November 30, 2023 | Inventory Management Software
The demand for warehousing has grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in the retail and manufacturing sectors. The tremendous growth of e-commerce and online marketplaces, 24/7 online consumers and omnichannel fulfilment strategies have all contributed to the rapid evolution of the warehousing industry.
Not surprisingly, warehouses today look very different from a few years ago.
No longer are warehouses considered mere storage spaces where thousands of goods are neatly stacked over one another on available shelves. They are much bigger in size and intelligently designed to ease inventory movement and tracking across millions of square feet of storage space.
Another noticeable change is the lesser number of people at work, with most of the manual, time-consuming work replaced by automated machines. As a result, warehouse managers do not have to spend hours picking and packing. Instead, they have more time to focus on value-adding tasks, thanks to the adoption of advanced warehouse management systems.
The warehouse of today is intelligent, data-driven and flexible.
A warehouse management system is a type of software designed to track all materials and goods as they come in and go out of the warehouse. It provides end-to-end visibility of materials when they enter the warehouse, get placed onto shelves and are finally picked and packed for order fulfilment.
Additionally, it can also streamline how workers go about the picking and packing process.
The objective here is to optimize warehouse operations, reduce the time spent on day-to-day tasks and use the data generated to derive actionable insights and improve processes.
When a customer places an order, a warehouse management system can immediately check if the product is available. If it is available, the system can mark the order as ready for packing. This saves a lot of time and effort as the warehouse worker does not need to manually cross-check the order and available stock. It also helps to reduce order latency, errors as well as processing costs and accelerates order fulfilment.
Automation of routine tasks is the primary advantage of deploying a warehouse management system. Key warehouse operations such as receiving, issuing and delivering can be automated. An automated warehouse management system limits manual interventions and facilitates the movement of inventory from the point of origin to delivery.
Digital cycle counts during fulfilment or replenishment can drive greater speed and accuracy of inventory audits in the warehouse. Businesses can also do a real-time valuation of inventory with a seamless digital connection to supply chain systems and finance processes. Additionally, the system simplifies stock replenishment and receiving by capturing data points through optical character recognition, voice-enabled search and barcode integration.
By leveraging data and seeing products that are leaving the warehouse more frequently than others, a warehouse management system can help to identify products that are selling quickly.
This information allows a business to optimize the warehouse layout and design for products that are selling fast and moving out quickly.
For example, a business can place its best-selling products closer to the loading dock or packing area to make them easily accessible. Likewise, if a fast-selling product has a low profit margin, a business can consider using that space to stock products that may have slightly lesser sales but offer higher profit margins.
A business can look at sales data and financial analytics to optimize the warehouse design.
Advanced warehouse and inventory management software enables integrated management and planning of both functions from a single, centralized platform.
By connecting upstream procurement systems with downstream supply chain systems, it aligns planning with execution and establishes real-time inventory visibility across the supply chain including on-hand, on-order and in-transit.
Such visibility enhances inventory accuracy and prevents stockouts and excess inventory, thereby mitigating risks and lowering costs at the same time.
Finally, a user-friendly mobile application compatible with handheld mobile devices helps to track warehouse transactions and key tasks on the go. This ensures anytime, anywhere visibility of warehouse operations.
Optimize your warehouse management system with GEP’s AI-first solutions.