Optimizing Your WMS: Are Your Warehouse Management System & Supply Chain Technology Ready for Peak Operation?

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Software and supply chain technologies have become integral components of successful warehousing practices. Through a warehouse management system (WMS), a company can gain real-time insight into product location, movement, and inventory. However, optimizing your WMS to drive costs down and enhance product flow is not a small task. To ensure your supply chain technology and WMS are set up for peak operation, says

  1. Optimizing a WMS Begins With Proactive Processes

Warehousing and fulfillment take place behind the scenes. Make sure your operation is one that focuses on attention to detail, so that “cut corners” do not translate into a negative experience for your customer.

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  1. Make Fastest-Moving Product Accessible

Pickers and consumers should be able to access the fastest-moving products with the fewest number of steps and touch-points. This will help prevent bottlenecks and reduce costs associated with each order.

  1. Slot. Slot. Slot. Slot.

Slotting optimization is the core feature of a modern WMS, but it is not a static, one-time process. Slots must be continually optimized, making better use of floor and vertical space without adding extra costs.

  1. Manage the Warehouse Traffic Flow

An efficient warehouse should not suffer from delays in high-traffic zones. Eliminate barriers and physical objects that may cause slow-downs in high-traffic areas.

  1. Be a Good Mentor and Coach

Provide positive reinforcement and feedback to employees with a focus on a collaborative and positive work environment.

  1. Measure Team Member Performance and Train Appropriately

Feedback also depends on staff performance, so track employee performance in detail. If a problem arises, provide additional direction and training to the affected person.

  1. Measure System Performance

Use metrics to measure system performance, including order, direction and labeling accuracy, timeliness of order release to pickers, and productivity.

  1. Base Warehouse Management on Real-World Activities

Warehouse management must use real-world activities for designing and managing your WMS. This prevents the development of a disconnect between actual and expected activities.

  1. Plan for the Unexpected

Things will go wrong. An optimized WMS combined with a well-trained and enabled workforce will result in many problems being corrected before you ever knew there was anything to fix.

  1. Ensure Data Integrity

Data should be accurate and reflect the most recent activities and processes available.

  1. Automate Systems Where Possible

Automation simplifies data capture, improves accuracy, and boosts scalability.

  1. Use Automated System Testing to Document Return on Investment

System testing is essential to documenting and benchmarking return on investment for WMS and supply chain systems. Automated testing benefits testing cycles by increasing both speed and accuracy of results.

  1. Take Advantage of Analytics

Apply analytics to data collected to derive actionable insights into both employee and system performance.

  1. Be Honest When Assessing Total Cost Ownership

When reviewing total cost ownership, include a realistic view of costs associated with risks and lost opportunities. This will help identify the true cost and value of your WMS.

Use These Tips to Optimize Your Operation Today

Technology and processes, as well as the people involved in all activities, have the potential to bring your organization to new heights. However, certain factors, like a poor implementation of technology, lackluster management styles, and poor data integrity, will eat away at profitability and cause problems in your warehouse. By following these 14 tips, you can streamline operations and make better use of supply chain technology, including your WMS.

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