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2016-10-12_5-features-to-look-for-in-wmsGood warehouse management can easily reduce warehouse labour costs and improve perfect orders to almost 100%, increasing customer satisfaction and ultimately the bottom line. A key trait that most top performing warehousing companies share is the use of a good warehouse management system (WMS) in their distribution centres.

An extensive research project and report by Aberdeen Group revealed that there is a large gap in performance between companies with automated warehouses and those with manual processes. So what should organisations be looking for in a warehouse management system?

1. Paperless Receiving

According to the study, best-in-class organisations are 92% more likely than their peers to practice paperless receiving. Traditionally, receiving would be a manual process of checking a purchase order, confirming the correct goods have been received and then manually inputting this receipt of goods into the system.

A paperless system allows all of this data to be captured electronically when items are received and relayed automatically to the ERP system.

An automated, paperless system not only reduces the margin of error in receiving, but also makes the data available for other areas such as inventory or production.

2. Real-time put-away

One of the major benefits of a WMS should be the ability of the system to use the receiving information to allocate suitable location in the warehouse for received items in real time. This significantly reduces the put-away processing times and ensures that every item in the warehouse is locatable and accounted for.

3. Ease of Use

This is an essential feature that is too often overlooked by companies searching for a feature-rich warehouse management system. Complexity may seem like the system can ‘do more’ but it is important to remember who will be using the system across the organisation and how much they will need to learn.

A good WMS should be easy to use from the start, offering simple and understandable interfaces that will require far less training time. The interface should also leave little room for error – clear menu screens and logical steps should lead users through their tasks with minimal effort.

4. Customisation and Integration

In complex industries, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution isn’t necessarily going to work. The ability to customise a solution to fit your requirements is important – will you be able to get your setup to do exactly what you want or will you constantly be finding ‘workarounds’?

Integration is another important feature to look for. The chances are you are already using an ERP system such as SYSPRO. Can your WHM software integrate seamlessly or are you going to waste precious man-hours manually transferring and capturing data?

5. A Proven Track Record

This may seem like an obvious point, but before you make the big investment on a warehouse management system, research some of the other customers who have used it and their experiences. Did the system meet their expectations and needs? How was the customer support? Positive feedback from other customers is a good gauge for the efficacy and usefulness of the system and its supplier.

TransLution™ Software utilises barcode scanners and touchscreen devices to send data directly to the business ERP and automate warehouse processes.  If you would like to know more about how TransLution™ Software can improve your warehouse management, productivity and traceability, please contact us.