WMS for your business? If you’re working in eCommerce, of course! Let’s find out some more:
What are WMS?
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are software applications or platforms that help businesses efficiently manage and control their warehouse operations. These systems provide a comprehensive set of tools and features to oversee various aspects of warehouse management.
The warehouse management aspects include:
- Inventory tracking,
- Order fulfillment,
- Storage optimization,
- Labor management.
WMS enables accurate tracking and control of inventory levels by providing real-time visibility into stock locations, quantities, and movements. It helps manage stock replenishment, cycle counting, and inventory valuation.
These management systems streamline the order fulfillment process by managing order prioritization, picking, packing, and shipping. They optimize order picking routes, minimize errors, and ensure timely and accurate order fulfillment.
WMS supports labor management by assigning tasks to warehouse workers, tracking their productivity, and providing performance metrics. It helps optimize labor resources and streamline workforce scheduling.
And that’s not all! If you think that your company could make use out of WMS, then check out our WMS top tips below.
Warehouse Management Systems Top Tips
You know the basics, so let’s check out what else you can do to streamline operations:
Implement a Multi-channel Fulfillment Strategy
With the rise of e-commerce and omnichannel retail, consider integrating your WMS with various sales channels (e.g., online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar stores) to enable efficient order fulfillment across multiple channels.
This allows for better inventory visibility and synchronization, streamlined order processing, and improved customer satisfaction.
Incorporate Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics
Leverage advanced technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics within your WMS to:
- forecast demand patterns,
- optimize inventory levels,
- and improve warehouse resource planning.
These technologies can help automate decision-making processes and enhance overall operational efficiency.
Enable Cross-docking Capabilities
Cross-docking is a practice where incoming products have direct transportation (from inbound transportation to outbound transportation) without storing them in the warehouse.
Configure your WMS to support cross-docking workflows, reducing inventory handling and storage costs while improving order turnaround time.
Integrate with Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
Integrating your WMS with a TMS allows for seamless coordination between warehouse operations and transportation activities. This integration enables:
- better load planning,
- carrier selection,
- shipment tracking,
- and overall supply chain visibility.
Implement Wave Planning and Dynamic Task Allocation
Wave planning refers to grouping similar tasks together for efficient execution. Incorporate wave planning capabilities in your WMS to optimize picking, put-away, and replenishment tasks.
Additionally, consider dynamic task allocation. It assigns tasks to workers in real-time based on their location and availability, maximizing productivity.
Utilize Voice-directed Picking and Wearable Technology
Implement voice-directed picking systems and wearable devices like headsets or smart glasses in conjunction with your WMS. This hands-free technology enables workers to receive picking instructions and interact with the system, improving accuracy and efficiency while keeping their hands free for tasks.
Continuously Review and Optimize System Configurations
Regularly evaluate and fine-tune the configuration of your WMS to align with changing business needs, market dynamics, and emerging technologies. This includes reviewing system settings, workflows, and parameters to ensure optimal system performance and adaptability.
Last but not least, if you want to know how to organize your workflow even better, then check out our article on multi-carrier shipping top tips!