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.

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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.  

Advanced Cartonization Pick to Box Infographic

There a lot of innovative (and expensive) solutions out there that can help get the job done. However, as my Father would say, sometimes the easy solution is the best solution. That leads us to what we call Advanced Cartonization or Pick to Box.  

Imagine a warehouse, pickers are on the floor going from location to location picking one or two orders into totes. When complete they walk to a pack station and drop off the materials to be packed and ship. Rinse and repeat. This strategy requires a lot of labor and can lead to unacceptable error rates. There is also a good chance the company is losing money in shipping by not taking advantage of the new DIM weight protocols.  

Using pick to box in a warehouse can take the guess work out of the DIM weight rules before a single item is picked. Using the FASCOR WMS software, the system Pick to Box Cartanalyzes the size, weight and dimension of  items to be picked and directs the picker to the appropriate box to select. It also rate shops the shipping companies to get the best rate, while still meeting customer expectations. The system prints out the shipping label to be placed on the box, again, all before a single pick. The picker then fulfills all the orders with a mobile picking cart with the pre-labeled boxes on it, now picking 20 to 30 orders in the same time it took to pick one or two.  

The method also effectively eliminates the need for packing stations as well as significantly decreases shipping costs and error rates. One of our clients, saw an almost 500K saving each year in freight and labor costs. 


Advantages to Pick to Box

  • System directed box selection (DIM) 
  • 100% vendor and carrier compliant labeling 
  • Reduced shipping costs 
  • Reduced labor needs 
  • Elimination of packing stations 
  • Reduced error rates 
  • Maximize orders per truckload 

 

Want to know more? Click here for an informational data sheet on Advanced Cartonization or click below to schedule a 30 minute demo.

 

Schedule a Demo

Andy Klare
AUTHOR | Andy Klare
Andy Klare currently serves as FASCOR’s Executive Vice President of Operations, lending his 26 years of warehousing, distribution, and supply chain technology expertise to the day-to-day operations of FASCOR’s development and implementation teams. In this role, Andy oversees all product development activities, project management, ERP integrations, implementation services and best-practices consulting and training for every FASCOR client. Andy graduated from Boston College with a BA in Economics, where he was an accomplished four-year letterman in Football. Andy currently resides with his wife and four children in the greater Cincinnati area, where he continues to give back to his lifelong local community on a regular basis. When Andy isn’t lending his expertise to the latest go-live project, or providing a hands-on demo for prospective clients, he can be found volunteering for his Catholic church or coaching football, basketball, and baseball for local youth in his spare time.
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