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An educational BLOG for professionals in the labeling, coding, marking and track / trace fields.

Supply Chain Efficiency Examined: The Ongoing Evolution of Warehouse Management Systems

Frequent examination of supply chain efficiency is a must for any company seeking success in today’s competetive manufacturing environment. The speed of technological advances requires increasing levels of flexibility and smart systems that can manage large amounts of information efficiently, particularly when it comes to warehouse and inventory tasks. Luckily Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have evolved over the years to keep up with the growing complexities of business operations. From the simplicity of the earliest warehouses that stored grain, to the manual pen-and-paper accountability methods that existed pre-computer days, Warehouse Management Systems of today have transformed into sophisticated storage and distribution centers that manage multiple business operations and make major contributions to overall company success.

What can a more sophisticated WMS do for a company’s bottom line? Businesses can not only benefit from more accurate and seamless electronic inventory management, invoicing, shipping, tracking and automated notifications, but can include elements to aid management and workers in implementing more safety and security measures, staying up-to-date on industry regulations, bolstering customer confidence and improving communications within the workplace.

Increased Efficiency to Improve Profitability. With a comprehensive WMS, companies can save time and effort by creating more efficient workspaces, having more accurate control over inventory and exploring new sources of revenue with less risk because of improved data collection precision. Changes in industry regulations or reporting standards can be more quickly integrated into modern WMS as well, reducing costly standbys, shutdowns or sanctions due to failures to meet standards.

Enhanced Safety and Security. Response to worker and public safety and security issues can be significantly enhanced through the use of a modern WMS. Not only can perishable products be managed more successfully to prevent spoilage, but increased transparency in warehouse practices can reduce the potential for product contamination and accidents in the workplace. Along with improved safety, the ability to safeguard critical or personal information is also an important element of today’s Warehouse Management Systems, and can provide management with an additional tool for establishing professional and consumer trust.

Quicker Reactions to Recalls. With a better warehouse management system in place, businesses are now able to recall any of their products more quickly using automated response alerts. A recent example of how a fully-functioning WMS can head off recall risk is Mattel, who had to recall about 10 million toys due to lead poisoning potential. Because the company was unable to quickly locate the source of the problem and had to work backwards in the supply chain, they suffered large losses of production time, money and most critically, consumer confidence. An updated WMS could have pinpointed the issue much more effectively.

Ability to Respond to Unusual Orders. Companies with a solid WMS in place are also more equipped to respond to unusual requests that may occur in the supply chain. After the tsunami and earthquake disaster in Japan, companies with tight control over inventory and warehouse operations were able to more quickly respond to automated alerts along the supply chain, halt shipments of non-essential items in order to reserve and divert essentials to meet changing situations as they occur.

Ready to see what a modern Warehouse Management System can do for your business? Contact Matrix at (716) 504-9700 or email to understand more about our cutting-edge WMS solutions.

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