To support essential warehouse operations, discerning businesses are opting to install Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) to help efficiently run their Melbourne warehouses. A WMS is a software programme that utilises a database containing detailed descriptions of standard warehouse tasks. They cover the daily planning, organisation and control of the warehouse and allow the management of tasks to be centralised. Early systems provided basic tasks such as storage location functionality, but as computer technology has advanced so too have warehouse management systems. Current systems are much more data intensive and can include items such as tracking and routing technologies. However the goal of the WMS has remained the same, that is to enable warehouse operations to maximise on productivity.
The motivation to install a WMS generally comes from a need to support sales growth, improve performance, or both. And it usually occurs when the inventory and workload are greater than can be handled manually with spreadsheets and handwritten logs. A WMS can be a standalone system or it can work along side any other computer programmes you already have implemented in your business. There are two types of WMS applications:
1. Application design that requires change by an IT personnel
2. Business rule design that can be updated by the client
A sound business strategy might require a WMS to be controlled by the user, without the need to wait for the IT company to make essential system changes. However, some businesses prefer to leave all the computer work up to their IT company, so they can sit back and focus on running the warehouse.
To effectively manage your Melbourne warehouse, there are a few elements that a WMS can assist you with. A WMS will help you manage the workload planning, by assigning staff to work functions and areas. You can also track expected labour productivity requirements by selecting the workload/orders to be processed in the day or shift, then calculate an estimate of the labour required to pick and ship those orders. Allocation of resources becomes easier with a WMS too. From the loading dock schedule to controlling the movement and storage of goods into, within, and out of a warehouse, your WMS will have you covered. Space utilisation and handling is also a lot more effective with a WMS. A good system will take the guess work out of decisions surrounding where to store goods and despatch orders. And orders for picking are organised, so that orders are picked in a sequence that works in with the allocated man hours and loading dock schedule.
At the end of the day, a warehouse will still run—regardless of whether or not you have implemented a WMS. Orders will still turn up at your docks, the goods will still need to be put away, and customer orders will still need to be sent out. You might think that you don’t need a warehouse management system, or you might already have one in place, and the thought of implementing one or changing to a different one might seem like a costly investment. However a good WMS can streamline the operations of your Melbourne warehouse and give your operations a competitive edge that makes the investment well worth it.