Warehousing and distribution functions within companies experiencing growth can face monumental scalability challenges. Without the proper Warehouse Management System (WMS) technology, a mid-sized to large distribution center can suffer from inefficiencies and unrealized productivity.
Some of the challenges that face a growing distribution center:
“While many business executives think that their issues are unique to their organizations or industry, businesses across the manufacturing, high-tech, and retail industry sectors face many of the same challenges in managing their supply chains,” according to a research study of 589 supply chain executives conducted for Oracle and Capgemini.
The solutions and benefits of a modern, Tier 1 WMS-powered warehouse and distribution center:
The right technology will ensure that your warehouse operations are running at peak efficiency. Here are some of the top-level benefits to be gained from implementing a Tier 1 Warehouse Management System platform in your distribution center:
Tier 1 WMS technology will decrease administrative time by directing pick and putaway paths, affording real-time inventory visibility and shipment statuses, and providing a host of other benefits (learn more about these benefits Tier 1 WMS benefits page). A supply chain partner can save you considerable time and money by providing access to technology that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Having an expert in supply chain engineering can also benefit you by allowing an experienced logistics expert to observe your processes and find areas for systems improvement.
Tier 1 WMS is not about replacing your labor force—it’s about empowering them to become more efficient, more confident, and more productive on the job. Empowerment for performance improvement is key to maintaining a values-driven company culture. When Forever Direct consolidated from 11 distribution centers to one single distribution center in Europe, they implemented a complete WMS supply chain solution through Manhattan Associates. In the words of their Operations Manager: “Instead of performing all activities manually, the system now does the thinking for them and our staff use handheld devices. This saves a lot of needless toing and froing and a huge pile of paper. At the same time, it has also given us an extremely high level of accuracy in terms of our inventory levels and ability to fulfill and track orders.” Read the full case study on the Manhattan Associates website.
A system is only as good as the return you are able to quantify, and the efficiencies you are able to drive into an operation. Whatever technology you decide is right for your distribution center, make sure that the ROI is clear and measureable. If you are leveraging a 3PL’s technology platform for your operation, ask them to show you results that they have been able to deliver for other companies—both within your industry and also those of similar size and supply chain scope. When Dual Electronics Corporation contacted LEGACY to improve their distribution performance, they realized an increase in customer service by consistently exceeding customers’ in-stock requirements of 98%+, and enjoyed a 25% reduction in charge-backs from major customers. (Read the full case study here.) Whether you manage your own warehousing and distribution centers or have a dedicated logistics partner bringing added value to your processes, there is always room to improve. Contact a supply chain expert today to discuss how your systems can improve with the help of a Tier 1 Warehouse Management System.
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