4 WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM
As WMS experts our job is to help our customers cope with a challenging reality in their warehouse management. Of course, all companies are different, but some warehouse challenges seem to be more common than others. In this blog post I will go through some of them – and suggest solutions on how to overcome them.
Let’s start with four challenges that have a direct effect on customer delivery experience, as well as your profitability.
Patrik Olsson CPO Consafe Logistics
Challenge #1 KEEPING TRACK OF YOUR INVENTORY
For many retail companies, a well thought-out omnichannel strategy is critical to keep up with the competition. But keeping physical stores and e-commerce in the same flow can be tricky when it comes to controlling the stock balance. Keeping track of your inventory is important, both to avoid “out of stock disappointment” among your customers and losing money by replenishing too soon or too early.
How can this problem be solved? Here, picking accuracy is the key. A WMS can help you to verify picking without adding resources – and make continuous stock balance analysis easier. Because in today’s fast-moving world, taking stock once a year just won’t cut it.
Challenge #2 COST-EFFICIENT RETURN HANDLING
Today’s consumers expect free delivery – and free returns. Not only that, but they also expect their return to be handled swiftly and to get the money back in their account fast. Return-handling in the warehouse is costly, time-consuming, and messy, and booming e-commerce makes it an ever-growing problem. Trying to solve the problem by banning customer for over-using return policies? Sure, but that doesn’t do wonders for customer satisfaction, does it?
How can this problem be solved? Getting the returned items quickly back into rotation and getting the refund/change solved efficiently is vital to keep return costs down. A WMS can help by:
Standardizing the return flow
Enable use of automation
Make communication flows with the customer efficient
Challenge #3 ENSURE DELIVERY ACCURACY
Globally, 30 % of returns are made because of wrong or damaged deliveries. Therefore, to keep return costs down and customer satisfaction up, accurate picking, packing and send-offs are critical processes in the warehouse.
How can this problem be solved? Today there is plenty of technologies to help you increase delivery accuracy in your warehouse. Such as RFID, smart scales, and camera verification for example. In combination with a WMS you will get the control and traceability needed to keep picking errors to a minimum. Your function for customer complaints will be truly grateful.
Challenge #4 IMPROVE MANUAL PICKING
The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated what has been happening over the last decade … that online orders are taking over our warehouses. That means higher complexity in picking, with more single item picking, a wider product range and a high degree of seasonal variation. Investing in automation is one way to increase efficiency, but can´t most often not replace the labor-intensive manual picking entirely.
How can this problem be solved? With a high volume of small orders is manually picked is all about using technology to work smarter. An advanced WMS contains a number of functionalities that can help. AI-driven pick route optimization, smart slotting and frequency analysis all increase productivity and improve accuracy in manual picking. Together with easy-to-use hardware you are good to go!
Do you want to learn more?
Read more about common warehouse challenges, such as getting your systems to work together and expanding your warehouse space by downloading our latest trend report.
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