Guide on How to Manage a Warehouse

Babak Heydari

Babak Heydari

March 3, 2022

What is Warehousing Management

We see warehouse management as the diverse processes related to controlling the warehouse in any business. It includes managing to ship, track, and store inventory, workload planning, staff training, and all workflows in the warehouse. There are so many stages in the process of a warehouse. It starts from incoming freight and moving assets for tracking, managing logistics, and warehouse management in the warehouse. If there are one or many warehouses, businesses should seamlessly manage all warehouse operations. They need a complete system; do you know how to manage warehouse and its workflow?

Warehouse Management System

A WMS (Warehouse Management System) is software for optimizing processes in a warehouse. Implementing this system gives every business complete visibility into real-time inventory levels, staff productivity, demand forecasting, and order tasks and workflows within a warehouse. WMSs are very important because they eliminate guesswork and manual processes and streamline processes that save time and provide a more detailed view of what is happening inside an inventory without constant warehouse audits. This data helps warehouse managers spot improvements and track progress to drive optimizations throughout the supply chain, from loading to shipping to the next destination. WMS provides the tools to drive significant strategic improvements and control the day-to-day. What a management team notices in the warehouse management system differs from a picker or packer who depends on the system to know what to do on the warehouse floor. Each management system may have different functionality deployed depending on the business it serves. Let us find out different types of WMS to manage warehouse and warehouses picking optimization processes.

On-Premise Warehouse Management Systems

On-premise systems are the ones that they install on a local server within its premises. It functions as a stand-alone system and does not need any external connectivity to operate. Generally considered as the most inexpensive option, on-premise warehouse management systems have some advantages, including: • Ownership over the software; • Only pay for the attributes you need; • Just a one-time installation payment and routine maintenance costs; • Complete control over every part, from design and development to features and functionality.

They also come with some disadvantages to consider, including: • Not ideal for growing companies; • Very difficult to scale up or down; • Requires in-house experts to support the software and the setup; • Data security is a primary problem since it is more vulnerable to hacking due to local security features.

Cloud-Based Warehouse Management Systems

Cloud-based systems are everything that the on-premise ones cannot be. They are stored on a remote server and are made available to companies at a fraction of development cost. Companies who opt for cloud-based systems have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription cost that depends on their selected components. A robust software provides cutting-edge technology to companies without spending a lot of money upfront. Cloud-Based WMSs also have their advantages, including: • Quicker implementation; • Can scale up or down very quickly; • The cloud-based system comes with a rich user experience and is easy to operate; • Only pay for as long as you need the software. No wasteful up-front costs; • Since the service provider manages the security, your data is much more secure.

And some disadvantages including: • No ownership; • Less control over the design and development; • Costlier in the long-term, compared to the on-premise system.

Warehouse Managing Processes

Warehouse management is one aspect of supply chain management. It affects retail order fulfillment, inventory management, shipping, and distribution. Having an all-in-one solution lets the business control warehouse functions in real-time, like receiving inventory, sealed orders, labeled shipments, and any other motion of goods. Let us take a look at how to manage a warehouse in detail:

Inventory Tracking

The tracking system controls stock levels, so you know which SKUs you have in your warehouse and the exact locations you store them, or if they are in transit from a manufacturer or the route to a store. This process lets you know how many goods are ready to be shipped if a customer ordered an item now and when you should order more based on cast volume. You will probably turn inventory over quicker, expand into new locations, and increase your product lines as you grow. It makes inventory accurate and tracks all the necessary procedures.

Warehouses Picking Optimization

Picking and packing are two core tasks in every warehouse. A warehouse management system should yield pick lists for each picker to retrieve items efficiently. It may contain zone picking, wave picking, or batch picking. For each new order, the picker receives a packing slip of the items and storage locations at the warehouse. The picker collects the ordered products from their respective locations. Once they have picked the order, it is handed off to a packer responsible for packing it securely in a box or poly mailer, adding in any needed packing materials, and putting a shipping label on it.

Receiving and Stowing

Any warehousing operation must receive inventory or freight from trucks at loading docks and then stow them away in storage. A WMS should scan each new box with the inventory quantities it has. Then, they bring them to the short-term or long-term inventory storage and scan them again to make sure. Warehouse managing software should provide clear instructions on how to receive, unpack, retrieve, pack, and ship inventory.

Shipping in Warehouse Management

Based on the delivery choices and shipping services, shipping carriers like DHL, UPS, USPS, and FedEx pick up orders from the given warehouse to ship them to their next destination. Once the order ships, WMS should automatically send order tracking information back to the store so customers can track their shipments.

Tracking and Reporting

A WMS should provide operational and inventory reports across the warehouse. It may include accuracy in fulfilling orders, total orders fulfilled by the hour to measure staff efficiency, orders shipped on time, and more. There are also reports relating to people's functions, including inventory forecasting, to understand work management and staffing needs. With a tracking system, you can decide which employees have completed safety training, those who have licenses and certifications to operate specific equipment, and other regulatory requirements you must meet to operate a safe warehouse.

Manage Warehouse for Online Businesses

An ever-growing online business needs proper warehouse management to continue its path with fulfilling orders. This process requires experienced experts to manage the warehouse and the tools and facilities to support the anticipated growth in the future.

Enable Logistical Growth

With the business growth comes new challenges in fulfillment logistics. Fast-growing brands comprehend the effect of warehouse efficiencies, from the number of dock doors to the number of pickers and packers you have in the warehouse at any time. Warehouse management should select the right technology, shipping carriers, and delivery options. They should secure the best warehouse that meets future growth without outgrowing the space immediately. These things help any business to receive inventory more efficiently, pack boxes quicker, and deliver more orders on time.

Processing Packages and Shipping Faster

Warehouse management makes operations leaner. It enhances supply chain efficiency. There are stations in each area of the warehouse for all steps of the fulfillment process. Each fulfillment associate is concentrated on one task per change to maximize their result. Setting up each functional zone for success also means decreasing the physical measures needed to get from one location to the next and routing all processes in a streamlined manner. The faster this work is done, the sooner boxes are ready to go out the door.

Better Storage Allocation

Warehouse management helps store each SKU in a separate storage location that makes the most sense for the space. Once the inventory is in place, a WMS helps pinpoint the exact location of any SKU so it can be retrieved quickly. Accurate warehouse management helps businesses monitor real-time inventory levels, so you never run out of stock or out of space. If your business sells products with expiration dates, you can also store them by lot number and ship the oldest goods first.

Manage Warehouse with Third-party Logistics

Many businesses outsource the entire process to a 3PL (third-party logistics) company because warehouse processes are too complicated and expensive. However, an on-demand warehousing company that finds warehouses with excess space, 3PLs run their fulfillment centers and should have standardized management across all of them. This section discusses some of the advantages of working with a professional logistics company to have organized warehouse and ship orders fast and effectively.

Logistical Optimizations

Third-party logistics companies work with thousands of companies, including seasonal brands, high-growth brands, and everyone in between, so they have many data and can do everything from analyzing shipping zones to forecasting demand and inventory. Continuously aggregating and learning from information helps optimize the warehouse for higher efficiency and provides reduced shipping costs and delivering times for your customers, all of which help you grow.

Multiple and Larger Warehouses

When you run your warehouse, you only ship from that one location. Collaborating with a 3PL means storing inventory in several fulfillment centers to keep inventory closer to more customers. If you ship nationwide, you must have warehouses coast-to-coast.

Huge Timesaving with Warehouse Management

Ecommerce order fulfillment services from a third-party logistic eliminates the most time-consuming logistics tasks, including inventory storage, picking, packing, shipping, tracking, replenishing, returns, and the stress of manage warehouse properly. While they take care of these jobs for you, you may control their performance and use the data to grow and make better decisions.

Organized Warehouse and Better Space Usage

If you are on the verge of outgrowing your warehouse space, working with a 3PL can make your life a lot easier. Even once you have outsourced fulfillment to a third-party logistic, you can either repurpose your old space to concentrate on a different aspect of your business or let the lease end. A third-party logistic can help you pay for only the space you need, even if that is by the bin, shelf, pallet, or any combination of those for your products. That way, you never worry about outgrowing the space you are paying for.

Real-time Insights

Just because you are not working inside the 3PL's warehouse does not mean you will not know what is happening. You should see your inventory flow through their technology, including when it is received, stowed, picked, packed, shipped, and any other move. With proper warehouse management software, you can: • search orders by tracking number, destination, the number of items, • filter by sales channel, • fulfillment center location, • get full transparency into the performance such as fulfillment speed, orders fulfilled on time, accurately, claim-free, and much more.

Tips on How to Manage a Warehouse

If you want to manage warehouse yourself, make sure you do your due diligence and get a management system that works for your business's needs.

Software Connected to the Store

Integrating your online stores will make everything go smoothly, from sending individual tracking info back to customers to monitoring sales trends to support demand. The warehouse management system generates pick lists that optimize each picker's workflow based on the logic that matches your warehouse layout and items ordered by feeding in your sales channels. In addition to picking orders that take inventory in the same area, it should make sure orders placed first or request expedited shipping are prioritized, so you can keep promises you make to customers. If you want to boost the overall integration and execution of your retail supply chain operations, you may use a warehouse management system together with a project management platform.

Software Compatible with Equipment

Based on how your warehouse operates, you want to make sure any warehouse management system you use is compatible with inventory scanners, terminals, scales, wearable or handheld devices, and other physical equipment you use. If not, be sure to consider any other purchases you have to make.

Return on Investment with Managing Warehouse

In addition to hearing how other companies have had success with a specific WMS, including those similar in size, type and industry, look for examples of money and time savings demonstrated through the software. If you cannot understand how the warehouse management system can positively affect operations, you cannot justify the investment.

Final Thoughts

Warehouse management is about having an organized warehouse and controlling operations. It is necessary for workflow and affects all aspects of the business. Here come our services. We provide one of the best customer services to your business, so you have no worries about this issue and concentrate on delivering goods and services to your customers. If you have any questions about our delivery management software or want to know more about how you can integrate your warehouse management software to manage warehouse properly with our route optimization software, send us a message or contact us anytime. We will be pleased to get you set up with a free trial

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