By Ed Carter for ASCI, www.ablefutures.org
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Efficient warehouse practices and processes can significantly affect the profits your business. Well-organized inventory can restrict shipping errors, which cost both time and money and reduce the number of employees you need. In addition, an optimized inventory system can help you limit the use of expensive storage space and track supply needs, as well as increase warehouse safety through reduced employees and reduced movements. ASCI explains that warehouse management software can help with this optimization.
What Types of Warehouse-Related Software Are Available?
There are two distinct but related software options that are most widely used for warehouse optimization. A company can opt for specialized warehouse management software (WMS) or get an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that has inventory management capabilities as well as supply chain, procurement, data collection, and performance management tools.
How Software Can Help Streamline Warehouse Operations
The better choice between WMS and ERP software depends on your needs, but both these systems can help optimize your fashion warehouse operation. Here are the advantages of these tools.
Data collection. A WMS or ERP system can track and organize data about warehouse operations. Using order, receiving, bar code, location, and shipping data, Towards Data Science notes that the software can help you gain insights about current operations and inventory needs. You can then find areas for further improvement.
Quality control. With this software tracking inventory movements, you can find exactly how and where a mistake occurred and move to correct the issue so that it does not happen again.
Customer relationships. You can share specific data with customers so that they can track their order's movements from the shelf to the truck. A survey by Dropoff found that 88% of customers think real-time order tracking is essential.
Inventory acquisition. Since inventory tracking happens automatically instead of manually, you can have early notice when a specific item is running low. You can then place an order to avoid any shipping delays when a customer orders the product.
Enable data-driven optimization. The software can offer insights to decision-makers, but it can also enable algorithm-based operations. You can use the data from the software to deploy algorithms that take different variables into account and create the most efficient processes.
Warehouse management software can also pair with other types of technology to optimize operations. If you still need to fine-tune the data you’re collecting and gain further insights, you can hire outside help. Data analytics companies can complete a complex analysis of your data so you can learn more about how to run your warehouse most efficiently.
Other Tech Tools to Optimize Warehouse Operations
You can pair WMS or ERP systems with additional tools to further optimize processes. For example, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags can help you locate and track specific items in a warehouse. RFID tags can help warehouses increase accuracy in order fulfillment.
You can also choose to customize your inventory system or software to meet your exact needs. For example, you can hire a Shopify developer to customize your ordering and inventory system to help manage your fashion business.
Pair Technology with Good Practices
All of these programs can do amazing things for your productivity and cost effectiveness, but a truly optimized warehouse also needs to have communication and a culture of safety. Without these two non-technical components, things will still not run smoothly and people may get hurt within the system of productivity. Remember to include safety training about fall protection, hazard communication, and respiratory protection, as well as general practices for cleanliness. These issues can cause injuries or even deaths when unaddressed. Encourage your employees to speak up if they see problems, and show that everyone - from the CEO to the custodian - supports this culture of safety.
Take the Next Step in Optimizing Warehouse Operations Using Software
Whether you opt for warehouse management software or an enterprise resource planning system, you can optimize warehouse operations if you deploy the system correctly. The first step for your business to achieve warehouse optimization is to deploy or customize.
ASCI specializes in helping businesses like yours address supply chain and asset management. We offer consulting services to help your team with safety, responsiveness, and integrity. Visit our website to learn more and to arrange for a free consultation.