Warehouse Management plays a major factor in the performance abilities of supply chain operations. And while the e-commerce industry has evolved dramatically over the last 10 years, warehouse management is still a key driver in boosting your business’s growth.
A good warehouse management system covers multiple aspects of your warehouse, typically beginning from managing GRN workflow to controlling inbound processes to maintaining quality checks during outbound processes.
Now you might be thinking that if you have your individual OMS and ERP applications in place, then why do you need to deploy a WMS. Yes, you can manage your operations with simple OMS and ERP applications, but they often lack crucial operational functionalities, right from lacking the capability to accept or create ASN from a single system to possessing difficulties in managing inbound docks. And, if is not tightly integrated with a robust warehouse management system. And if you have multiple facility centers, then it’s imperative that you deploy a warehouse management system that can give you a centralized view of your operations from a single window.
Still confused? In simple words, during the ever-changing business environment, your business is demanding a system that can receive goods, tracks inventory, maintain inventory storage, execute picking & packing, and more, leading up to significant profits.
Let us walk you through the WMS in detail along with its benefits so that you can understand its significance in streamlining your e-commerce operations.
1. Manage Warehouse Space with Virtual Warehouse
Streamline your stock management in the warehouse space by planning and mapping out the placement of inventory virtually anywhere. For instance, if have a warehouse management system, then you will be able to get a virtual blueprint of your warehouse inventory, reflecting various sections as per the type and nature of the inventory. Right from analyzing the space and floor plan of the warehouse to determining the best possible use of warehouse resources in order to minimize duplication and unnecessary material movement, a WMS system can guide you through and through. Not to mention, with shelf management in place, you can also reduce the potential cost that may arise from time-consuming material placement.
FAQ – Will you be able to manage all the sections of your warehouse?
Most sellers end up doing ad-hoc management of their warehouse, causing inventory errors, stock-outs, etc., which lead up to a lot of mismanagement. It is imperative that the WMS you choose allows you to define zones, bins, and locations so that your warehouse can be neatly organized.
Your WMS solution should allow you to define zones based on product categories, product velocity (i.e. how fast or slow a particular product is selling), or any other such criteria which are important to your business.
Suggested Read: How does Warehouse Management System Works?
2. Ensure Full-Proof Inventory Tracking
Your warehouse doesn’t just house a hundred of inventory but consists of thousands of different stocks that vary in nature and type. And when you have to manage more than one warehouse at a time, then it becomes even difficult to keep track of each product. But with a e-commerce WMS in place, you can ensure systematic tracking inventory amid both inbound and outbound inventory processes. This way you can avoid any sort of inventory shrinkage in your warehouse. Finally, the planned and systematic tracking leads to mitigating potential redundancies in processes while enabling accurate inventory allocation and planning.
FAQ – Can it handle orders from multiple marketplaces?
You must be selling on 6-8 marketplaces all at the same time. Isn’t it so? Thus, it is important for any WMS solution to provide you with the ability to seamlessly track inbound and outbound inventory processes so you get 360-degree inventory visibility, which minimizes inventory duplication when you sell on more than one sales channel.
3. Get Elaborate Inward and Outward Quality Checks
A warehouse management system with detailed quality control checks during both product inwarding and outwarding ensures that only the correct product of utmost quality gets delivered to the end consumers. This feature not only enables you to maintain products up to the standards but also enhances the product cycle of your consumer, maximizing customer stickiness in a long run.
FAQ – Does it provide quality checks?
Due to the regular wear and tear in the warehouse, some stock may not always be in a sellable condition. For example, a stock may be damaged while lying in the warehouse, and the operator may discover the “bad” stock only at the time of the dispatch.
To avoid situations like this, it becomes important that the WMS you choose allows you the flexibility of doing quality testing at every key checkpoint (inbound, outbound, picking, etc.).
4. Improve Auditing and Security
Most of the warehouse management systems enable multiple employees of the company to use the software while feeding inventory information or entering transactions. This connects particular users to those particular transactions, giving them the responsibility and accountability for those transactions. This way, not only can you maintain a level of transparency in the warehouse landscape but also minimize the chance of theft or loss of goods.
FAQ – Does it have an access control feature?
With data theft and stock pilferage a day-to-day reality for most sellers, it is important that the solution you choose provides the ability to configure secure access to the system.
The solution you choose should provide a definition of roles to the users and grant access to the users based on the roles assigned to them. The roles should also be flexible enough to map all the warehouse processes. For example, Unicommerce provides the flexibility to define up to 9 roles in its solution.
5. Manage Order Shipping Seamlessly
With a robust warehouse management system in place, you can also manage shipments of your orders by integrating them with your system. You can also plan to receive dock doors and outbound shipments docks with WMS. Moreover, the centralized system also gives you the ability to let your customers track the entire delivery process with ease. For instance, with a WMS, you can send the updates to your customers, letting them know the status of their order highlighting the location at which the order is.
Additionally, with solutions providers like Unicommerce, you also get integrations so that you can seamlessly connect with leading shipping aggregators. This not only saves your time and cost but also gives you an even wider view of your shipments in real-time.
FAQ – Does it help in tracking shipments across multiple delivery partners?
E-commerce sellers have to deal with various shipping providers (marketplace-provided shipping, self-shipping, etc.), which becomes quite troublesome.
Thus, it is important that the WMS you choose enables you to track shipments across various delivery partners. In addition, the system should allow you the adaptability of defining the priority of shipping providers or building custom rules. For example, fragile items should go through courier X only, or high-value items should go through courier Y only. All this is currently supported in Unicommerce.
6. Maintain Bills with Utmost Ease
A warehouse management system is not just limited to managing your inventory. If you have a stable system in place, you can also simplify the complex billing process. Bill management is one of the most crucial aspects of business and if not managed properly, you may suffer from huge losses. Most of the WMS solutions like Unicommerce come pre-integrated with third-party apps that can enhance your capabilities to manage bills on a single screen.
7. Minimize Operational Costs Pertaining from Returns Management
When the returns orders re-enter your warehouse it not only challenges your operational efficiency but also accommodates warehouse space. Not to mention they tend to depreciate quickly as compared to fresh stock. That’s when you start questioning the expertise of your warehouse system. When the returned products re-enter your supply chain, it challenges your operational efficiency. While a robust system can avoid potential returns, you can enable efficient and smooth order replacement, ensuring clearer visibility of stock movement and faster inventory turnaround.
FAQ – How easily can you manage returns in the WMS?
For any online seller, returns are a big pain area, as it adds directly to the cost, and every seller continues to grapple with this issue. If returns are managed properly, the profitability of any seller can easily improve by 10-15%, thus it is important that the solution deployed by you is able to handle such a critical process seamlessly. It is important that your WMS solution should be able to scan each item and identify the order against which the return is received. The solution should also be able to reconcile the returns for which the item itself is not received.
Effective warehouse management translates to having the right amount of the right product at the right location delivered just in time to satisfy customer needs at the minimum cost! Moreover, you can perform tasks including, handheld, FIFO, batching, cycle count, etc.
Schedule a FREE demo with Unicommerce WMS consultants.
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