Warehousing has a major role to play in customer operations and supply chain management. Warehousing supports manufacturing, purchasing, storage and even transportation of goods from one place to the other. Long term storage in warehousing provides future consumption. warehousing caters for broad-base clients by boosting efficiencies in the management of the forces of demand and supply of different products and services. The following key advance components are necessary when it comes to advance warehousing for manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, distributors and end users.
Anticipatory Inventory Management
Oftentimes, products are manufactured in anticipation of demand for the items especially those with low costs associated with each of the product units. Brands with predictable patterns of customer demands are best managed through anticipatory inventory in the warehouse. Forecasted demands can help warehouse manager prepare an anticipatory inventory of products they hope to store in their warehouse because customers will always come for them.
Seasonal stocking is also an integral part of warehousing. Manufacturers can begin production and stockpiling of seasonal food items and store them in warehouses a few weeks or months to when consumers will come for them. Only a warehouse management system can help protect the lifespan of seasonal products for their due seasons. Warehousing also protects against uncertainty in demand and helps balances supply with demand. It offers an interface between supply chain partners.
The Features of Advance Warehousing
Th advance warehousing management system offers enormous control over all aspect of warehouse operations and these include the receiving and storing of items and the retrieval and shipping of the items. You can design your warehouse to make the most of your available space through the use of unique storage requirements of the products you stock. The most important features of an advanced warehouse management system are;
- User-specific rules for stock movement.
- User-define rules for items and locations to control their stock movement.
- Fixed or random locations for efficient movement of stock.
- Automatic shipping package selection during picking.
- Manual and automatic options for storage, picking, and stock replenishing.
- Audit trailing and reporting for inventory movement.
Profiles for Location of locations and product Items
For each product item and location in the warehouse, you can add a profile and define parameters alongside the characteristics that control the way you move the item within and out of the warehouse. You can also define the parameters and the characteristics that will control the suitability of a location in the warehouse for storing, picking and replacement of items.
The Advanced Rules of Storage, Picking, and Replacement
Advance warehousing management is always driven by rules. You can set up the movement of products based on the varieties of factors and rules. You can assign sequence numbers to different locations, and you can also match an item characteristic with location characteristics, for easy identification. You can always define as many rules as you can for different business purposes.
The Automatic Replenishment of Locations in Warehouse
The advance warehouse system monitors all locations and can easily trigger stock movements to replenish all picking locations automatically when the stock quantities are depleted. You need to automate this procedure and define the parameters you want to use for stock replenishment. For instance, you can set a minimum quantity at which the stock must be automatically be replenished.
The Movement Path Sequencing
It is possible to design different traffic patterns with advanced warehousing. You need to design traffic patterns to reduce congestions. You need to structure the movement of stocks in such a way that the trip of each employee in the warehouse becomes more efficient and facilitated.
Units of Measure
In addition to using the appropriate storage options such as Heavy Duty Containers, you may choose specific locations for warehouse products according to the item’s unit of measure. To ensure the best fit and to maximize storage in your warehouse space. It is also possible to automate the warehouse system to break down or combine different units of measure of products to speed up the movement of inventory and maximize utilization of locations.
Forklifts, as well as pallet jacks, are some of the notable traditional equipment used in moving products in and out of the warehouse but this aspect of advance warehousing has become automated especially with self-guided forklifts and pallet carts. There are also automated self-guided Heavy Duty Containers that can work with automated forklifts for easy transfer of such warehouse items. All these automated forklifts and pallet carts are referred to as automated warehouse vehicles. Most automated warehouse vehicles require little or no human operators and they normally follow digital paths through the warehouse facility to load and offload pallets, boxes, and Heavy Duty Containers.
You don’t need a complete overhaul of warehouse design to implement AVGs (automated vehicles), in your warehouse, they can be incorporated gradually.
The inventory and back-office automation process brought about by advance warehousing system have made it easier to manage inventories and both manufacturers and customers are the greatest beneficiaries of this advancements. The usual pen and paper methods of warehouse cycle count are responsible for more than 55% of errors in inventories, especially errors related to data entry and transcriptions. The earlier warehouse owners understand that advance, automated warehousing system is one of the easiest and cost-effective methods of warehouse management, the better and quicker they can harness all its numerous benefits.
According to a report published by Motorola, nearly 40% of warehouses in the world today still don’t have access to real-time data in their warehouse management systems. This problem has consistently lead to errors in inventory counts which in turn leads to a disruption in the supply chain system. Relying on outdated manual warehouse management processes will only lead to chaos and there may be delays in processing customers requests while manufacturers may not be able to keep up with demands. Delay in processing customer requests will eventually lead to a total loss of confidence in suppliers and distributors which will have negative effects on return on investment. Advance warehouse management is practical and easy to deploy.