The supply chain world simply doesn’t look anything like that of 30 years ago. It’s a completely different entity due to technology and the e-commerce world. Being able to meet the demands of a ‘think it-own it’ consumer in the online retail market is central to success. But what warehouse factors hold this back?
Operational Efficiency is Paramount
There is no margin for error in operational processes. Efficiency is the difference between failing or thriving as an e-commerce business. Central to this are your warehousing and distribution functions. This includes elements such as being able to meet the demands of same or next day delivery, as well as diversifying and staying ahead of continually shifting trends.
Efficient warehouse operations management is central to your brand’s reputation. It needs to be perfect each and every time as customer loyalty is hard to keep. This requires a finely tuned machine with an eager eye overseeing every little detail. Efficiency needs to be realised in every facet from staffing to inventory and shipping to tracking.
It is operational efficiency which allows your business to be flexible, agile in the face of change and able to scale according to demand.
Fixing Warehouse Problems
The problem is that many operations managers and supply chain professionals attempt to fix inefficiencies by plugging gaps in existing processes, rather than taking a radical approach to an updated system. What happens is further layering of complicated, and inherently inefficient, systems. Procedures, routines, and multitudes of Excel spreadsheets create an increasingly complicated warehouse. The potential for error to occur becomes greater and greater.
Technology is the Answer
The answer to warehouse inefficiencies is to embrace the latest technology and get it to work for your business. Warehouse Management Software platforms are the difference between success and stagnation in an unforgiving supply chain world. This notable investment pays off in terms of efficiency, and reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction.
However, knowing where to start with choosing and implementing Warehouse Management Software can seem daunting, and likely to cause horrendous upheaval in the short term. The temptation to put it off and continue ‘fudging’ the system you’ve got can become overwhelming. However, supply chain businesses that don’t implement Warehouse Management Software simply won’t exist in a few years’ time. You cannot afford to be left behind.
How to Choose the Best Warehouse Management Software for Your Business
The technology, including the Warehouse Management Software, you choose needs to be fit for purpose both today and tomorrow. You need to feel reassured that the solution you choose will give your supply chain business the cutting edge in a painfully competitive world.
This means your focus needs to be on collection of data and utilisation of the data. You need both. There is no point in collecting the data if you aren’t able to draw the valuable insights you so desire. It is the insights which lead to improved efficiencies. Insights enable you to identify areas for improvement – it identifies the areas which hold a warehouse back. Insights enable you to optimise the warehouse functions, which allow you to cope with the fluctuations in supply and demand.
Additionally, the Warehouse Management Software needs to be intuitive and suit your business. Hence many supply chain businesses will adapt a software system to suit them, or have a bespoke system created. It needs to be tailored to your business rather than attempting to fit a round peg in a square hole.
If you would like objective consultancy support in specifying a new Warehouse Management System, or any other warehouse consultancy support, please contact the team at Paul Trudgian today.