Warehouse Inventory Management
Warehousing and inventory management suggests the processes and practices put in place to control stock levels, minimise costs, eliminate bottlenecks, manage stock requirements (current and future), maintain service levels and enhance the overall customer experience.
Are you managing a warehouse and want to find unique and proven ways to optimize your inventory items? Choosing the right inventory management system is crucial for enhancing efficiency and improving productivity in your daily warehouse operations.
What Is a Warehouse Inventory Management System?
A warehouse management system (WMS) is an inventory management software application that helps control the daily operations in a warehouse. WMS software enables you to keep track of stock items, whether it comes in, goes out or is written off due to damage during transit. It advises you on when to replenish inventory so you won’t run out. A WMS can be part of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning system) or a standalone application.
Benefits of a Warehouse Inventory Management Software Solution
- Efficient labour management
- Inventory items traceability and visibility
- Accurate stock counts and reporting
- Fewer errors and returns
- Enhanced responsiveness
- Remote visibility of data
- Automatic restocking of inventory items
- Improved customer service
- Reduced paperwork
Why Do You Need Warehouse Inventory Control Software?
In the past, inventory warehouse software could only provide simple functions such as storage location info. These days, it can do anything you want it to. The magnitude of WMS functionality can vary from basic to advanced functionalities, depending on your unique needs.
As a warehouse manager or owner, you can’t afford not to have warehouse management software. It reduces the likelihood of errors that may occur whenever products are shipped and help to fulfill orders more efficiently while tracking ordered items.
If you are looking for a paperless environment that automatically directs employees in keeping your warehouse in excellent shape, investing in a warehouse management system should be a priority.
Types of Warehouse Management Software WMS
There are numerous types of WMS solutions, each with pros and cons. Here are the most popular types:
- Standalone System – conventional on-premises type system, used on the primary hardware and network of the business.
- ERP Modules – provides embedded EDI, sales orders, accounting and shipping management with orderly real-time interfaces.
- Cloud-Based – web-based software utilizing enterprise cloud technology.
Tips for Managing Your Warehouse Efficiently
- Safety first
- Keep it clean and clutter-free
- Customize organization based on your industry
- Keep track of inventory error rates
- Focus on developing a tidy, accurate warehouse
- Train warehouse staff regularly
- Eliminate actions that don’t add value
- Embrace technology
Choosing the Right Warehouse Inventory Management Software (WMS) for Your Business
There are various approaches and strategies you can use to secure the success of your business including which type of warehouse management software system to use. Below are some tactics you can use to help in the decision-making process whether you have one or multiple warehouses.
Determine the Best Inventory Method
There are two inventory methods to choose from — LIFO (Last-In-First-Out) and FIFO (First-In-First-Out). Each approach has its own set of pros and cons to managing and tracking inventory, thus comes down to personal preference.
For high-volume warehouses that are consistently involved in logistics, this is the best strategy. Especially for food beverage and other perishable items where the shelf life needs to be taken into consideration.
A common approach in the manufacturing industry, the focus of LIFO is to reduce costs from overall acquisition operations.
Assign Product Locations
By specifying locations, staff will know exactly where to put inventory items when they arrive and where to find them when they need to go out. A popular practice is to place fast-selling items at the front of the warehouse and storing slow-moving stock items at the back. This will reduce the handling time for best-selling products.
Performing internal audits to verify product numbers is an excellent way to decrease and eliminate deficiencies early on. A warehouse management software system will enable you to keep an eye on sales reports to help you stay on top of inventory levels. It will also ensure that you stock the right products and meet customer demands by adjusting reorder points regularly. This will highlight best-sellers and enable you to order the right quantity of each product.
Implement a Documentation System
Paperwork is something no one likes. However, it’s vital to have a system in place to effectively track and monitor inventory as well as document all receiving and shipping activities in a warehouse.
Implementing a simple documentation system that’s user-friendly eliminates downtime and reduces handling time. It also improves employee morale by allowing them to focus more on the operations than admin while minimizing the chance for mistakes.
Calculate Return on Investment
While cost should never be your deciding factor when it comes to choosing warehouse management software, it does play a role in the decision-making process. If you want are on a tight budget, it helps to focus on the essential functionalities rather than the nice-to-haves when hiring a software developer to develop your WMS. Things to keep in mind include the following:
- Software licenses required to run software. How are they charged — per user or per transaction, monthly package or outright purchase?
- Services such as training, project management, and going live.
- Developmental costs not included in the initial price like third-party systems or interfaces.
- Support costs generally consist of a yearly price based on development and licensing fees.
Characteristics of World-Class Warehouse Inventory Management Software
- Software functionality that works with your industry
- Track capabilities especially in the event of third-party logistics
- Continuous or subscription licensing
- Implementation and continuous training
- Safe & secure with backup for multiple locations
- Scalable software wms
- Software update control
- Data ownership and access
- Radio-frequency identification (RFID)
Develop the Best Warehouse Inventory Management Software WMS for Your Business
Now that you understand the different options of inventory manager software, it is time to determine what exactly your warehouse needs. WMS implementations do not happen often, so develop software that will support your company in five or ten years instead of focusing on what your company needs right now. A good way to start is by getting in touch with Netgenapps for a free quote today!