Most distribution centers, big or small, operate using some sort of ERP system to keep track of their inventory, accounting and transactional data. Fewer than most facilities also use a Warehouse Management System (WMS). Without the integration of both, it’s common for the ERP to say one thing but for the warehouse floor to say something completely different.
In theory, finding your inventory should be as simple as having a place for everything.
Prior to implementing a WMS, you need to define all areas of your warehouse. Each aisle, rack unit, shelf, pallet position and storage area needs to be “named” and “barcode” labelled –i.e. given an address. Even the receiving and shipping areas need to be sub-divided. How can you find anything if you don’t have a name for the place its being stored?
Next, you need to associate each of your products with the locations in which they reside. This should help you identify all of those “mystery pallets” that are cluttering the aisles or that are full of non-inventory items that should have been dealt with years ago. Anything that can’t be identified as “saleable” inventory needs to be addressed in some manner. The dustiest pallets need to be either disposed of or positioned in the farthest reaches of the facility. Getting rid of those obstacles should also make moving around the facility more efficient.
Once your inventory has a home, you will find that it’s easy to keep things organized as you start to use your WMS. Inbound loads are associated to receiving locations from the moment they come in the door. Tasks are generated to move each inbound load into a storage address. Outbound picks are system-directed and staged to shipping address up until the point where they are processed and sent out the door. All product movements are fully recorded to give you an audit trail at all times.
Using Pinpoint, the Warehouse Management System from Apero Solutions will help reduce lost or misplaced inventory, eliminate picking errors, save money, and improve delivery accuracy. Once everyone in your facility is on-board, putting the warehouse in order should be a relatively smooth process. You will create a clean, organized warehouse, better define your internal workflow processes, improve your safety standards and increase your general efficiency all around.
Contact us today to learn more about how an organized warehouse can drive warehouse productivity and profit.