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» Warehouse Management
Software - Part 1
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Software - Part 2
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Systems and Cost Savings
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Warehouse Management Software - Part 1
An efficient warehouse management system is capable of improving operations, streamlining processes, enabling better customer service, and broadening profit margins. There is little doubt that enormous benefits can be derived from installing a state of the art warehouse management system or that such a system provides an excellent return on investment, once it is up and running. Why then do some companies resist the initial implementation and continue with inefficient ways of doing business? Much of the answer lies squarely on the attitude of the company and the belief that change will not be beneficial.

Companies that have been unsuccessful in implementing warehouse management software are often the ones that view the warehouse as an expense rather than an asset. If there is not an investment in making the warehouse an extension of every department within a company, warehouse management software cannot cure the problem. There is often resistance to seeing the warehouse as an integral part of total business operations and as a problem-solving unit of the company.

Experts say that there are a number of steps that can be advantageous to companies that are in the process of acquiring and implementing warehouse management software for the first time - steps that wont cure all the problems, but will help prevent some of the more common ones. First, upper management must be convinced that installing warehouse management software and training warehouse personnel to operate it most effectively, is a good investment. Labor reductions and inventory accuracy are two good selling points to convince upper management, but there are others as well.

Warehouse management systems are effective at reducing the amount of space required to store product. These systems are capable of analyzing weights, dimensions, and special handling requirements that reduce the amount of wasted space in a warehouse through new and different storage configurations. If effective processes and procedures are implemented along with the system, a WMS is capable of eliminating inefficiencies and redundancies in a warehouse. The key there is to examine the processes and procedures carefully before carrying them over to a new system. If the same, old, inefficient processes are integrated into the new system, the same old problems will resurface.

A good warehouse management system simplifies the cycle counting process, by planning it, implementing it, and integrating it into every day activities. Cycle counting cannot is an essential part of good warehous management and a WMS can demystify those procedures. This results in improved inventory accuracy fairly quickly. Moreover, managers are allowed better control over the entire warehouse system through a good WMS. Instead of having to search for stock and be constantly involved in troubleshooting, managers are able to concentrate their efforts on process management.

Redundant tasks can be virtually eliminated through a good warehouse management system. Time almost never has to be spent manually checking for an item that the computer or an inventory list says is there. Information about what products are available and where they are located can be instantly called up and is at everyones fingertips. Confidence can be built or restored in the entire warehouse system.

And, the bottom line is customer service. Better use of warehouse space, better tracking of products, and less inefficiencies everywhere along the line boils down ultimately to happier customers who dictate repeat business.



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