The warehousing business in India is in its nascent stage compared to the warehousing operations of European countries and North America. For long, the mindset surrounding the warehousing business was to use the space for storage and stockpiling of goods and products. But the scenario is changing in India as an increasing number of investors and foreign players are investing their capital in the warehousing business.
The mindset surrounding the warehousing business is also changing. Warehouses are being looked upon as assets rather than liabilities. An efficient warehouse is an indispensable element of a successful supply chain. Warehouses are being used to not only store goods but receiving them, shipping them and performing the order picking processes in between. Big ecommerce players like Flipkart and ecommerce giants like Amazon are expanding their warehouse spaces to millions of square feet and establishing them in small Indian cities along with the metropolitan cities where they were traditionally set up.
Warehouse management system :
A warehouse management system is basically a software application. It is necessarily customised for the particular warehouse it is employed in, and caters to the requirements of the concerned warehouse. The general warehousing operations and distribution centre management are supported and optimised by the specially designed warehouse management system.
Since there is a growing trend of increasing the functionality of a warehouse or a distribution centre by using automation and mechanisation wherever possible, it is essential to keep track of the operations of such machines. Thus a warehouse management system functions as a controlling application that has access to such automations employed in warehousing and monitors, manages and controls their working.
Advantages of employing a WMS :
Employing a warehouse management system which is built to support and cater to the requirements of the concerned warehouse is the need of the hour. The following advantages clearly demonstrate why the installation of a WMS is of utmost essence nowadays.
- Saving much needed space : A well designed ERP application for warehouse management ensures accurate stocking of inventory, enables employees to get a well-defined picture of items required and an insight into the precise slotting and picking of orders. This helps in saving a lot of space in the warehouse which can be utilised in different ways.
- Improvement in Bin management : Radio frequency ID enabled systems and barcode enabled systems, integrated in the WMS, solves the issue of placing the items in their suitable locations and thereby improves bin management. A clear picture of stock locations reduces picking time.
- Optimisation of inventory planning : A proper WMS offers a conducive method to achieve just-in-time inventory planning, improving record accuracy and accurate demand planning. Thus reduction of on-hand quantities, wastes and scraps is achieved as well as storage in the most effective order and environment.
- Reduction in operational expenditures : An efficient WMS streamlines various warehousing operations and provides the most effective ways to deal with machinery, workforce, space and inventory; thereby reducing time and expenses.
- Improvement in customer relations : An effective WMS helps in accurate and swift order processing and shipping, thereby gaining customer satisfaction and increasing the goodwill of the business.
- Increasing the security : A robust WMS essentially keeps track of employee activities by creating discrete accounts for each which needs to be accessed while processing transactions. This minimises loss and increases warehouse security.
- Boosting overall productivity : Businesses which employ WMS have better mobility of stocks throughout the warehouse, better inventory control and workforce management. All of these save a lot of time and boosts the overall productivity and hence the financial bottom line of the business.
These above mentioned facts imply that the installation of a customized warehouse management system is of utmost essence in the present scenario to boost the efficiency of the warehouse by enhancing its fundamental operations.