If a normal person is to be made aware of what a warehouse is and how it operates; it can be simply said that in layman’s terms, a warehouse is a building utilized for storing goods. The dispatch of the stored goods to designated destinations is also included as a part of an important warehouse operation.
Warehouse logistics :
Logistics may be defined simply as the detailed planning, organization, management, and execution of complex operations; from macro to micro levels. In many industries, including warehousing, logistics also extends to the flow of both physical goods and information apart from the planning, management, and execution of complicated work functions.
Warehouse logistics, therefore, involves all the varied as well as complex factors – organization, movements, and management – involved in warehousing operations. This includes the flow, that is both the dispatch and reception of physical inventory, as well as that of more abstract factors, including information and time.
Warehouse logistics is a technically broad term that may also extend to anything from warehouse pest control, to damaged goods handling, safety policies in practice in warehousing operations, human resources management, and finally to customer returns. In other words, warehouse logistics involves all the policies, procedures, and organizational tools necessary to keep the concerned warehouse operations functioning seamlessly without a glitch.
The challenges involved in warehouse logistics :
The most commonly put warehouse logistics are involved around the warehouse organization and achieving organizational success at micro levels in such operations.
Warehouse challenges are actually much deeper in essence than these immediate concerns, extending into factors like:
- Inventory management,
- Supply chain management,
- Cost controls as well as optimization to ensure healthy revenues,
- Human resources,
- Risk management, and
- Security; among other key factors.
Therefore achieving enough flexibility to stay competitive in the market while maintaining adequate offerings to please customers and keep a loyal brand of consumers for the warehousing business in concern; while still exercising sufficient controls to protect the business revenues is the most pertinent question to attend to.
Factors to boost warehouse logistics efficiency :
A warehouse manager is required to possess increasingly supportive and incredibly powerful tools to help meet the needs of the warehouse in question, the requirements of its employees, and the expectations of the customers.
Warehouse Management Systems :
Advanced warehouse management systems (WMS) provides real-time insight into warehouse operations, and equip the warehouse management – and all the employees – with the necessary tools to effectively, efficiently and profitably manage the warehouse and its type.
WMS is the only mandatory factor in the current warehousing operations and the most reliable method to augment warehouse logistics.More than an inventory control system, warehouse management systems take control of all warehouse logistics, from inventory control and management, to execute fulfillment of warehousing functions that extend beyond the usual as well. Many WMS today incorporate mobile tools, so the warehouse managers and employees can consult the system on the go, via smartphones and other devices.
Comprehensive WMS also integrates traditional management tools with warehouse control systems (WCS) to create a whole-warehouse synergy to improve the overall logistics of warehousing operations that extend from inventory receipt to the shipping of goods.
Advantages of boosting warehouse logistics :
The benefit of controlled and optimized warehouse logistics is simple – increased revenue.Think of it this way: When your warehouse operations are smooth and warehouse systems fall into place as they should, the warehouse operates more efficiently and with the required fluidity. There are fewer errors and fewer problems, and that means maximized revenue.
When a robust WMS is implemented to control the warehouse logistics, the factors that get facilitated are as follows.
- Assurance of accurate, real-time inventory counts Knowhow of the accurate information of the inventory in possession – and its specific location within the warehouse.
- Decreased returns: An accurate look at the inventory involves sending the right item initially and hence reduce the return of items and the hassles of resending them.
- Auto-replenishment of stocks: Smart WMS systems auto-replenish inventory when stock levels get low.
- Maximize warehouse space: Some WMS automate warehouse routines (ex. stock rotation and picking), which means a decreased amount of floor space for workers, which in turn means maximizing the warehouse space to store more inventory.
Other WMS benefits extend to:
- Better demand planning,
- Improved visibility and transparency,
- Stock traceability,
- A fewer number of picking errors,
- Optimized processes,
- Efficient and effective labor allocation,
- Improved customer services – in short, all those factors that boil down to reduce operational expenses and increase revenue for the warehousing operations.