Supply chain visibility is something that is regarded as a must-have. However, some issues might occur in the warehouse that might prevent businesses from gaining complete visibility. In this article, we will discuss some of the ways that WMS achieves supply chain visibility.
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) refers to software that ensures that the business gains visibility into the inventory while managing supply chain fulfilment. WMS also offers plenty of benefits to the companies that choose to use it, and these benefits include:
1. Optimized Space
WMS assists warehouses in optimizing their space as the system analyzes the floor space based on the material characteristics and tasks. It then determines the best use of the space. The system also assists in reducing the amount of waste and the time spent locating products.
2. Inventory Visibility
Warehouses that use WMS will be able to gain accurate visibility of their stock levels in real-time. Gaining inventory visibility assists the business in having better estimates of supply which guarantees customer satisfaction as businesses will be able to avoid backorders. WMS also helps in reducing inventory being misplaced, lost and forgotten.
3. Traceable Materials
WMS assists warehouses in reducing inventory being misplaced, lost and forgotten as it traces inventory materials using batch, lot and serial numbering. Batch/lot numbers show the group which materials were made, whereas serial number indicates the specific item. Through inventory tracking using batch and serial numbers, warehouses can achieve full traceability by combining incoming receipts and outgoing shipments.
4. Labour Management
WMS considers the worker’s skill level, warehouse tasks, and proximity to the warehouse and equipment required for the job. The system then ensures that the worker assigned for the task is the right one and that task allocation occurs at the right time. By using the system for daily tasks, there can be better schedules for tasks for each worker.
1. Warehouse Design
The design of a warehouse plays a role in the time of the picking and packing process. If the warehouse is not organized well, it makes the process longer and wastes warehouse space. WMS assists in customizing workflow and picking logic, ensuring that the warehouse design optimizes inventory allocation. WMS might establish bin slotting, which assists in maximizing storage space.
2. Inventory Tracking
WMS platforms can track inventory data ranging from radio frequency identification tags and barcode readers and update the software’s dashboard’s information to ensure that it has the latest information. This allows the people who have permission to see the information to view it easily. Inventory tracking ensures that goods are easier to find when they need to be moved.
3. Picking and Packing
WMS assists in optimizing picking such as batch picking, wave picking and zone picking. The system also offers warehouse workers task interleaving and lot zoning functions, making the pick-and-pack process more efficient.
How WMS Achieves Visibility
There are several ways that WMS assists in gaining supply chain visibility, and these are internal and partner visibility. Internal visibility refers to looking into the available inventory levels by gaining visibility, ensuring that warehouses always have high stock levels to avoid running out of stock. Internal visibility also ensures that the warehouse has team and individual labour management monitoring, ensuring that operations become more efficient. By gaining better visibility into the supply chain, it is easier for workers to perform their tasks better and meet customer needs.
The other kind of WMS visibility is an extension of internal visibility, referred to as partner visibility. Partner visibility assists the warehouse in receiving and sharing information with their customers, vendors and partners. Therefore, WMS helps manage and standardize data by simplifying data sharing and ensuring that your partners can react to the data you share with them.
One of the other ways that WMS assists in achieving supply chain visibility is that it helps you gain transparency in real-time by allowing you to share information and control data exchange. Since the data sharing becomes faster, it will reduce delays regarding shipments as any information needed to clear shipments can happen quicker than expected. WMS also assists in improving operations that occur in and out of the warehouse.
The sales team and management will also gain real-time and accurate information about shipments, enabling them to track goods and fulfil orders if any issues occur. The order management system allows for efficiency and efficient problem-solving.
WMS is one of the best solutions that warehouses can implement to gain supply chain visibility. It also assists in making operations more efficient while increasing profitability for the business.