Best practices for efficient warehouse management with SAP EWM
In today's competitive business environment, it's essential for companies to effectively manage their warehouses in order to remain profitable. A well-run warehouse can help to reduce costs, improve customer service, and increase efficiency.
In order to achieve these objectives businesses must enable best practices leveraging the latest technologies to improve processes. This, in turn, would allow them to maximize their warehouse management capabilities and reap the benefits of increased efficiency and cost savings ultimately increasing their bottom line.
Best practices to enable an efficient warehouse management
Proper Inventory Tracking: Proper inventory tracking should be the foundation of any good warehouse management system. This includes tracking inventory levels and ensuring that all incoming and outgoing shipments are accurately recorded. Additionally, it’s important to have an accurate system for tracking and managing reorders, as this ensures that your warehouse is well-stocked and ready for business. RF-enabled barcode scanners that are directly integrated into the warehouse management system can help accelerate the process of maintaining an accurate record of stock-keeping units (SKU) which pushes the overall efficiency of the warehouse.
Advanced Shipping Notification: Shipping delays and unplanned inbound processing can add unregulated downtime hitting the warehouse efficiency. Advanced shipping notifications from vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders will allow warehouse managers/personnel to plan the inbound activities thus allowing for optimal personnel utilization and lower turn-around times.
Streamlining End-to-End Processes: Streamlining processes is essential for keeping your warehouse running smoothly. This includes creating and maintaining a well-defined process for receiving and storing goods, as well as for picking, packing and shipping them. This will allow the warehouse personnel to reduce the amount of time and effort required in managing the warehouse, as well as minimize the chance of errors.
Enforcing Health and Safety Standards: Concentrating on the health and safety of the staff is among the best things business stakeholders can do for a warehouse. The best warehouses emphasize the health and safety of the site and workers. Ensuring that the products are safe, procedures are being followed, and enabling high productivity has a direct impact on the quality of products and the service of the business. Cutting down on redundant and unnecessary procedures by leveraging tailor-made warehouse management solutions can help accomplish this. Finally, they must continually evaluate the warehouse's layout to increase accessibility and reduce work-related accidents or product damage that can unsettle the organized structure in place.
Cross-docking: Cross-docking is a warehouse management practice used in companies that handle less than truckload (LTL) shipments and large distribution centers for strategic rerouting. The process involves taking inventory from one truck and quickly transferring them to another, with the support of which, companies can achieve greater efficiency and reduce operational costs. Cross-docking eliminates the need for long-term storage of goods that are perishable such as food & beverages or packed and sorted for immediate delivery. This approach helps maintain the flow of products to customers, giving them better control over the supply chain.
Cut down the number of touchpoints: A simple strategy to cut out extra stages from the order fulfillment process is to reduce the frequency of physical contact points. The process has a two-fold advantage pushing the managers to monitor and review the process from time to time and reduce redundant/needless steps to simplify it. Every touch point that the business eliminates will expedite the process while reducing the risk of wear and tear.
SAP EWM capabilities for warehouse management
SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) is a module built to support the growing digital requirements of businesses involved in warehousing operations. Designed to reduce operational complexity, the system supports the planning and execution of all processes in an efficient manner.
With the storage bin management & optimization feature, warehouse managers can map and monitor stock movement and storage at the bin level. The goods movement feature adds the essential capability to create and track goods receipts, stock transfers, automatic replenishment and goods issues. The EWM system also has the capability to efficiently handle layout-oriented and process-oriented storage control, effective work preparation using automatic wave pick creation, and resource optimization using rule-based bundling of warehouse tasks.
Physical inventory is among the most important feature for any warehouse wherein the business requires to keep an accurate record of all goods at product and storage bin levels by comparing with the manual count. This feature when used with RF-enabled devices used for tracking and counting provides maximum operational benefit.
To gain the advantage of similar features SAP EWM has to offer, companies should become decisive about testing their process in place, and identify the operational gaps to scale up, automate and standardize the operations while building efficient and profitable warehouse models. Think digital with an EWM implementation expert to take the next step toward innovation and rise above the conventional challenges that hold back businesses.