A warehouse management system is quite simply a software tool designed to help warehouses run every aspect of their daily routine in a more efficient manner. Efficiency is crucial in the warehousing industry, as it has become the backbone of almost every country’s supply chain. Without proper implementation of strategies for storing and moving goods, supply chains can grind to a halt.
Implementing a warehouse management system helps warehouses run smoothly. It also reduces the waste of ineffective and inefficient practices and strategies in the warehouse. Read below to learn more.
What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS)?
Simply put, it is software designed to help warehouses run faster and smarter. Using this software, businesses can monitor warehouse inventory and stock locations both in-house and on-truck, allowing them to more accurately assess their stock, availability, sales, and more. The system also allows for faster customer service because everything is available at the touch of a button. Other aspects of warehousing improved by a warehouse management system are:
- Re-order management
- Cash, credit, and multi-payment
- Text, email, spreadsheet, and other information platforms
When Should a Warehouse Management System Be Considered?
Warehouses are the lifeblood of any economy, and as such, there can be no room for error. A warehouse that is consistently behind or sluggish in any way will see businesses taking their warehousing needs elsewhere. To that end, it’s important to realize when it’s time to upgrade to a warehouse management system. If you have any of these issues, it’s time to make a change.
- Inability to quickly fill shipping orders
- Inability to quickly and efficiently locate product
- Increased instance of incorrect product being shipped
- Incorrect or duplicate records
- Boxes and paperwork piling up
- Missing product
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Why Should a Warehouse Management System Be Considered?
All of the above reasons that tell you it’s time to consider a warehouse management system are also the reasons that it is so important to have one in place. An inefficient warehouse is a warehouse that will cost your business money and time. As industry, supply, and demand grow, so too does the demand for warehouses that run smoothly and with minimal issues.
What is the Importance of a Warehouse Management System?
In a broad sense, it keeps your warehouse running smoothly. A warehouse management system helps every aspect of a warehouse run smoothly, moving more products. This can save you money and make your business more efficient.
Manage Multiple Warehouses or Subsections
A good system allows you to purchase, receive, stock, and fulfill orders on inventory across multiple warehouses and subsections.
Detailed Warehouse Reports
Reports that always keep you up-to-date on your exact inventory for every product stored and shipped.
Pick and Pack Lists
Pick and pack shipments individually or in bulk with quickly generated lists.
Easily print shipping labels for your local shipping company with stored shipping information.
First In, First Out (FIFO)
Allows for products entering inventory first to be sold first, with each batch of products having their own price and cost reports.
Exchange and Return Management
Perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of warehouse management, a good warehouse management system, should make it easy to quickly process exchanges and returns.
What is the Best Warehouse Management System for Your Business?
There are many excellent warehouse management systems on the market, so the answer to this question is: it depends on the size of your business. If you are a huge enterprise with multiple warehouses then you need a system that can handle your needs. If you are a small to medium-sized business, take a look at TQS Fusion WMS Software.
“WMS is not new to the community,” says Gene Su, chief technology officer of TQS Logistics, who developed TQS Fusion WMS Software. “But what I tried to do is build a system that improved on usability and is also easy to use.”
TQS Fusion WMS is efficient and operates on mobile devices like tablets. Whereas many traditional WMS rely on Legacy platforms with scanners and other costly equipment, this system is built for current needs of businesses.
The TQS Fusion system is efficient and less expensive than many others. It’s also user friendly and easy to implement.
“We are not targeting enterprises here, but small to medium-sized business that can’t afford to spend millions.”
No matter what warehouse management system you choose, you’ll want one with these four main components:
- Inventory Control – For ensuring proper logging and reduced loss.
- Product Movement – To accurately track your product.
- Software Integration – For easy transfer over to your new system.
- Multiple Device Support – To ensure that you and your employees have the flexibility to continually be in the loop on what’s happening with both the warehouse and its inventory.
Warehouse Management System Cost
Again, this is subjective and varies from warehouse to warehouse. For example, a warehouse that does $100 million in yearly revenue will have a higher warehouse management system cost than one that does $2 million in yearly revenue. In general, the rule of thumb is to estimate 15% to 30% of monthly labour cost as the cost of a warehouse management system.
The TQS Fusion WMS system was designed with users in mind. Ultimately that makes TQS Fusion WMS extremely user friendly. The goal was to provide a system that’s accessible on tablet. Su indicates not every company has millions to spend on WMS.
Implementing a Warehouse Management System
Now that we’ve covered warehouse management systems and why they’re needed, let’s discuss the basic steps of implementing the system.
The ideal warehouse management system increases productivity and efficiency across the board without endangering employee jobs. A good warehouse management professional will help you implement a system that satisfies all parties, increases return on investment, and doesn’t cost employees their livelihoods.
While integrating the warehouse management system, it’s important to manage and reduce risks stemming from the implementation. Look for a team with extensive knowledge of multiple warehouse scenarios, as no two warehouses are the same.
At the outset of implementation, there will be a thorough review of the business to assess warehouse functions, as well as any issues that are causing bottlenecks and other roadblocks.
Scheduling System Implementation
To ensure timely system implementation with minimal headaches, a good warehouse management system team will have a schedule in place, which is both timely and flexible, allowing for the fastest implementation possible with the least amount of opportunity for project derailment.
A good warehouse management system has two teams: an implementation team and a client warehouse executive team. When team building, be sure that personalities and system styles work well together to reduce any friction down the line.
An optimal warehouse management system is built with future flexibility in mind. A good system should never be so rigid that it cannot be tweaked as industry standards evolve.
Training is crucial to the successful implementation of a warehouse management system. As the system is installed and integrated, it’s key to train everyone in its use. While time-consuming, it’s the only way to get the most out of the system.
Implementing a new system requires transferring the old database to the new system. Correct transference is key. That often requires adding missing data and modifying data to fit the new system.
During this phase, real warehouse data will be used in multiple tests across the system. This ensures accurate recording of everything from stock to price.
This is when it gets real. On the agreed-upon date a snapshot of the warehouse data is uploaded to the database of the new warehouse management system, and the warehouse begins using its new system. In some instances, the warehouse may use both the new and old systems in tandem for a certain period of time to ensure accuracy as the changeover is implemented.
A Reliable Warehouse Management System is Crucial to Success
These days, a good warehouse management system is crucial to the success of any warehouse. With supply and demand increasing all the time, no warehouse can afford botched shipping or inventory loss.
If you haven’t upgraded to a warehouse management system yet, do it before you are left behind. These days, it’s essential.
Give us a call today to learn more about TQS Fusion WMS system.