Six Ways Warehouse Inventory Management Software Optimizes Efficiency

Six Ways Warehouse Inventory Management Software Optimizes Efficiency

  • The Warehouse Inventory Management Software market grew to $1.4B in 2016 and is projected to attain a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.1% between 2017 and 2025 with the global market reaching $4.6B by the end of 2025. 
  • Warehouse Inventory Management software and systems help reduce infrastructure costs and enable the reallocation of existing IT resources to drive productivity improvements, according to IDC.

Supply chains are the lifeblood of any business, sustaining their ability to compete with new customers, and fulfill orders and commitments to existing ones, making Warehouse Inventory Management Software key to growth. For any company to grow, they have to excel in every aspect of Supply Chain Management from planning, logistics, fulfillment, optimization, including warehouse performance. The competitive intensity in every industry is growing, making supply chains and the warehouses that enable them more important than ever.

How Warehouse Inventory Management Software improves efficiency

Following are the six ways a warehouse and inventory software system improves distribution, logistics, and supply chain centers today:

  1. Improving Inventory Management Accuracy and Visibility. Inventory management accuracy and visibility is the most valuable advantage of any Warehouse Inventory Management Software system as it translates directly into cost and time savings. Improving inventory management accuracy and visibility requires a focused approach to capturing the most valuable metrics of performance and then tracking their performance over time.
  2. Accelerating and Fine-Tuning Order Fulfillment. Distributed Order Management (DOM) systems are the foundation of any successful Supply Chain Management system and are essential for the successful performance of a WMS. The best Warehouse Inventory Management Software suites are integrated into Order Management systems.  The advantage of having a tightly integrated Order Management and Warehouse Inventory Management Software system is that orders can be quickly processed, fulfilled, and often shipped with the entire process handled electronically within the warehouse. The best Warehouse Inventory Management Software is capable of providing On-Time Delivery, Order Fill Rate; order Accuracy, Line Accuracy, Order Cycle Time, and Perfect Order Completion. Of these metrics, Perfect Order performance is one of the most indicative of overall SCM accuracy and efficiency.   
  3. Increasing Warehouse Productivity. Getting more done in less time is a challenge every business faces.  Increasing the productivity within a warehouse starts with a streamlined approach to pick-and-pack, and then progresses to fine-tuning order fulfillment.  At the center of the warehouse, productivity is the need to ensure pick-and-pack performance is keeping up with every other work cycle in a company. One of the most effective approaches to continually increasing warehouse productivity is to gain insights from a series of key metrics.  These include orders per hour picked; lines per hour picked and fulfilled; items per hour; cost per hour; and cost as a % of sales. 
  4. Streamlining Automated Data Collection Accuracy and Reporting. Bar coding is the long-proven standard for automating data collection and can help to increase order accuracy and warehouse management. All Warehouse Inventory Management Software suites and platforms support some form of automated data collection.
  5. Streamlining Pick, Pack, and Ship Operations Across All Locations. Integral to Inventory Management and Fulfillment workflows, Pick, Pack, and Ship originated in Supply Chain Management systems decades ago. Evaluate vendors on their support for the piece, case, and pallet picking, including their ability to provide mixed pallet workloads for delivery to multiple locations. Pick, Pack, and Ship also has its series of metrics that need to tie back to inventory efficiency, order accuracy, including the perfect order and financial performance of warehouse locations. 
  6. Improving Location Management Performance and Contributions to Business Performance. Managing bins, slotting, and in advanced Warehouse Inventory Management Software suites, inventory location optimization algorithms, Location Management serves to unify the logical functions of a Warehouse Inventory Management Software with a physical location. The best in class Location Management systems can create a framework for optimizing a broad network of the warehouse, distribution centers, and fulfillment locations globally.  

Bottom Line: Supply chains are the lifeblood of any manufacturing business, enabling its operations to scale in response to shifts in customers’ demand. Warehouse Inventory Management Systems can assist in transforming supply chain efficiency into internal process performance gains while ensuring accuracy, compliance, and cost control.   

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This article was written by
Louis Columbus

Louis is currently serving as Principal, IQMS. Previous positions include Director Product Management at Ingram Cloud, Vice President Marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, Senior Analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at SaaS start-ups. Mr. Columbus’ academic background includes an MBA from Pepperdine University and the Strategic Marketing Management and Digital Marketing Programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Louis also teaches MBA courses in international business, global competitive strategies, international market research, strategic planning and market research. Mr. Columbus currently is a member of the faculty at Webster University and has taught California State University, Fullerton: University of California, Irvine & Marymount University.