Warehouse management is not an easy task. Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a system that helps stakeholders to manage the goods’ flow from or into the warehouse to speed up the lead time process automatically. Then the stakeholder can identify all inventory transactions and stock quantities faster and more accurate in real time. The stakeholder can also check the goods distribution flow.
Since, the consumers can shop online for 24 hours / day and 7 days / week, the challenge of warehouse management does not stop when retail stores lock their doors for the day. In order to reduce delays and maintain competitive advantage, retailers, producers, and warehouse managers must learn how to identify common and unique challenges. Then, they should know how to overcome them by implementing best practices for each problem.
There are several things you must acquire in managing the warehouse management, which include:
Identifying Factors that Contribute to the Challenge of Warehouse Management
Warehouse manager faces many challenges, but in an omnichannel technology, the challenges will disappear when warehouse managers clearly understand the system and know how to avoid new problems that will arise. While some challenges focus on spatial use, the main challenges can be difficult to identify, especially when using manual or outdated systems and process.
Furthermore, identifying the warehouse management challenge depends on the unique circumstances and level of activity for each facility. Therefore, the use of omnichannel system can identify the problems before problems arise.
Predict the Problem From the Beginning
The main challenge of the warehouse management is to serve more customers, deliver more products, and ensure greater accuracy in all activities. Based on decision point systems, there are several key challenges for warehouse management such as:
- Some locations need more workers, systems, and processes.
- A shorter product life cycle makes planning for demand fluctuations tend to be difficult.
- Warehouses directly serve retailers and customers, generate smaller pick tickets and increase the chance for errors.
- The redundant process for online, retail, and split shipments resulted the loss of opportunities to increase revenue and increase the risk of reducing order accuracy.
- Insignificant use of space or slotting processes, Tim Garcia's report through Manufacturing Business Technology, requires additional time to complete tickets and increase security risks for workers, especially when items are being involved more than 50 pounds.
How to Change Warehouse Management Challenges into Opportunities
Trying to define a series of specific strategy to overcome the challenges in warehouse management will be impractical. Instead, the company should focus on increasing the process level. Then, warehouse managers must follow the following best practices:
- Implement orders and warehouse management systems that are constantly updated, allow scalability, and can be modified if only necessary.
- Develop a fast process. Agility allows for a level of error and response in making warehouse management decisions, but it is important to back to business rules and standard processes as soon as possible. Of course, if changing business rules resulted in higher efficiency and productivity, changing business rules can be a good idea.
- Bring the system together. Different system means different visibility into inventory, but with bring the system together will increases productivity and reduces the need to manage multiple sites through various systems.
Those are the definition and challenges in the warehouse management. You can clearly see the benefits of warehouse management system when all parts of the supply chain management including the warehouse management have been implemented correctly. So, if the company wants to implement a good warehouse management, make sure every aspect of the supply chain can perform well.