Five Ways to Fuel Business Growth with Warehouse Management Software

Five Ways to Fuel Business Growth with Warehouse Management Software - warehouse management software - Kinspeed Limited

Manoeuvring what seems like a daily onslaught of new challenges, in an industry with notoriously thin margins, distributors need to use every available tool to run a profitable business. Many business leaders already know that the key to thriving, rather than merely surviving, is harnessing the benefits of technology. In distribution, the warehouse is at the core of operations. In this industry, all stakeholders benefit from an efficient warehouse.

So, what is warehouse management software? A system which controls warehouse operations, including inventory, and picking and packing activities. A good warehouse management system is a fool-proofed, fast, and accurate tool for distributors.

Here, we examine how warehouse management software fuels rapid and sustainable business growth.

Integration is King

Software integration is up first because it is by far the most crucial element of any business management system. Integration is the process of connecting software packages to become one, cohesive system. This means that your warehouse management software is connected, in real-time, to your accounting functions, sales, marketing, purchasing, and pretty much any process which can be run via software.

The implications of software integration are far reaching. First, no one has to rekey information from a spreadsheet into an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, like Sage or Oracle NetSuite. Manual data entry is a distant memory for distributors with fully integrated business software.

Second, most members of staff will benefit from less, ideally zero, manual intervention. Roles become less complex, with more time to focus on profitable activities.

Genuinely Useful Data

When a business integrates all its software applications, data is collated from every process, in real-time, and is accessible via a central business management system. As a result, you will furnish your business with genuinely useful, reliable data. Data that is always up-to-date, accurate, and configured to individual roles. As a result, inventory data is faultless, order fulfilment is fast, and forecasting is confident.

Software integration delivers a single source of truth. When a business has useful data, it can make good decisions, fast.

On Time, In Full, Every Time

Poor OTIF performance – every warehouse manager’s worst nightmare. It is undoubtedly a valuable metric. However, if you dig a little deeper, you are likely to discover that many warehouses do not have the tools to meet the exacting standards of both modern supply chains and consumers.

The straw that usually breaks the camel’s back is a surge in orders which creates a warehouse bottleneck. Don’t just chase growth, be prepared for it.

What does every warehouse operative want this Christmas? An integrated handheld scanner. A simple tool, but highly effective at streamlining warehouse operations. Handheld scanners are nothing new, but they are a key part of implementing warehouse inventory management software.

Whether goods are distributed on weight, volume, or date, a well-conceived warehouse management system ensures only the correct items – by batch number, for instance – are picked.

If an operative attempts to pick or pack an incorrect batch or SKU, the system will produce an error. Orders are always despatched quickly and accurately.

Add to this the ability to integrate courier software, easily make inter-warehouse transfers, and track and trace stock, to name but a few features, and your warehouse can meet the most stringent supply chain protocols.

Eradicate the Margin for Error

We’re revisiting manual data entry because it is the bane of many businesses across the UK and seriously hampers growth. Getting rid of manual data entry once and for all, should be in the top 10 of every business leader’s to-do list.

Map the entire order fulfilment process. From the online ordering system, whether that be a website or EDI, all the way to delivery. Highlight every point at which the process requires manual data entry and intervention. We hope it doesn’t make for a colourful picture, but chances are, you’re staring at a rainbow of complexity.

Thankfully, automating processes is bread and butter for any warehouse management software provider worth their salt. When many distribution contracts stipulate that an order must be despatched within 12 hours of receipt, every second counts. That means no delays and no errors.

Integrate all and automate as many processes as possible, and that 12-hour, error-free order fulfilment expectation is achievable.

First, automate order receipt so that web or EDI orders are received directly into the core business management system, without any human intervention. That means there is no delay waiting for order input. The warehouse can pick and pack the order straight away.

It is also worth mentioning that with integrated warehouse inventory management software, the customer will be able to see real-time stock availability. Therefore, customer expectations are managed from the outset, in the event of supply issues.

Second, your warehouse management software features integrated handheld scanners, so orders are picked and packed quickly and correctly.

No incorrect picks, no invoice disputes, just a satisfied customer.

Warehouse Management Software Protects Profit Margins

Future-proof distribution with warehouse management software. It’s not just about going paperless and finally getting those handheld scanners for the warehouse team. Give your warehouse the tools to own an OTIF performance the whole business can be proud of. In return, profit erosion reduces, often significantly. Causes of profit margin erosion:

  • Errors
  • Returns
  • Customer churn
  • Unnecessary administration.

Leveraging the benefits of technology relies on integration, connecting the full spectrum of distribution processes in real-time. Only then can a business be ready for growth. This is referred to as an agile business, where:

  • Complexity is removed
  • Processes are seamless
  • Exposure is minimal
  • Customer experience is market-leading
  • Decision-making is fast and accurate.

Agility permeates from the core of the business, outwards. When you have all five of these factors in place, your business is ready to seize the most fruitful opportunities. For instance, bidding for contracts that were, hitherto, out of reach.

FastDespatch warehouse management software from Kinspeed, integrates with leading ERP systems including NetSuite and Sage.

Kinspeed are an ERP integration specialist, developing industry-specific business management systems, configured to meet individual needs. Get your business consultation from the software integration experts.

Read real-life examples of how warehouse management software has transformed warehouse operations for some of the UK’s best-known brands:

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