The global supply chain disruption seen over the past several years has permanently altered how many companies do business. Additionally, the ongoing labor shortages, specifically within the manufacturing and warehousing industries, continue to make it harder for businesses to keep up. Real-time, accurate inventory management and overall operational efficiency have become more important than ever to ensure customer satisfaction.
When it comes to supply chain management, there are numerous moving parts and ever-changing data points with which to keep up. Thankfully, today’s technology has evolved to make your job easier. Warehouse management software with supply chain visibility tools is available, offering on-time transportation, real-time visibility platforms, and much more.
This article will briefly explain the purpose and function of warehouse management software and describe six key benefits you can expect if you choose the right platform for your business.
What Is Warehouse Management Software (WMS)?
Warehouse management software (WMS) is software widely used in the manufacturing, distribution, automotive, agriculture, and aerospace industries that offers real-time data about inventory control and warehouse operations. Essentially, WMS keeps track of every item that comes in and goes out of the warehouse, all while optimizing operations to increase efficiency.
This software is often a cloud-based system that includes features to track inventory and shipping costs. WMS also helps customers know what product is available in your warehouse or distribution center at any given time. In 2023, WMS has become a non-negotiable tool for your manufacturing or warehousing business.
Advantages of Implementing WMS in Your Business
1. Improve Efficiency and Productivity
As with any investment in your business, the ultimate goal of investing in a WMS is to improve efficiency and productivity. One of the main ways WMS improves productivity is by digitizing and streamlining everyday processes.
For example, Surgere Pack Spec provides real-time reporting and notifications while calculating quotes, dimensions, and post-launch costs. This means your packaging approval workflows will be digitized, you’ll eliminate manual and redundant processes, work seamlessly with suppliers, and all of your data will be archived creating a single source of truth for your employees and customers.
2. Enhance Inventory Accuracy With Real-Time Visibility
Years ago, inventory managers needed to keep track of inventory manually, leaving plenty of room for human error. Today’s WMS eases that burden by offering real-time visibility platforms for inventory tracking. This means at any given time you have complete visibility of what is in your warehouse; there is no need to wait until the end of the day to count inventory and update your records. In fact, today’s sensor technology promises 99.9% data accuracy and fidelity when creating a complete map of your inventory.
3. Enhance Customer Service and Satisfaction
When a distribution center is running smoothly and efficiently, employees are freed up to spend more time serving customers. Today’s consumers expect real-time data and accurate information at the push of a button, even from their mobile devices. Nothing is more frustrating than thinking you can order an item, only to find out it is actually out of stock. With real-time supply chain visibility software, the customer knows exactly what is in stock and what’s not at any time, eliminating disappointment and the need for unfortunate phone calls from your employees. Likewise, employees in the warehouse and distribution center will know exactly what is available, making it faster and easier to respond to inquiries from customers.
4. Improve Warehouse Space Use
An organized and spacious warehouse is any manager’s dream. The various tracking tools within WMS will lead to a more efficient use of space. Cloud-based localization tools can divide your warehouse and distribution center into zones, providing analytics for redesign, improvement, and better safety in the warehouse. Localization tools also monitor the time lapse between finished and distribution product, meaning you and your team can easily track the time it takes from finished manufacturing to getting your product out of the distribution center or warehouse.
In addition to localization tools, many WMS include forecasting tools. Forecasting is a crucial part of supply chain management, and in today’s uncertain economic times, it’s more and more difficult to forecast on your own. Forecasting will help you predict how much inventory will be needed, reducing wasted inventory, money, and space due to excess product or shortages.
5. Integrate WMS With Supply Chain Technologies
WMS is not the only supply chain technology available to improve operational efficiency in the warehouse. Many distribution companies and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will also use transportation management software (TMS) to achieve transit intelligence. A real-time transportation visibility platform can provide, transportation management, finished goods management, yard management, and more.
Using WMS to read and track inbound and outbound product, as well as to give visibility to the content inside the trailer, will only add to your business's overall operational excellence and customer satisfaction. It’s essential for various technologies within your business to seamlessly integrate. Choosing a WMS provider that also provides a transportation visibility platform is a surefire way to make certain all of your software works well together.
6. Minimize Returns and Rejections
In 2022, returns cost retailers a total of about $816 billion in lost sales. Reducing the number of returns and rejections your business experiences is a vital money-saving step. The accuracy and automation of WMS will lower warehouse errors such as wrong items being sent, meaning fewer product returns in the long run.
Additionally, WMS can automate your return processes, making it easy for customers to print return labels and reorder the correct product.
Surgere's Warehouse Management Solutions
Surgere is an industry pioneer leveraging IoT technology to revolutionize the supply chain. We know the challenges and have engineered innovative secure technology, patented software, and certified hardware to consistently deliver 99.9% data fidelity. We’re expanding visibility into the physical supply chain to many of the world’s leading industries.
Now offering packaging specification management, asset management, localization, production control, transportation and distribution programs, and sustainability help, Surgere is your one-stop software as a service company. To learn more about Surgere's localization and real-time visibility software, click here.