Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is often regarded as a one-stop solution for businesses seeking to streamline their core processes, improve interdepartmental collaboration, and reduce costs.
A well-designed ERP platform will often feature warehouse management, or more likely basic stock keeping capabilities, but it is important to understand that a dedicated Warehouse Management System (WMS) delivers greater functionality that is more acutely focused on inventory control and the warehouse management and operation.
ERP and WMS platforms are, undoubtedly, the mainstay for successful manufacturing, sales, and distribution businesses. But why should you implement a warehouse management solution in addition to your ERP?
Real-Time Inventory Management
Manufacturing companies usually require inventory insights from the office and the shop floor but, without WMS, rely on staff manually entering data sporadically. A WMS integrates with your existing ERP platform to provide real-time information about inventory so that you can monitor your business’s situation and performance instantly at any moment in time.
A WMS also improves the accuracy of data, no matter where stock is located; by reading serial codes, every item is meticulously tracked, or who has handled it from the moment it arrives in the warehouse until the moment it leaves.
Improved Efficiency And Accuracy
At busy times, it can be challenging to fulfil your customers’ orders to meet their expectation for rapid delivery. Instead of restricting the volume of sales to cope with demand, a Warehouse Management System will help you control what is done and when to achieve quicker processing times and higher productivity in order to meet despatch deadlines.
The platform allows you to optimise your distribution of staff and warehouse capacity to respond more promptly to surges in demand, while your warehouse team can secure greater pick accuracy and by using bar code readers instead of relying on manually entering data.
Reduce Your Warehousing Costs
A WMS platform enables you to slash your operating costs, thereby securing a healthy Return on Investment (ROI), without compromising on customer service:
- A good WMS can cut your labour costs by potentially by up to a third because warehouse staff no longer rely on paper-based methods of stock control, leading to faster fulfilment times and more focused use of their time.
- Inventory should be stored in a more logical and accessible way, thereby improving productivity and efficiency. For example, similar items are stored close together to and with WMS directed picking will reduce the distance and time staff spend moving around the warehouse when picking stock.
- WMS reduces the use of paper and enables multiple orders to be fulfilled together, so there is less wastage and greater adherence to environmentally friendly policies.
More Accurate Demand Forecasts
With its sharp focus on inventory, a WMS can also provide managers with the clinical data they need to improve their demand forecasting strategies. By offering better visibility of available stock, as well as the inbound and outbound movement of products and raw materials, both WMS and ERP provide valuable information that can help to tighten demand forecasting and achieve optimal inventory levels, avoiding costly stockouts or overstocking.
Contact LPC Today
At LPC International, we can help you to specify, choose and implement a WMS solution that will improve productivity, sharpen efficiency, and reduce your costs. For more information, please contact LPC today on 01285 640038 or send us a message.
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