Remove unnecessary paperwork and manual tasks from your business with the following WMS Guide for Small Businesses

Selecting the right warehouse management system for your small business can have a significant positive impact on the bottom line so it’s important to have an idea of the goals you’re planning to accomplish with a WMS and the specific functionality you’ll need to achieve those goals before speaking with vendors. The following quick WMS Guide for Small Businesses will point you in the right direction

If you have a small business, you may have wondered if it’s worth the cost of investing in a warehouse management system. It would seem that many of the advantages of a warehouse management system would be more suited to bigger businesses like 3PLs, distribution and fulfilment centres that need to keep track of and coordinate inventory across multiple warehouses. However, a warehouse management system can be beneficial to small businesses too.

Key Benefits:

  • Inventory Management – Just because you have a small business is small, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a lot of inventory to keep track of. While you may not have warehouses full of inventory, you also probably don’t have dozens of employees, either but trying to keep all your inventory organised can be a headache. A WMS can help you with this as well as figuring out the best way to organise your products so that your employees can find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.
  • Customer & Supplier Management – Keeping track of suppliers and customers in a small business is often difficult, partly because they may have specialised needs that can be hard to remember. A WMS can be programmed so that you can have a database at your fingertips that will remember even the smallest detail for you.
  • Improving Employee Productivity – Small businesses typically have a limited number of employees, which can make it difficult to keep everything running smoothly. A WMS helps you organise and optimise your inventory flow so that your employees can find products more quickly and easily, letting them spend more time on tasks like great customer service.

First Things First

Start with asking yourself why your business is looking for a new WMS in the first place.

There could be many reasons as to why your small business would want to implement a WMS system or switch to a more robust solution.

  • Is your small business growing in order and inventory volumes and can no longer manage that inventory using time-consuming manual picking methods?
  • Do you use a legacy system that is no longer supported by the vendor and doesn’t have the functionality you require?
  • Are you using barcodes and barcode scanners or thinking about implementing barcode scanning to reduce the number of picking errors?
  • Do you want to reduce the amount of time spent on fulfilling a single order?
  • Perhaps you need more sophisticated functionality such as the ability to pick the same SKU from multiple locations within your warehouse or mobile picking options.

Answering these types of questions is key to creating a technology roadmap and to narrow down the kind of WMS functionality you need.

You will need a system that can interface with your e-commerce solution to take the guesswork and doubt out of stock control. This is where the WMS comes in. A properly configured WMS will enable you to track items from before their arrival to when they leave your warehouse and beyond. Along the way it will help you make key decisions quickly and effortlessly using accurate and real-time information.

You can also use the data in the WMS to provide stock availability information to customers and enhance your overall service. The problem is that most WMS systems on the market are too big, cumbersome or expensive to meet the needs of the smaller and growing business. The upfront cost and likely implementation timescale simply put them out of reach.

A modern cloud based system can offer the functionality to a small business that needs a solution without big upfront costs and long timescales. With effective handling procedures and advanced multi-location control, you’ll know how much stock you have and where to find it. You’ll be able to optimise storage space, increase pick efficiency and achieve near total despatch accuracy. A product that’s intuitive and easy to learn will need minimal time to commission, but once up and running it will deliver benefits which transform the efficiency of your business.

In Summary

The modern consumer wants goods to be delivered ASAP – and for the best price. In order for your business to compete and flourish in this environment, your warehouse management system (WMS) must be accurate, responsive and adaptable. It also needs to grow with your business over time.

Managing a warehouse and all the inventory, as well as the staff related to that warehouse, can be a daunting task. In addition, ensuring the effectiveness of your supply chain so that you’ll be able to meet customer expectations is even more difficult. However, with a proper WMS solution, all of those tasks can be made seamless, thus ensuring your company can easily boost both its efficiency and its overall performance.

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.