By Veeredra Jamdade, CEO, Vritti Solutions Ltd
Today most of the warehouses are not connected automatically. A good brand is stocked in 100s and 200s of warehouses across the country. In a warehouse, brands face batch accuracy issues, inventory, space and time management issues, visibility issues etc. During the present Covid crisis, there are social distancing issues due to multiple touch points. All these factors impact a brand’s service and client delivery.
Companies dump incoming stock wherever possible in a warehouse and staff, roam around an area of 80,000 sq. ft. to pick the product, thereby wasting a lot of time.
A good warehouse management systems (WMS) will be able to manage the aforesaid problems.
Big companies have invested in their own ware house automation systems. However, these in-house warehouse management systems (WMS) are expensive.
Today, there are third-party managed WMS in the market today, which can be effortlessly integrated with the core SOPs of brands within a low budget. The live integration improves the connection and co-ordination with a company’s field force and sales teams. Multiple sales of a product in various geographies could be tracked, re-stocking could be done online on a live basis. The technology allows one to see where his product is. The product could be ordered by the click of a button and is delivered automatically. As there are no touch points and it is completely automated, it is safe during the present Covid crisis scenario and improves the social distancing factor.
WMS could be integrated with bar coders, dispatch is the quickest, improves the margin on a product, and ensures minimum tampering. WMS gives excellent product wise, location-wise, and batch-wise response. The benefits of the WMS are realized depending on the individual requirements, industry and size. It enables to manage the business in a better way. Even if there are any investments required initially, it will reduce costs in the long run.
Some of the major benefits of WMS are:
Inventory Visibility: Being able to easily track the inventory at all times is one of the most important features of the WMS. WMS provides you the real time data on your inventory through bar codes, RFID. Any movement of the inventory within the warehouse or during transportation can be tracked easily.
Greater Space Utilisation: The WMS suggests the available location for storage of the products and helps make use of the available spaces in the warehouse very efficiently.
Reduced Fulfillment Time: The put, pick and pack team can easily track inventory in the warehouse and hence can pick and pack items faster and reduce the fulfillment time. There is also a reduction in mispicks. Over all, time consumption is reduced by 70-80%.
Improved Auditing and Accountability: Since the inventory is tracked at all times, loss of inventory from employees could be easily verified as they have to login to make any transactions. At the same time it is easy to match physical inventory and the system inventory and perform analysis.
Integration: WMS can be easily integrated with an ERP application and transactions like sales order and invoice generation can be easily performed.
Data Driven Decision Making: With such data available in the systems, one could easily find all trends in the data related to demand, order fulfilment, seasonality and trends. This helps one make better and smarter decisions. It is user-friendly, one does not need to have any additional resources to operate it and could be operated from a smart phone. The existing team members could easily learn this software. After-sales and support service can be good.
Union government has huge plans to boost cold storage and warehouse infrastructure in the country, which will help in minimising the perishing and wastage of agriculture produce in the country. With as huge growth in retail and e-commerce with the likes of Amazon and Flipkart, there is a lot of potential in developing and maintaining warehouses.
As a result, a lot of investments are pouring from the international operators and investors in warehouses. WMS will significantly help to achieve end-to-end solutions for warehouses. WMS compliments digitalisation and enables companies who have gone digital.
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