How to Revamp Warehouse Operations with NetSuite
Table of Contents
What is a Warehouse Management System?
Warehouse management involves the procedures and principles that are involved in running the day-to-day warehouse operations. A warehouse management system (WMS) is software that organizes many different points in the supply chain, this wide variety of tasks include receiving, organizing warehouse floor, scheduling labour, managing inventory, and fulfilling orders to optimize warehouse functionality. Tasks are facilitated through automation such as planning, organizing, and more. This type of supply chain management can only work as efficiently as the warehouse workflow, which means the effectiveness of a WMS is vital for overall success.
On the occasion that a step in the supply chain such as in the warehouse where raw materials are not received promptly or misplaced, the supply chain function will be slow or possibly disrupted. This is the reason that ensuring that a seamless WMS is in place will make or break your supply chain and business processes.
Coordinating all these jobs efficiently is a big task which needs to be carefully optimized to deliver the best customer service to cater to customer demand.
Why Should You Implement a Warehouse Management System?
When a business implements a warehouse management system, such as NetSuite, you will have full visibility into real-time inventory levels, storage, employee productivity, demand forecasting along with order fulfillment. Enterprise resource planning systems such as NetSuite WMS are important to have as they eliminate manual processes and possible guesswork. NetSuite WMS streamlines processes that will save time and give insights to more accurate information without a warehouse manager having to do frequent warehouse audits.
Ease of access to information will allow managers to easily identify the areas where there could be an improvement in the warehouse processes. The tools provided by NetSuite drives strategic decision-making for operations managers. This will help the overall health of the warehouse operations for a flawless run and the fulfillment of customer orders.
Challenges with Manual & Paper-Based Warehouse Management:
1. Inaccuracies: With paper-based management, the data on record is only as accurate as it is often updated, even then a jumble of information can lead to confusion. Human error is the biggest culprit when it comes to relying on pen and paper, which will ultimately dampen the experience to the consumer.
2. Visibility: Small to midsize businesses will often rely on manual inventory methods. Manual inventory management lacks real-time visibility, this leaves the businesses in a vulnerable position due to inaccuracies in inventory levels that can lead to multiple repeat orders of a product and not having the product on hand. Supply chain operations can be put under stress and not deliver due to inaccurate stock levels.
3. Misuse of Space: Mapping our warehouse floor plans by hand, makes this an inefficient task due to difficulties in tracking and updating the spaces. When space is limited, this leads to needed space becoming under-utilized, or on the contrary, the risk of running out of warehouse space surfaces.
4. Disorganized Order Release: Order release and manual WMS is a risky combination. This makes a likely situation of mis-picks. mis-picks aren’t difficult to resolve, although, this increases labour work of putting back incorrect items and picking the correct item. This also causes delays in time. Most times mis-picks leave the warehouse undetected.
Are You Ready to Upgrade your Warehouse Management System?
NetSuite Warehouse Management System Functionalities
1. Real-time Visibility: NetSuite allows users in every department to access the same data at any moment, from any location. Everyone views the data in real-time. Oftentimes businesses are running on different software platforms which creates gaps in information and communication. These communication gaps can make tasks such as operations planning difficult.
2. Mobile: As previously mentioned, users can access the information from anywhere at any time. This is done through either desktop access or mobile access. Through a mobile application, NetSuite WMS will allow employees to view information, and perform tasks such as select/scan barcodes for transactions, items, lots/serial numbers.
3. Strategic: NetSuite also allows for a more strategic approach when operating the physical warehouse, such as coordinating bin locations to specific areas that the bins belong to and optimizing all the available space. Having such orderly shop management allows for convenient delivery and order fulfillment.
4. Templates and Automation: With premade templates, processes such as wave releases can be automated and make it easy for warehouse managers to identify orders, to release orders for a warehouse for picking, this can be based on any criteria such as customer, expected ship date, shipping method, etc.
5. Inventory Management: Due to customer demand constantly changing, inventory management systems allow for tracking relevant trends. Without insights such as tracking trends, resource allocation may fall short and the customer’s needs may not be fulfilled. On the other hand, if products are hard to locate in the warehouse, efficient production will lack and inventory management can help to eliminate this with real-time visibility of products
6. Barcode functionality: NetSuite can also generate barcodes for products for easier tracking. When a barcode is generated there is an improvement to the functions, the warehouse workers, can track the status of a product as it moves in and out of the warehouse in addition to seeing if the product was picked, packed, and shipped, operations management is overall eased.
7. Integrations: NetSuite WMS has the capability to add integrations to 3rd party software. Such as e-commerce and financial management. NetSuite has a wide range of integrations that can be applied to create a holistic solution if you wish to maintain certain aspects of your operations management separate. Follow industry standards and have accountable conduct with ease when aligning departments together.