The promise of a Warehouse Management System is that:
- You will always know what you have and how to find it.
- You’ll spend less time and effort keeping track of your inventory.
- You’ll cut costs by needing less inventory and people to handle it.
Who actually gets the benefits of a Warehouse Management System?
The warehouse manager
The warehouse manager is the person who has overall control of the inventory. He or she is the one who knows by heart where everything is kept and how much there is of it. The problem can be that the warehouse manager has trouble keeping control without working himself to death. Others handling the inventory make mistakes or fail to keep proper track. The Warehouse Management System makes it easy for warehouse workers to track inventory, because activity is recorded automatically by scanning inventory bar codes. Since it enforces tracking discipline, the Warehouse Manager can relax, knowing that the knowledge of the inventory is only a few key-strokes away.
The warehouse manager is typically also the person that has to deal with problems with shipments. If shipments are delayed or inaccurate, he or she is the one to get the complaint. Delays and inaccurate shipments are greatly reduced by using a Warehouse Management System.
Perhaps the warehouse manager has warehouse workers. John wants to handle the inventory one way, and Mary wants to handle it another way. But with a Warehouse Management System, everyone has to handle the inventory the same way, leading to consistency in record keeping. It makes managing the warehouse workers much easier. When new people are brought in, the warehouse manager can relax, knowing they, also, must handle the inventory using the discipline of the Warehouse Management System.
The company financial controller
No one is more concerned with inventory than the person who controls and manages the company finances. Because the inventory has such a major impact on the financial health of the company, the controller is frequently involved in the decision of how much inventory to stock. When inventory is under the control of a Warehouse Management System, the controller can feel confident in the quantities maintained, and can therefore reduce stocks to the proper level. Without confidence in inventory quantities, companies feel compelled to hold "fear" stock. Warehouse Management Systems reduce the fear, reduce the inventory value held, and contribute to improved financial health.
Another benefit of Warehouse Management Systems is the ability to analyze the history of inventory activity. Controllers can query the history on any inventory item to understanding trends, helping the controller fine tune inventory levels.
The company's employees
Warehouse workers are significantly more productive when using a Warehouse Management System. They appreciate the value of the automatic recording of changes in inventory locations, and the ease of validating receivings and shippings. They are using technology, making them feel more valuable. In fact they become more valuable as their productivity increases and gives them increased opportunity for advancement.
Other employees benefit as well, those involved in the record keeping of inventories, accounting, customer tracking, sales and marketing. Accurate shipments lead to more satisfied customers, benefiting everyone involved in delivering the goods.
The boss cares about all of the above. When others in the company are more productive and happier, so also is the boss. The boss is responsible for sales and profits. Warehouse Management Systems make for increased sales, because customer needs are met in a more accurate and timely manner. Warehouse Management Systems make for increased profits because inventory and personnel costs are reduced.
The IT Department
Perhaps your company does not have an IT Department. With CompassIM, you can still have a Warehouse Management System. Whoever in the company has experience with PCs can follow our Help documentation to install, set up and run the system. Like any other useful computer application, there is a learning curve. But you can set up the complete CompassIM package in demonstration mode without cost, and experiment with it, learn from it, and simulate your operation before going live. To do this, you do not have to invest in any hardware. You can set up CompassIM on any Windows XP or later computer and test it out. You can even use the terminal simulator to learn how to use RF hand-helds.
If you do have an IT Department, even better. They can work with you to set up CompassIM and become your first line of support. Or not. You really don’t have to bother them with it if it comes to that.