Increased speed and accuracy of fulfillment is a tangible benefit of a Sage Warehouse Management System (WMS) that allows for a near immediate return on your investment. Most businesses see cost-saving productivity increases right off the bat when automating their warehouse.
But there are numerous other, less tangible ways that a Warehouse Management System protects you from negative business events. Here are five areas where an automated warehouse acts as a preventative measure for your business:
1. Theft/Fraud Prevention - manual systems are rife with potential for theft. Missing paperwork or lack of reconciliation with receipt, transfer, shipment, and other data in the accounting system leaves a company exposed to fraud. While you’ll probably catch on eventually, a warehouse automation system that integrates with your accounting/ERP software makes it far easier to identify missing inventory resulting from theft before damage is done.Additionally, the ability to quickly and easily perform cycle counts throughout the year means you don’t have to wait for your semi-annual or annual physical count to spot incongruencies between physical inventory and inventory levels on your books resulting from inventory that has “walked off.”Plus, an automated warehouse is an organized one, which makes it far more difficult to conceal theft than in a warehouse that is laid out in a structured manner with items located haphazardly throughout.
2. Identifying productivity issues before they’re out of control - identifying performance issues and backlog risks before they’re out of hand can help you avoid unnecessary loss.How long does it take a company using manual processes to identify unproductive workers? Usually too long. Warehouse management lets you report regularly on individual productivity such as orders or items picked, items counted during physical counts, and even stats that take item weights into consideration.Provide coaching for underperformers and reward your hardest workers by knowing who they are from day to day or even hour to hour.Likewise, if the warehouse is at risk of falling behind, warehouses with manual processes will be slow to recognize the situation and may not do so until fulfillment falls dangerously behind, putting you at risk of losing business. With warehouse management, visual representations can be used to show you red flags quickly while you still have time to mitigate the situation and get back on track.
3. Customer service / customer retention - It goes without saying that your customers will be more likely to stay with you if their orders are delivered accurately and on time, and more likely to leave if you make promises you can’t keep by taking orders you can’t fulfill due to lack of visibility into accurate quantities on hand. With warehouse automation, your sales team can get instant insight into inventory levels—even broken down to what’s on hand and what’s on reserve or otherwise can’t be sold.
4. Staying competitive - What if you can promise to deliver faster than the competition? Could you attract more new business as well? Win more contracts? Being able to turn orders around more quickly can make you more competitive in your market.
5. Inaccuracy in financials - Inventory valuations are a key piece of the financial puzzle. If you’re waiting until physical count time to determine if your inventory balances are accurate, you could be basing important financial decisions on inaccurate information for months. Warehouse automation with ERP integration gives you confidence in the inventory amounts in your accounting system.
The bottom line: a warehouse management system can have far-reaching and long lasting benefits that extend beyond the basics of a dramatic increase in productivity.
ScanForce offers a comprehensive Sage Warehouse Management System partner for Sage 100, Sage 100cloud, and Sage Intacct. Contact us to learn more.