We made it through the holidays through the Black Friday rush and the sales leading up to Christmas Day. As online continues to be the shopping method of choice, it is important to have a system in place that can keep up with the demand. As orders slow from the holidays, now is a great time evaluate software, equipment, and processes. What is working well and what is not working so well. From a business and warehouse operations standpoint, your Warehouse Management System (WMS) is the core foundation to enabling the success of your company. Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating your current WMS.
Keeping up with Industry Trends
Technology is always changing, and it is important to keep up with trends, including keeping a close eye on what the competition is doing. Is your system flexible…able to adapt to changing demands? If your warehouse processes are not able to keep up and continue to keep customers happy, they will find someone that can.
Processing Ecommerce Orders
Speaking of trends, are you able to process ecommerce orders in a timely manner? Is your WMS system able to perform a variety of picking methods depending on the type of order you are fulfilling? I don’t think ecommerce is going away anytime soon, so if you aren’t currently doing ecommerce orders, now is a great time to start. In 2020 from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, online retailers had a record-breaking number of orders. Shopify showed a 76% increase in sales on its platform compared to 2019. Amazon saw a 60% increase in sales and Adobe estimates that $9 billion was spent online in the U.S. on Black Friday alone, SearchEngineJournal.
Is your WMS integrated with other warehouse systems such as an accounting or ERP system or a Transportation Management System? Are you able to capture orders from multiple sources including ecommerce shopping carts? There are different ways of connecting systems, but one popular way is through EDI – Electronic Data Interchange. Also, API’s (Application Programming Interface) will become the standard in the near future.
Equipment and Hardware
Have you recently purchased new equipment or hardware such as carousels, conveyors, handheld scanners, or forklifts? Are these a part of a seamless operation or are there break downs within the process? Having a scanner that is properly integrated in the WMS, saves time by not having to do manual processes and makes sure that the pickers are directed in the shortest or most efficient path in the warehouse. This also helps maintain accurate inventory counts by scanning locations and items to ensure that they are being taken out of inventory and being picked from the right spot. The importance of Lot / Date control on items, demands efficient and accurate scanning of bar codes (multiple formats.)
Are you operating out of multiple locations? Are you using multiple systems? If so, are these systems working separately or are they all interconnected? Are you able to use one system, to see your inventory across all locations? Can managers pull reports across all these locations? Can your customers see all warehouse locations regardless of system or company?
Considering a new WMS? Our Cadence Warehouse Management System can be integrated with multiple locations, systems, and accept orders from multiple sources. Contact us today, to learn how Cadence can streamline your warehouse operations and increase efficiency.