Advanced Warehouse Management Made Possible with Automation and Better Data
In a recent blog, we discussed how mobile warehouse automation can increase revenue through better inventory data, improved customer service and additional competitive advantages. Now, let’s look at some specific ways warehouse automation can improve inventory management.
Inventory management is a straightforward, simple process. You mark goods in your warehouse and cross them off when they leave. Well, it would be simple if you had one product, only a few customers and nothing ever changed. Today, your warehouse may consist of thousands of SKUSs, multiple bin locations and hundreds of orders per day.
In fact, inventory management can be a very complex job. That’s why an advanced warehouse management system needs to start with the best data and smoothest process possible. Warehouse automation will ease the pain of complex systems and help you improve your business.
Intelligent Business Decisions Start with Integrated, Accurate Inventory Data
Once you have your inventory data, it’s of no use to anyone unless it’s married to other data streams. These data inputs, when run through an ERP system like Sage 100 can provide you with actionable insights that you can use to build your business.
Some insights that you can gain from better data management and inventory data include:
- Improved inventory accuracy by reducing manual data input and updating stock counts automatically
- Elimination of redundant orders
- Reduction in excess inventory
- Proactive planning to reduce overstocks and shortages
- Improved demand forecasting
- Reduction in “stale” or old inventory, especially in industries in which FIFO is important.
4 Practices That Will Improve Your Warehouse Management
There are four simple yet proven methods of better warehouse management that you can use to increase profits and reduce costs. These include:
- Maintain accurate and timely records: Both accuracy and immediacy are necessary for manufacturers to control inventory costs. You need to know your stock count now, not yesterday or last week, in order to provide accurate information to customers and suppliers. Automating your warehouse processes and data retrieval can enhance both accuracy and timeliness of data.
- Proactive planning: Once you have inventory data, you can begin to see patterns and trends that lead to better predictive ordering. The better you get at proactive planning, the better you can fulfill orders and keep customers satisfied.
- System improvements: It’s not a “once and done” process. ERP systems and advanced warehouse management together can help you spot areas for improvement. Steady, incremental improvement makes your business more competitive and effective.
- Reducing fixed overhead costs: Maintaining warehouse space can be expensive. Between leases, building maintenance, energy costs and more, the fewer you need, the better. When you can predict inventory levels with greater accuracy, and process your inventory more efficiently, you no longer need to keep as many items in stock. You can reduce the amount of inventory space needed and save on fixed costs.
The more complex your warehousing needs, the more complex the inventory control and ERP system requirements. But implementing one or both can, in the long run, save your company a great deal of time and effort while improving profitability. As your company becomes more efficient, the cost savings can be channeled into other projects that can grow your business.
Mobile Warehouse Management and Automation Tools All in ONE
Better warehouse management requires better data. Better data comes from efficient and accurate data collection and inventory tracking systems. Mobile warehouse automation using handheld devices that can be used on the warehouse floor increase efficiency. With these mobile devices, you can automatically enter new inventory, direct picking efforts, count inventory, prepare shipping labels and more. Seamless integration with your Sage 100 ERP removes error-prone data entry and saves time.
ONE Software Solution provides integrated Sage 100, mobile warehouse automation and advanced warehouse management solutions that increase visibility across your business. Contact us if you would like to implement a single solution with one sales process, one contact and one personalized system.