Warehouse management is a big task. It's not surprising that many management teams struggle to grapple with the diverse range of issues they face on a daily basis. Sometimes this means that problems go unresolved, or that inefficient solutions are put into place as a stop gap until something better comes along. Today we're going to look at three of the biggest challenges in warehouse management.1. Customer Expectations - Your team may not be on the front line when it comes to dealing with customers day to day, but you will definitely feel the weight of unhappy customers.
Now that companies like Amazon are setting the pace for so many consumer products, we've found that even B2B customers have raised their expectations of what their vendor warehouses can handle.
This shift in expectations means that more customers are demanding short shipping times, impeccable order accuracy and flawless customer service, and they want it now!
The good news is that warehouse management software is proven to fill some of these holes and turn out better results while allowing you to identify areas where you are still struggling.
2. Redundancy - When it comes to building an electrical grid, we like redundancy. However, many warehouses find that they are repeating the same process over and over for a single order. Whether that means repeatedly confirming quantities of items, or sending a product to a different department that does the exact same thing you just did.
Redundancy of processes often occurs because there was a mistake that necessitated an extra check point. Unfortunately, repeating the process simply adds to your labor costs and doesn't solve the problem that caused the mistake in the first place. You're better off making sure that everyone is properly trained to do their job right the first time with the help of a robust Warehouse Management System rather than implementing repetitious movements.
3. Product Optimization - Product optimization is the act of balancing the types of products you have in your warehouse to best suit the needs of your customers. While we talk a lot about projecting re-order points and maintaining inventory accuracy, many warehouses still struggle to find the right mix, especially during seasonal changes. Having the wrong products in stock can be just as bad as having no product in stock (or even worse). Warehouse Management Systems work to solve this problem by tracking not just current trends, but previous year trends so you can see what products you'll be needing season by season.
These three challenges are at the center of our discussion about how to run a better warehouse. Warehouse Management Systems provide a number of tools to address these problems, but the most important thing is that you are discussing these challenges with your WMS implementation team before your new system goes live. They will be able to point you in the direction of features to prevent these issues from getting out of hand, and offer training options that will ensure you are using the system efficiently.