SMBs Shouldn’t Discount Warehouse Management Systems

SMBs need to gain control, visibility and accuracy of their businesses to maximise their growth in 2018

Are your current systems proving to be inadequate to meet your customers’ demands for visibility and control? Has recent growth over stretched your logistics functions? Unless you’re in the enviable position of having a unique product that only you can provide, your customers won’t stick around for long if other SMBs and your competitors can fulfil orders quicker and provide a better shopping experience for them. Being cheaper won’t help if customers want their orders quickly.

Businesses that are slow or sloppy in their fulfillment operations, risks losing customers

Due to retailers like Amazon, who are raising the bar on rapid, error‐free fulfillment at extremely low cost per unit, consumers today expect orders to be shipped the same day, without mistakes. As a result, small to medium size businesses (SMBs) should be concerned about if the performance of their business is being impacted due to lack of Warehouse Management System (WMS).

A Warehouse Management System aims to control the movement and storage of materials and supplies within a warehouse without the cumbersome “paper” flow associated with picking and putting away inventory. It offers real-time visibility of inventory to help users identify the exact location of any piece of stock, their latest order statuses, eliminate shipping errors, and attain higher fulfillment levels. With deeper insight into their warehouse floor, managers and decision-makers can improve their productivity and profitability.

Still unsure if a WMS is for you?

If you are you encountering any of the following problems – then the answer is yes!

Error rates climbing or unacceptable

The more complex your warehouse and distribution center become, the more mistakes and errors will occur such as wrong items or quantity shipped, incorrectly packed or damaged goods, incorrect paperwork, and other customer claims that will result in more returns and chargebacks.

Missed deadlines/high expediting costs

If suboptimal layout, picking sequences and paths, poor slotting decisions and extra time spent looking for items are leading to missed deadlines and high expediting costs, you need a WMS. A warehouse and WMS that have been configured for optimised slotting increase the pace of picking and ensure that cycle counts are done efficiently.

Low fill rates/low perfect order rates

Inaccurate forecasts, late deliveries from the supplier, inaccurate inventory records, poor visibility into stock on hand, and picking issues are all indications that you could use a warehouse & distribution management software.

SMBs simply cannot afford to keep using a manual paper based approach to managing a warehouse

Fulfillment costs rising or too high

As your business grows, the fulfillment cost per unit should go down, not up. However, the battle for ever‐faster fulfillment and shipping, in addition to inefficient utilisation of warehouse labour and space can affect the profitability of your business.

Running out of room

What you need is a properly implemented WMS combined with optimising your site’s layout and processes. By automating warehouse management, you generate higher throughputs from the same space, postponing the move to a bigger space even as your business grows.

Chaotic environment/flying blind

If you don’t trust the information coming out of your warehouse, you have trouble meeting traceability requirements, or you struggle to generate and send timely ASNs, it’s time for a WMS. You need a WMS for small businesses/SMBs that provides the disciplines and data collection necessary for visibility, traceability and automatic document generation.

High turnover/uneven workloads

A chaotic environment, too much manual administrative work, and uneven workloads can lead to workers frustration, low job satisfaction, and high staff turnover. If you find you’re spending an inordinate amount of time hiring, training, and micro‐managing staff about what to do and where things are, it may be time to switch to a WMS.

Jammed up receiving dock

Is your receiving area an obstacle course with incoming shipments sitting for hours before they are received into the system? Are trucks backed up in your yard waiting to unload? Are items often missing or misplaced during receiving? These are all sign that you could use a WMS. A jammed receiving dock slows overall throughput, increases lost and damaged items, and creates safety hazards for workers.

Products handled too many times

Every extra touch or move adds labour, time, risk of damage, and errors. Implementing a WMS provides the opportunity to reassess all your processes and see if there are better ways to do things, including improving the layout and flow of your warehouse.

Unable to keep up with growth and demand peaks

As an overarching symptom of all of the above, your distribution center may be the bottleneck constraining the growth of your company and/or your ability to reach your maximum revenue potential during peak seasons. In this case, a WMS can be an enabler for the growth and profitability of your business.

In Summary:-

Keeping up to date with your stock levels, orders and locations means that you are less likely to run into problems, whether that be out-of-stock items or missing orders, which will, in turn, lead to happier customers and return business. Implementing this level of control and oversight on your warehouse, also allows you to increase your order capacity, which leads to more business and greater profits.

Keep your customers happy with a faster and better level of service for less with a WMS

If you are experiencing any of the mentioned problems, then it is time to take a serious look at implementing a WMS. Postponing implementation of a warehouse management system may be costing your business in ways you cannot afford: higher labour costs, chargebacks, excess returns, and unhappy customers.

The one thing you will want to keep in mind when shopping for a warehouse management system for your business, is finding one that will grow with your business. After all, if your business becomes more efficient and productive, you’ll likely need to expand in the future.

About us:

Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.

Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.

ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.