Does your business recovery from Covid include implementing a WMS?
The move to e-commerce means many warehouses have become the consumer's final touch point. Service levels are more important as is getting the right products to a lot more customers quickly and cost efficiently.
One of the most obvious changes to our buying habits as a result of Covid is a new found love of e-commerce. Even avid shopaholics have migrated online and warehouses that were not using technology to power their operations will start to struggle.
Using a warehouse management system (WMS) means you can more efficiently satisfy demand peaks and increase the number of order completions in a working day – without having to increase headcount. A WMS will immediately increase the amount of inventory your existing warehouse can handle by 30%, whilst also preparing resource requirements for greater activity levels without having to increase headcount. This is a significant benefit and widely reported by existing Indigo WMS customers, who have found that implementing a WMS has enabled them to ‘do more with less’ – both in terms of space and staff numbers. Recruiters are already reporting it is even more difficult to recruit people into logistics and warehousing as demand for extra resources is outstripping supply, so any technology that allows warehouses to manage their post lockdown operations using their existing workforce will prove to be invaluable.
Forward planning also requires warehouses to have as much stock visibility and accuracy as possible, to identify exactly what inventory they are holding and what they will need in the short to medium term. Data captured within the WMS will support planning, by supporting forecasting activities and ensuring high levels of ongoing stock accuracy.
Implementing a WMS offers many other benefits for your business, from reduced operational expenses to an improved working environment and improved customer service by ensuring more orders are delivered on time in full and minimising out of stock situations.
How to prepare for implementing a WMS
The first step when planning to implement a WMS is to understand and define the future supply chain challenges to be addressed. This ensures that the WMS supports and aligns with business strategy.
A WMS is a long term investment and the technology needs to be flexible enough to meet existing requirements and evolve for future developments in line with business growth. Working with your implementation team, Indigo’s consultants will conduct a full gap analysis, to demonstrate the functionality you need is available within Indigo WMS.
If your business is going through a quieter phase now, this could be the best possible time to plan for the future and invest in a WMS, because you have the breathing space to reflect on how warehouse operations can be further improved with the addition of technology. This is perhaps the single most powerful strategy to ensure your warehouse is ready for the sprint to full recovery.