Top 5 Reasons to Employ a WMS

Companies running their supply chain with a pen & paper or a spreadsheet system can unknowingly harm their company’s productivity, fulfillment accuracy and bottom line. Lost customer loyalty, stock inadequacies and labor inefficiencies lead to a harmful brand stigma that once in place, is hard to shake.

Here are my top 5 reasons to put the pen and paper down and transform your operations with a top-level WMS.

Trust your forecasts and trends – Running your business on “gut instinct” will eventually fail you. While there is something to be said to having a feel for the business, important business decisions require solid data collected in real-time. Analysis of this data results in a concrete predictor of future needs and orders. With a pen & paper or spreadsheet operation data needs to be recorded, normally a few times a day, and often results in holes and gaps due to a loss of recording sheets or the information was not measured or entered. With a Tier 1 WMS solution you get instant access to real time data presented visually in dashboards or in different types of charts. Custom reports for your business and metrics are available at the push of a button allowing you to make informed real-time and long-term decisions.

Secure your customer – The saying goes, “You don’t gain a customer’s loyalty with the first order, you gain it with the fourth and fifth one.” It’s true, many companies don’t realize the harm they do to their brand when they fail to meet customer expectations. Late deliveries, incorrect orders or worst, poor communication, are the top reasons online shoppers take their business to other websites. A WMS confirms there is enough stock for orders, enables more productive and accurate picking and labeling. This ensures you delight and keep your customers.

Reduce your labor – Over the past ten years, the finding and retaining of labor has been the top concern of business leaders in the supply chain industry. I have been in meetings with business leaders who have expressed frustration on the inability to keep employees from job hopping. A WMS can help by streamlining picking methods making them more productive and accurate, but more importantly, it eliminates frustration by taking the guess work out of daily tasks and creates an organized and confident staff. By employing picking methodologies like pick to box, employees walk less but get more done. The result is a decrease in labor needs and the retention of employees all while your business grows.

Inventory control – Prior to implementing a Tier 1 WMS, a client told me he constantly worried that if a few key warehouse staff members called off, they would need to send out “search parties” to find products for shipping. A WMS eliminates this issue by implementing a systematic, repeatable system that fully tracks putaway, picking and shipping requirements. A WMS allows operations to know exactly what they have and in what quantities. It also helps companies strategically store fast and slow-moving products. Another advantage using a Tier 1 WMS is inventory cycle counting, this all but eliminates the need for the dreaded end-of-year inventory shutdown.

Peace of Mind – As a manager of a supply chain there is always an abundance of challenges that need to be addressed due to changing business, political and cultural landscapes. Running an efficient warehouse operation with an effective WMS helps take the stress out of your operations. When issues do arise, the WMS can pinpoint the problem, leading to a quick solution. Managing the supply chain becomes more of a practice of maintenance and adjustments to the demands of the business. In other words, you run your operations, instead of it running you.

Need to learn more about a WMS for your supply chain? The FASCOR WMS is a Tier 1 solution for any size business. To learn more, click here.

Top 5 Reasons to Employ a WMS

Companies running their supply chain with a pen & paper or a spreadsheet system can unknowingly harm their company’s productivity, fulfillment accuracy and bottom line. Lost customer loyalty, stock inadequacies and labor inefficiencies lead to a harmful brand stigma that once in place, is hard to shake.

Here are my top 5 reasons to put the pen and paper down and transform your operations with a top-level WMS.

Trust your forecasts and trends – Running your business on “gut instinct” will eventually fail you. While there is something to be said to having a feel for the business, important business decisions require solid data collected in real-time. Analysis of this data results in a concrete predictor of future needs and orders. With a pen & paper or spreadsheet operation data needs to be recorded, normally a few times a day, and often results in holes and gaps due to a loss of recording sheets or the information was not measured or entered. With a Tier 1 WMS solution you get instant access to real time data presented visually in dashboards or in different types of charts. Custom reports for your business and metrics are available at the push of a button allowing you to make informed real-time and long-term decisions.

Secure your customer – The saying goes, “You don’t gain a customer’s loyalty with the first order, you gain it with the fourth and fifth one.” It’s true, many companies don’t realize the harm they do to their brand when they fail to meet customer expectations. Late deliveries, incorrect orders or worst, poor communication, are the top reasons online shoppers take their business to other websites. A WMS confirms there is enough stock for orders, enables more productive and accurate picking and labeling. This ensures you delight and keep your customers.

Reduce your labor – Over the past ten years, the finding and retaining of labor has been the top concern of business leaders in the supply chain industry. I have been in meetings with business leaders who have expressed frustration on the inability to keep employees from job hopping. A WMS can help by streamlining picking methods making them more productive and accurate, but more importantly, it eliminates frustration by taking the guess work out of daily tasks and creates an organized and confident staff. By employing picking methodologies like pick to box, employees walk less but get more done. The result is a decrease in labor needs and the retention of employees all while your business grows.

Inventory control – Prior to implementing a Tier 1 WMS, a client told me he constantly worried that if a few key warehouse staff members called off, they would need to send out “search parties” to find products for shipping. A WMS eliminates this issue by implementing a systematic, repeatable system that fully tracks putaway, picking and shipping requirements. A WMS allows operations to know exactly what they have and in what quantities. It also helps companies strategically store fast and slow-moving products. Another advantage using a Tier 1 WMS is inventory cycle counting, this all but eliminates the need for the dreaded end-of-year inventory shutdown.

Peace of Mind – As a manager of a supply chain there is always an abundance of challenges that need to be addressed due to changing business, political and cultural landscapes. Running an efficient warehouse operation with an effective WMS helps take the stress out of your operations. When issues do arise, the WMS can pinpoint the problem, leading to a quick solution. Managing the supply chain becomes more of a practice of maintenance and adjustments to the demands of the business. In other words, you run your operations, instead of it running you.

Need to learn more about a WMS for your supply chain? The FASCOR WMS is a Tier 1 solution for any size business. To learn more, click here.

True WMS vs ERP WMS Modules

Using a Warehouse management system (WMS), no matter the type or functionality, is a must for success in any operation. However, choosing the right solution for your business, today and in the future, can be a complicated exercise. You have to understand what software is the right fit, at the right price point and at the right ROI. Adding to the confusion is many ERPs have started to offer a WMS module as part of their core system. The advantage of this is an all-in-one system with easy integration alongside the ERP. But can the ERP’s WMS module functionality hold up over time and be able to scale with your business growth?

Advantages of Pick to Box

It’s no secret that managing e-commerce and omnichannel order fulfillment operations have become increasingly difficult over the past yearAs the events of 2020 have unfolded, supply chains strain to keep up with not only the demand for products but to ship them in a timely manner to keep customer confidence and loyalty. Many companies have started to examine their warehouse operations for cost saving opportunities as well as quick ways to improve efficiencies and productivity.  

6 WMS questions to ask before you buy

Having been in the supply chain and WMS business a long time, I know the complexities associated with finding and selecting a WMS application and the multitude of options you can consider. I think there are a few important questions to ask that can impact the long-term success of your decision:

How long has the vendor been in business and do they have a proven track record?
Be sure that your WMS vendor has a track record of success helping companies, including ones that look like your business. Ask yourself, can they help you now and 5/10 years down the road? Selecting a vendor that has proven results as well as the ability to be a partner in the future is critical now more than ever.

How much of their operations are based in the US?
While this pandemic has proven we can do a high degree of business digitally, there is nothing quite like personal assistance and an available support system. Be sure to investigate a vendor’s service organization, their support structure, and ticketing practices. How quickly can you get a developer or engineer on the phone (or to your location) when you need critical support? Do they effectively communicate and have project-based knowledge of your system and needs?

Can your vendor offer other complementary pieces to the WMS?
While most supply chains have many similarities to each other, each one has their own particularities and requirements that are tailored to customer needs and business demands. Be sure that your provider can react to the variety of requirements without having to deliver a truly customized, one off solution. Solutions today can and should afford you the ability to deal with most requirements through system configuration options (most are user controlled but can be vendor configured as well). This puts you in the best position to leverage your systems, including upgrades over the long haul.

Does the solution offer you both short and long-term flexibility to meet changing requirements, including the type of uncertainty we are currently facing?
Looking back at the beginning of 2020 and what has happened in such a short time, the word I keep coming back to describe what a supply chain needs to be is "flexible". Change will continue to happen, no matter how well we plan. Your WMS and related systems will need to handle these changes and be able to adjust to new customer needs and demands. Being able to manage change, scale up operations and be responsive to both internal and external needs are all requirements for today’s WMS systems both in terms of product offerings but more importantly the vendor providing you services.

Does the solution offer you the option of changing other internal systems (ERP) without significant investment?
Businesses and business operations change as companies grow and evolve. Be sure that your choice of a WMS does not have a significant impact on future business decisions. I have seen it first-hand, businesses making a switch to a new ERP system and due to a strong WMS with thoughtful integration capabilities to all types of other systems, the WMS became the cornerstone through the change and beyond. Without that flexibility, you may be changing your WMS along with your ERP.

How important are you to them as a client? Will you get lost in the big company structure?
While the technology is critical as well as the vendors ability to provide strong implementation and support services, something that can get lost is if you can have a strong relationship with the vendor. People still do business with people and in the end, it’s about the results and benefits that the relationship delivers. Selecting a vendor who is committed to building a long-term relationship with you can make a world of difference when you are first starting down the implementation pathway, as well as, to many opportunities as the days, months and years unfold. 

So…now what?

About a week ago I was at the MODEX 2020 material handling trade show. It was great seeing old friends and industry colleagues, unfortunately, that was about all I saw. Much of the industry stayed away due to the deepening and now all-encompassing corona virus. The show floor was littered with empty spaces or booths that were built, but with no one to work them. After the show was over, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversations of the forklift drivers, electricians and laborers all talking about how this would be their last real job in the foreseeable future. They would soon be unemployed, and the uncertainty of this new reality was unsettling to say the least.

MODEX in 5 Steps!

I have been to a lot of trade shows in my 20 plus years in the material handling industry. I’ve been to shows in every major city, I know, by heart, the layouts of most convention centers and there are times I’ve mistaken McCormick Place in Chicago as my second home. Some of my best work memories have been setting up, working or tearing down at trade shows. There was the hot sauce incident, the world’s largest pool party, the Star Wars dance off and the unforgettable and aptly named “Epic Evening”. (Come to FASCOR booth #6493, I can tell you stories.)

If You're Not Getting Better....You're Getting Worse

I think the worst thing ever said in business is, “But we have always done it that way.” Nothing is more disappointing than a business and its leaders being inflexible or unwilling to change even when the entire business world is changing around them. In fact, from 1955 to 2017, only 60 companies are still around that were on the Fortune 500 list during that span.

What is Inventory Control?

Understanding Inventory Control

It’s 2020, time to evaluate your operations

As 2020 arrives, it is an excellent time to take stock in your company and its operations. Evaluating what went right and wrong in the past year will allow you to identify improvements to make as well as enhance your throughput and efficiency of your employees. Its also a great time to look at and evaluate upgrades or additions to automation equipment and software.

PRESS RELEASE

As FASCOR's newly appointed Chief Financial Officer Bryan assumes financial leadership with responsibility for directing the company’s finance, accounting, human resources, and strategic sourcing functions.

Survey: State of Retail & Vendor Supply Chain Relations

Are We Getting More Integrated and Collaborative - Or Heading in the Other Direction? Help Needed from Retailers and Vendors/Brand Companies. Supply Chain Digest is asking you to participate in its 2nd Biannnual Benchmark Study.

Are you predictable? 

In the Fall 2017 issue of Transportation & Logistics International magazine, editor Alan Dorich comments on a transportation industry study by Oregon State University (OSU).

Recent Posts

Top 5 Reasons to Employ a WMS

Companies running their supply chain with a pen & paper or a spreadsheet system can unknowingly harm their company’s productivity, fulfillment accurac...

Read more

True WMS vs ERP WMS Modules

Using a Warehouse management system (WMS), no matter the type or functionality, is a must for success in any operation. However, choosing the right so...

Read more

Advantages of Pick to Box

It’s no secret that managing e-commerce and omnichannel order fulfillment operations have become increasingly difficult over the past year. As the eve...

Read more

6 WMS questions to ask before you buy

Having been in the supply chain and WMS business a long time, I know the complexities associated with finding and selecting a WMS application and the ...

Read more