Top benefits of WMS implementation for supply chains
A warehouse management system is much more than a tool just to improve your daily warehouse activities. When used correctly, WMS implementation provides a series of significant benefits to everyone in your supply chain.
It’s becoming a more integral part of SCM software, and many supply chain WMS include integrations with leading SCM tools. We think this is because more companies are taking a holistic look at their supply chain to curb their own costs, reduce uncertainty, and gain a favorable status with vendors.
Supporting end-to-end tracking
Consumers aren’t the only ones who want to know where the fish on their plate came from and if it was harvested sustainably. Today, partners at every point of the supply chain want to know about sourcing, labor practices, and quality controls for everyone else.
A WMS is one tool to use to help with this tracking by collecting relevant data and documents on goods as they move in and out of your hands. A supply chain-focused WMS is a top QA tool because it can support continuous readings on goods that need to be kept at certain temperatures, ensure products move according to first-in-first-out rules, and more through tracking and smart analytics.
Leading warehouse management software, even for small businesses, allows workers to collect signatures, verify shipments, and pass along the documents required for any hand-off. Insurance around goods and liability can be kept clear, and your WMS is just part of that end-to-end understanding.
Earlier response to issues
A related WMS benefit of supply chain management practices is the ability to detect and respond to supply chain issues sooner. If your main vendor cannot fill an order or has a delay, a WMS can update order information as soon as the vendor updates their shipping details. Alerts can be automated, so you know it’s time to find another source or let your customers know about a potential delay.
We’re big fans of alerts because in-system notifications can be easier to spot and address. An email from a vendor can get lost in the shuffle, delaying your time to understand and address the issue.
Your WMS implementation should connect with as many vendors and partners as possible so that you can learn about issues earlier down the supply chain and protect your customers too.
Reduced operational expenses
A good supply chain WMS can help you and your supply chain partners reduce expenses while running more optimized processes. WMS inventory management tools can ensure goods are used appropriately and that you’re resupplying as soon as you hit certain levels.
Automating the process and moving away from cycle counts can give your suppliers more regular business and prevent you from having to expedite shipments to meet customer demands. A WMS helps your staff run the warehouse more smoothly, improving their effectiveness and increasing the volume you can deliver and the fewer people you need monitoring or managing each part of the supply chain.
Cost and time reductions here allow you to focus your spend on high-growth opportunities. Linking a WMS with a TMS makes it easier for your partners to do the same.
Operational efficiency is often the stated goal of WMS implementation. We’re not arguing that it’s one of the biggest WMS benefits, just noting that it is much broader than typically thought of during the selection process.
If you choose a supply chain-focused WMS, you’re adopting technology that can make it easier to serve your customers and be a better partner to your vendors. A partner with a good WMS makes it easier for you to optimize your own processes, and who doesn’t want to be that kind of partner?
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