Smart, efficient, accurate and green – these are the attributes of the modern warehouse. Best-in-class manufacturers and distributors understand that today’s economic climate requires the ability to respond to market conditions quickly and effectively. In addition, as public scrutiny continues to put pressure on companies to become better environmental stewards, technology serves the dual purpose of helping firms to save money and to reduce their environmental impact.
The Greener, the Better
A strong, enterprise-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) can help businesses reduce paper and manual processes, sharply cutting down on the use of natural resources. A resilient WMS allows organizations to automate the picking and shipping process, enabling them to locate and pick items more efficiently and accurately, expediting the fulfilment process. The result is a greater throughput; increased inventory turns, better on-time delivery, and reduced expedited freight costs. By automating component tracking and put-aways companies can process material issues for production more efficiently. Access to accurate, up-to-the-minute views of inventory allows them to hold only what they need when they need it, reducing carrying costs.
Smart & Hands Free
The modern warehouse is intelligent, unified and outfitted with the smart solutions needed to improve and ‘green’ operations. One such tool is voice recognition technology. By implementing voice-picking solutions, companies can eliminate old paper-based tracking methods, reduce employee errors and streamline employee movements. These are three benefits that can potentially save money, improve customer satisfaction and help companies minimize environmental footprints by greatly reducing paper use.
Voice picking software virtually eliminates errors, while the hands-free process speeds picking. In fact, voice-picking software boasts a picking accuracy of up to 99 percent, ensuring that the orders received are the orders shipped. Obviously, this impacts customer satisfaction levels, but it also saves money in unnecessary labor and fuel costs that many firms spend correcting incorrect orders. Additionally, the greatest environmental benefit from implemented voice recognition solutions is in the advent of the automated, paperless warehouse. Automated voice response software reduces needless paper waste, positively affecting the environment and the bottom-line.
Green is Good for the Bottom-Line
At the most basic level, a good WMS performs cycle and physical counting programs to help businesses control and gauge the accuracy of current inventory records. This information should be integrated into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to keep inventory turns accurate. Notably, the amount of inventory a company carries on its books is the key to cash flow and viability.
Certainly, a birds-eye-view of stock levels is critical to moving product out the door and to mitigating money tied up in products sitting on a warehouse shelf. Smart companies understand that a well-integrated ERP solution, directly tied to an efficient WMS, can greatly enhance productivity with the added benefit of eliminating waste. Eliminating paper-based methods saves not only time and decreases error, but also saves trees. In addition, automated processes endow companies with the ability to make accurate and timely decisions based on real-time information.
Smart Companies Win the Race
Most manufacturers and distributors understand that ‘greening’ warehouse operations is both good for the environment and company image. Streamlined operations and access to accurate, real-time data delivered through advanced technology solutions can provide significant time and money savings, improved customer service capabilities and optimized inventory levels, while concurrently minimizing environmental impacts and improving competitive advantage.
Advanced WMS solutions are pushing some firms out in front of the competition with increased productivity, enhanced visibility, improved agility and maximized use of assets. These are the smart businesses of the future, and smart companies win the race.
– Joe Scioscia, VP of Sales, VAI