Your Warehouse Is Full of Money
When you talk about business software or ERPs, you’re probably thinking of SAP, Oracle, EPICOR, or Infor. You think about operations, maybe HR, or your sales department and their CRM.
What you probably don’t think of when considering business software solutions is a warehouse management system (WMS).
You should, though. A good WMS provides business insight into warehouse operations, from receiving and putaway, to picking, shipping, manifesting, inventory control and cycle counting, returns, slotting, and employee performance. In fact, it’s amazing that many medium to large warehouses operate without a robust WMS to track and manage all that goes on in a warehouse. It’s not that you CAN’T do business without a WMS, because you can, but if you skip the WMS, you’re not doing business nearly as efficiently as you could be.
Your warehouse or distribution center is a very central part of your business, so it makes sense to keep track of everything inside of it. Keeping track of inventory is crucial, because so much can happen to that flat screen TV or box of bolts between the time that they arrive at your dock and the day that they are shipped to a customer in Oklahoma. They could be stolen, or placed in the wrong bin. You can’t wait until a customer attempts to order a high-price item to determine that the item isn’t where it should be. That’s not just bad customer service (although it is), it’s bad business.
Think of your inventory as boxes of cash instead of mere physical items. Because that’s ultimately true, isn’t it? You paid for the items that you carry, so every single item has a dollar value and deserves to be tracked. Thinking about your inventory this way can help you recognize the importance of carefully monitoring each item as it is moves through your warehouse.
An ERP system doesn’t have the capabilities necessary to offer the detailed inventory tracking that a WMS can offer, per bin, tote, or transaction. Even ERPs that are beginning to venture inside the four walls of the warehouse don’t offer robust performance tracking and standard-setting capabilities that comes with a world-class WMS.
When you think about managing a business, you have to think about all aspects of the business. Your warehouse may be the most expensive part of your actual business ops, so managing it correctly is a smart business decision. This makes the WMS an integral part of your business software solutions, and a crucial cog in a well-oiled, revenue-generating business.