5 New Trends In Warehouse Management System

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: 5 New Trends In Warehouse Management System.

By Ray Donovan, freelance writer.

It is without doubt how fast e-commerce has rapidly soared over the last decade. This is especially true since, over the years, more and more brick-and-mortar shops have considered shifting to the world wide web, resulting in overflowing transactions online. And this rise has influenced the demand for warehouse operations and management improvement.

Large warehouses suddenly became a requirement, and the staff and personnel operating them took a huge slice of the company's profit. Despite this, huge discrepancies were also apparent because of the human error expected with running such a system. And that’s where a warehouse management system (WMS) comes in beneficial.

What is A Warehouse Management System?

Essentially, WMS or warehouse management system is a software solution that many organizations utilize to manage, control, and handle processes and workflow inside the warehouse. This includes when materials enter the facility until the last stage when these materials are dispatched for distribution.

In general, there are four different types of warehouses that organizations maintain. These include:

  • Raw materials warehouse: a type of warehouse that manages raw material inventory and distribution.

  • Finished goods warehouse: a type of warehouse intended for products already available for sale to consumers.

  • Temperature controlled warehouse: a type of warehouse that holds and manages goods that need to be in a controlled temperature environment.

  • Cross dock warehouse: a type of warehouse that facilitates the transfer of goods from one place or transportation to another so that they can continue their journey through the supply chain process

In some cases, all four types of a warehouse can be under the supervision of one organization, complicating the management tasks further. But a reliable warehouse management system can make working through all of these possibilities a breeze.

Today, many revolutionary and technological upgrades have been implemented to make warehouse management an easy task. Here are some of them:

  1. Utilization Of RFID

An RFID or radio frequency identification uses an electromagnetic spectrum to tag items, which can make them easily traceable. Then the reader uses radio waves to transmit signals and activate the tag. What's excellent about RFID is that it can be overwritten, and new information can be added to a specific tag to update each item.

Also, scanning the items need not be in the direct line of sight like what barcodes require. Some high-frequency RFID systems can be read from several feet away, with some that go as far as 30 feet away.

  1. Implementation Of Drones

Manual labor in doing counts in warehouse management almost always results in errors. And while it is common, it’s also avoidable. The thing is, people tend to make mistakes when they're tired, sleepy, overworked, and not feeling well. And as a result, the company's bottom line bears the repercussions of these errors and discrepancies.

Sadly, though these errors can be corrected, it may take several months before the numbers go back to normal. And the effect of the discrepancy is already reflected in the company's monthly profit and loss report.

For that reason, a drone can make it easier to accomplish monthly inventory counts and audits in a massive warehouse. A quick pass of a drone in each aisle could read hundreds of items with RFID tags, and those on tall pallets that are typically very challenging to reach are a no-brainer for a drone.

  1. Application Of A Cloud-Based System

The cloud is a server that can be accessed via the internet. It enables users to gain entry into a system wherever they are and whatever device they use.

This technology became especially useful with the emergence of the hybrid workplace, wherein staff members from various countries can work on the data independently or simultaneously.

The cloud also allows the WMS to integrate with other systems like the e-commerce platform so customers can immediately know product availability and shipping information when they need it.

  1. Sustainable Warehousing

Part of every company's mission is to reduce the carbon footprint in operating a business. This is a testament that could attract more clients and a business objective that lives up to corporate social responsibility.

An efficient WMS can help reduce the need to use paper, which used to be the most significant contributor to warehousing waste. Since everything is in the system and on the cloud, there is no need to print inventory sheets for tracking and consolidation. And as such, paper use can be considerably reduced by automating processes like counting, receiving, monitoring, and dispatching.

Another sustainable impact in warehousing is the efficient use of energy since many warehouses are now installed with solar panels.

  1. Integrating Omnichannel Inventory Approach

Many companies offer their products not just on one e-commerce platform but on multiple. They also integrate their website, various social media channels, and physical store into the system. This used to be a big headache and a massive hurdle. But it has become possible because of technology and the omnichannel approach.

The omnichannel approach means managing your inventory across all channels you conduct business. This approach can help your customers access inventory visibility and give you updated reports on stocks that are running low so you can make essential decisions about restocking and replenishment.

Essentially, the biggest win for the omnichannel approach is customer satisfaction. Customers will have easy access to your products, will have returns quickly processed, and shipping immediately verified.

Wrapping Up

As a business owner, warehouse management may seem like a daunting and tedious aspect of your business. However, that was the case before technology happened and innovation took over. Because now, managing a warehouse has become a viable business opportunity for many since the operating costs have significantly been reduced because of efficient applications such as a warehouse management system.

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