7 Signs a Business Needs a Warehouse Management System

Warehouse Management System 7 SignsWhen does a business know it needs a Warehouse Management System? The following are some tell-tale signs.

1. Inventory is tracked on paper and spreadsheets.

Tracking inventory on paper and spreadsheets is manual, leading to errors, extra work, and extra re-work and stifling opportunities for automation, integration, and the efficiency that comes with them.

2. It’s hard to be sure what's in stock.

If it’s not easy to access complete, accurate, real-time information on products and their counts, a business could use a Warehouse Management System which provides greater than 99% accuracy on inventory counts.

3. It’s hard to know the total value of your inventory.

Inventory valuation is central for a number of finance- and compliance-related reasons. A Warehouse Management System takes the first step toward inventory valuation with accurate counts, then applies cost analysis and price modeling tools for precise valuation.

4. A business physically stores products, but doesn’t consider it inventory.

Many businesses hold others’ products on consignment yet don’t consider those products inventory. While it’s true that products belong to someone else, the consignee should nonetheless manage the inventory like its own. In the case of a disaster, the consignee needs to know inventory counts and valuation. At the very least, the consignee is selling this inventory will want a good handle on what it’s selling and what it’s worth. Failing to keep track of inventory, even if it’s someone else’s inventory, invites trouble.

5. Inventory doesn't suit workflow and operations.

When it feels like inventory, operations, and workflow are running on different schedules, it’s time for a Warehouse Management System. A WMS can automate workflows for picking, packing, shipping, auditing, replenishment, and more.

6. There’s no way to integrate warehouse management with the rest of the business.

A Warehouse Management System integrated with a Business Management System or ERP, ecommerce website, and/or other systems (including third-party systems) can automatically generate documents and workflows for maximum efficiency. When the warehouse isn’t integrated, it’s usually a sign of manual processes that are unnecessarily time-consuming and error-prone.

7. There’s no way to easily analyze stock and replenish.

Without a Warehouse Management System it can be hard for a business to stick to its own inventory rules. Rules related to safety stock, reordering points, and material requirements can be missed without a WMS that automates stocking and replenishment workflows. A Warehouse Management System can automatically analyze stock, issue alerts for replenishment, and even automatically generate the necessary purchase orders to keep inventory levels optimal.

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