The fulcrum of any successful business, the Supply Chain Network team understands that effective warehouse management, whilst using a warehouse management system (WMS) is key to ensuring the smooth running of your facility’s operations, people, and processes. It is this full synchronisation of your value chain that enables your business to use insights and processes to reach optimum productivity.
Your warehouse functions as the very heart of your business, and is responsible for reliably supplying, storing, and processing the required materials for your business, whilst simultaneously adhering to all relevant technical and compliance regulations.
Another essential process within business management, inventory management, is often closely associated with warehouse management. While intrinsically linked is it important to understand how these processes are distinct from but also complement each other.
In the rest of this guide, the SCN team will cover how to manage the vital functions within your business, and address how to implement this guidance to businesses of a variety of industries and sizes. More tailored plans will need to be applied for your individual company.
Outdated or Innovated?
If the past few years has taught businesses anything, it is that being an early adopter of new technologies and processes will reap you many benefits in the long run. Whether you are proactive or reactive in your approach, adapting to change and using relevant data to recognise trends will enable you to develop strategies that improve your future workflows and facility processes and ultimately prevent you from falling behind. Making continuous preparations for alterations as well as realistically applying change management tactics gives your company vital elasticity. Following turbulent markets for the past 2 years, adaptability has never been more vital to Warehouse Management.
Go with the (Monitored) Flow
The flow of goods in and out of your facility is the lifeblood that keeps your warehouse sustained and healthy. Understanding the flow gives you complete control over your building and ultimately, your business. This gives you an insightful overview of your warehouses' productivity and can help you to improve the current process and even create scope for you to introduce new systems and protocols for teams’ daily operations. To best manage your warehouse, you may want to streamline processes and make operations more efficient and cost-effective. To do this, you may choose to invest in automation, conveyor systems, mezzanines, or even robotic pick and pack technology. The right combination of methods can ensure better accuracy in your processes, reduce operational timescales, and add value to your business for the consumer with 'right first-time' practices.
Work Smart not Hard
Data is at the forefront of all our decisions, whether it be what we watch on TV, what we purchase, or who we follow on social media. All this data is priceless for businesses to use and can enable you to create a seamless ecosystem not only for your warehouse operations but for your customers too. From analysing your warehouse data, you may recognise that it can be used to quickly identify where to simplify operations within your facility. For example, if reverse logistics occupies a significant amount of your warehouse operations, you may instead find it would be more beneficial to implement an automated system and a series of pre-paid return labels, instead of your previous timely and manual processes. Both time-saving and efficient when the return labels are integrated with your WMS, this approach can also enable you to accurately manage your consumers’ expectations and give your business a competitive edge.
Invest in New Technology
Improvement should be a constant in your warehouse management ethos. Stagnant and redundant processes, machinery and technology should be constantly upgraded to ensure that you are consistently investing your time and money into the warehouse management tools that will enable your facility’s operations to run as efficiently as possible. It is also important to ensure that your chosen software integrate seamlessly with each other. This is especially vital for companies operating omnichannel delivery within the eCommerce industry. Most importantly, it is imperative to ensure that any new tools and technology you invest in benefit your warehouse management and operations. While keeping ahead of trends is important, so is the right equipment, and this should be the priority over simply opting for the newest released equipment.
Challenge your warehouse management practices with Supply Chain Network
Experts in all aspects of warehouse and network design, SCN understands the importance of remaining competitive in a dynamic industry and the critical data analysis required to achieve this. Specialists in Warehouse Design and Fit-Out, the SCN team can help you reach your facility’s fulfilment potential in 2021 and beyond. Visit www.scnuk.com to learn about the work that we do and to ensure you are ready and future-proof your business plans and warehouse design. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07581 496580
*(all pictures sourced from Pexels)