Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) provide warehouse supervisors with benefits that exceed the tangible, obvious benefits. It’s these “silent benefits” that eliminate frustrations which can often be the most valued benefits to workers and supervisors. For example, when the frustration of trying to find a product quickly and easily is resolved, workers are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
A recently published article, “Defining the Role of Warehouse Supervisor” by Ken Ackerman (http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/defining-the-role-of-warehouse-supervisor/distribution-warehousing), talks about frustrations such as high turn-over and lack of standards in the warehouse. Job frustration can certainly lead to high turnover. WMS communicates standards and directives that workers must follow. These standards are created
by the warehouse supervisor or director and specifically outline business rules that they want to be implemented in the warehouse. When workers have the understanding of what is expected and given the right tools to meet those expectations, job performance increases. Retaining good staff is the responsibility of management and making the job satisfying will retain the good workers and lower the cost of hiring and training new employees.
Overcrowding was another discussion point of Ackerman. “It results in blocked aisles, buried product and a substantial deterioration in housekeeping. It also frustrates workers, who don’t have room to get the job done, and eventually they no longer care, because management apparently does not care.” WMS allows a warehouse to get organized and stay organized. This organization leads to better use of space and freeing up space they didn’t even realize they had. WMS functionality such as dynamic slotting uses location and product attributes with logic sequences then selects the best location for product putaway. With WMS, location information is easily accessed to know where the product was put. Without WMS, product putaway can be anyone’s guess.
Another “silent benefit” is system directed putaway to assure the least travel path for product putaway. This benefit decreases fuel expenses as well as wasted travel time. No one likes the frustration of going up and down the same aisle over and over again. With system directed putaway, the next task is always in front of the worker and there’s never any second guessing what the worker is supposed to do.
Physical inventory counts are painful for everyone – workers and management. WMS can eliminate physical inventory counts forever with accurate cycle counting. This benefit alone can be worth its weight in gold for ending frustration, boredom and time consumption.
While no one may intentionally mess up order fulfillment, the more manual the operation is, the more human error is bound to happen. Inaccuracy is expensive and causes a lot of frustration. WMS increases accuracy in the warehouse to nearly 100%.
Interlink’s Warehouse-LINK® is the recommended WMS solution to end the frustrations in the warehouse and gain the “silent benefits.” For more information, call 800-655-5465 or visit Interlink online at www.thinkinterlink.com.