As businesses continue to grow, their supply chain and warehouse operations become more complex. Businesses also tend to depend on multiple vendors and various dealers to procure materials all of which must be recorded and organized in a quick span of time. The demand for quicker deliveries and a growing clientele puts further stress on warehouses. Any delays and disorganized allocations in warehousing are felt within and beyond the organization, affecting the company’s as well as their clients’ revenues.
In order to effectively handle the growing complexity of these operations, businesses are introducing dedicated warehouse management systems (WMS) to plan, process and streamline warehousing specific operations of the supply chain. The features and flexibility offered by WMS will have a direct impact on how effectively change can be enabled.
To help business owners make the right choice, this blog presents a few key considerations while opting for a WMS solution.
Create unique identification:
As warehouses record and label incoming and outgoing parts/materials, it becomes essential that there is only one unique identification code for every single part/material. The WMS of buyer’s choice must enable creating and maintaining authentic records, which in turn allows to quickly locate and identify materials. An ideal WMS must therefore have features that assign a unique code while picking that can be used within and outside the premises of a warehouse, offering a clear view of every single unit. This will save time lost in duplication and also help warehouse personnel to react as quickly as possible.
Flexible integration with existing systems/processes:
As discussed in previous consideration, every inbound or outbound movement of goods in the warehouse must be tracked and recorded. This data must also be shared with different departments/processes that have a direct stake in these goods/materials to compare and confirm dependencies are resolved. This in turn helps a warehouse to maintain stock/product availability at an optimal level. For example, the finance team would want to make sure payments are made/received before picking/delivery. Similarly, production teams in manufacturing units would want to ensure that they have enough stock in hand to continue their operations and adjust orders accordingly. In order to ensure all relevant data can be gathered, unified, and assigned to each order and the subsequent movement, a WMS must be capable of integrating with the existing system and stay connected with all other departments who have a stake in logistics.
Allow space for automation:
Mobile robots and autonomous distribution vehicles are increasingly becoming affordable, and more businesses are integrating them to handle warehouses. Having direct control of these robots and vehicles will allow them to remotely monitor storage and retrieval within the warehouse. A WMS must be capable of remotely monitoring and controlling movement of the robots/vehicles in line with the optimal material flow system set-up to minimize movement and improve efficiency. A WMS must also have capabilities to sync with mobile or handheld devices which the personnel can utilize to automate label assignment and instantly identify goods by scanning them.
Hazardous material storage/movement:
In a few select industries that store and utilize hazardous or unsafe materials, the warehouse system must be capable of monitoring the conditions of space and maintain them in line with stipulated regulations. If an organization deals with hazardous materials or special categories of goods, they should ensure that the WMS in use must be capable of handling and monitoring their storage.
In line with business requirements, a WMS must be capable of catering to different needs of the organization. With continued growth, extensibility and scalability are also factors that come into play. Similarly, many other factors affect your choice of a WMS. Weigh your requirements against the capabilities of a WMS vendor and pick the right system. Prepare your operations for current and future needs. Partner with an experienced warehousing consultant to ensure seamless WMS implementation.
Exalogic & SAP EWM
SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) is an exclusive offering to streamline and control warehouse operations and thus improve overall operational efficiency. While providing real-time visibility with accuracy, SAP EWM also comes with capabilities to manage inbound processing control, storage and internal process, fine-tune outbound processes and other cross-functional features making it an ideal pick for businesses invested in their warehouse operations. As a renowned consulting and tech implementation partner in the UAE, Exalogic offers integration of SAP EWM with SAP S/4HANA ecosystem or other preferred systems that business owners may find viable for their operations.