The global logistics industry is worth well over 8 trillion dollars. That massive number is only growing as consumers put in more product orders and more items find themselves moving around the world.
As items move, a critical component to getting things to where they need to go is warehousing, something you’re probably familiar with since you’re reading this post.
As warehouses find themselves becoming increasingly critical in today’s on-demand economy, a smart operations manager is probably considering an investment in a warehouse management system that can help spur organization and profits.
Not sure what a warehouse management system is? Wondering what value it may bring to your business?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, keep reading to take in key advantages those that arm themselves with cutting-edge inventory management enjoy.
1. Keep a Beat on What You Have
Your inventory in your warehouse may be worth more than your warehouse itself. Therefore, it stands to reason that you’d want to know what’s passing in and out of your doors.
While your team can make guesses based on boxes pushing through-loading gates and how full shelves look, warehouse management systems allow you to boil things down to exact numbers.
Imagine being able to scan a box as it came through the door and your system immediately knowing that you have 50 units of a certain item in stock? If you don’t have that capability today, we can’t begin to describe how valuable you’ll find it.
2. Minimize Losses
If an employee was stuffing 10 units of various SKUs into their coat and walking out the door with them once per week, would you notice? If you’ve got tens of thousands of items flowing through your warehouse, probably not.
Warehouse management systems fill the blind spot caused by inventory volume by keeping track of things that flow in and out of your building. If you’re expecting to be able to fulfill and deliver 50 items but are finding that what you’re seeing on your computer screen isn’t aligning with the physical inventory you have, you know it’s time to start asking questions.
3. Better Customer Service
If your warehouse is consumer-facing then you’d do well to have an excellent inventory management system in place.
By being able to track where items are, if they’re present in your building or if they’ve shipped and when, you can provide customers with immediate insight into how close or far away orders are from arriving on their doorsteps. That can also be helpful when serving business-to-business customers.
4. Identify Efficiency Opportunities
Bottlenecks in workflows lose businesses millions of dollars every year. Do you suspect that your warehouse might have bottlenecks that you could streamline to net more profit?
The only way to know for sure is by digging into data and warehouse management systems that offer plenty of that.
Consider for a moment what insights you might be able to pull from noticing that a palette of platform scales for sale took 5 hours to get stocked and made available on your eCommerce site, post-arrival.
What do those 5 hours mean to you in lost sales? Would cutting that time in half move the needle?
Those are the high-level questions that separate the most successful businesses from ones that can’t break away from being small.
5. Easy Integrations
A lot of the reasons why we love warehouse management software revolve around the things it can’t do. That might sound counterintuitive but hear us out!
Where warehouse management systems fall short, another application excels. Knowing that, warehouse software producers allow for their data to be pulled into other popular applications. Think QuickBooks, for example, which would enable you to automatically log moved inventory into your bookkeeping spreadsheets.
The sky is the limit when it comes to how you can integrate your warehouse data into any one of thousands of other tools on the market.
6. Stay in Compliance
There are a lot of rules that govern warehouses. Some states may have, for example, restrictions on which kinds of items you can store in the same building or within proximity of each other.
Some warehouse inventory management solutions allow you to build those rules into in so when boxes get scanned that could put you in a bad legal position, you’re notified.
These safeguards might now seem like a necessity given your size today. As you continue to grow though, you better believe that having a second set of digital eyes keeping you out of regulatory jeopardy will be welcome.
7. Stay Competitive
At the end of the day, if you look over all of the system advantages we’ve shared and think investing in a warehouse tool isn’t for you, that’s your choice. Understand though that competitors in your space aren’t all going to feel that way.
If they take the leap towards getting organized and scaling, and you don’t, you can bet you’re going to fall behind.
That should be enough motivation to mobilize you towards any one of the sophisticated warehouse solutions on the market today.
Don’t Delay in Exploring a Warehouse Management System
We hope that it’s clear that backing your warehouse with a quality management system puts you in a position to run your operation more intentionally. If that is of even remote interest to you, don’t delay in exploring getting a warehouse management system brought on. Every day you wait could mean money lost.
For more content on how to run your business more efficiently, explore our blog.
Read Also: Importance of an Internal Audit