5 Steps to Modernize Your Warehouse

Warehouse management is one of the most important facets of supply and chain management. It encompasses all the processes involved in running a warehouse, including warehousing, inventory management, shipping and distribution. In this post, Brosnan Property Solutions (facility management company) and Global Trade Magazine will discuss more about warehouse management systems and how you can use the technology to modernize your warehouse.

Managing a warehouse is relatively easy in a small-scale distribution environment. If the company is small, distributors can get away with a simple approach to day-to-day warehouse operations. But as the distribution business grows, warehouse management becomes more complex.

An increase in product lines leads to a larger facility and more locations to monitor. With all these changes and increasing demand in your warehouse, physical management practices can quickly prove inefficient in meeting the needs of your consumers. That is why you should invest in a Warehouse Management System (WMS).

What is a Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system (WMS) is an advanced software platform that gives you an all-in-one way to handle all your warehouse activities. The primary goal is to ensure that your warehouse operates as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible by simplifying various functions such as inventory management and storage.

Implementing a warehouse management system offers numerous benefits to your distribution company. For example, it helps reduce human error and promotes better customer service. So if you think you’re always one step ahead of the competition, it might be time to invest and reap the rewards benefits of a warehouse management system.

How to modernize your warehouse using a warehouse management system

Here are a few steps to modernize your warehouse and improve operations with reliable warehouse management systems.

Evaluate your current warehouse management systems

Before taking a step, it is essential to evaluate where your warehouse is in the modernization journey. You need to assess current warehouse management systems and identify your strengths and areas that need improvement. It is important to note that warehouses (with different capacities) have different job requirements.

If you have a small distribution business, you may need a few tools/features to fully automate. However, larger and established warehouses may require an all-in-one supply chain suite. Conducting an assessment will help you determine the current state of your warehouse and identify your job requirements before embarking on your modernization journey.

Automate data collection and inventory management

Inventory management and data collection are the most basic warehouse management activities. Distributors must document each item during the warehousing process. As we all know, manual data entry can be time consuming and error prone. Therefore, it is essential to invest in different technologies to improve overall efficiency.

Some of the technologies you can use to automate data entry include barcodes, RFID tags, and paper and OCR scanners. These data capture technologies can help minimize human intervention in data collection, reduce errors, and increase productivity.

In addition to automating data entry, your warehouse can benefit from additional technologies such as speech recognition software, AI & ML and robotic systems. A reliable warehouse management system can help integrate these technologies to improve the distribution process.

Also Read:  Technology Empowering the Logistics Workforce 

Beautify your warehouse layout

In addition to modern automation technologies, your warehouse equipment plays an important role in the success of its operation. The primary purpose of organizing your warehouse is to make good use of available space, increase efficiency and facilitate the smooth running of operations. It helps improve order fulfillment rates by minimizing travel time and providing easy access to stored goods.

With a reliable warehouse management system, you can quickly generate an optimized warehouse layout design that arranges processes in a logical sequence and streamlines operations. Using the data collected by these systems, you can identify the most effective collection routes and determine which items should be placed close to the parking lot.

You can also figure out the right spacing between storage lots to improve maneuverability for both machines and workers. Or rearrange goods to ensure popular items are easily accessible, while stashing less popular items much further down the aisle.

Data synchronization across all systems

A modernized warehouse should synchronize data across all systems. But what exactly is data synchronization?

Data synchronization is the effort to establish consistency between source and target data stores. It ensures that all changes to data on one device are reflected across the entire system.

Every modern warehouse has different systems, such as inventory tracking and shipping systems. If these systems work separately, this can lead to data conflicts, resulting in poor data quality and a lack of reliable data. That is why it is essential to invest in a flexible warehouse management system that allows integration with other systems.

Synchronized systems improve warehouse operations by ensuring that information is up-to-date at every stage of the warehouse process.

Go mobile with your warehouse management system

With advancements in technology, it is now possible to migrate your warehouse management system to a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone. Accessing your WMS via a mobile device makes scanning, tracking and planning your warehouse activities easier. It also allows you to track employee performance even when you are away from the warehouse.

In a nutshell

Warehouse management is an ever-evolving venture of supply chain management. With the regular introduction of new technologies and trends, it is essential to adapt to keep up with the competition. Implementing these 5 steps is one of the easiest ways to modernize your warehouse and align the standards of your operations with the future of warehousing and distribution.

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