Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Key Warehouse Management System Indicators

Many organizations struggle with warehouse operations.  Struggle equals frustration and it is a big motivator to stop procrastinating.  Different companies will struggle at different points, but almost everyone has challenges at one point or another.  The differentiator is what those organizations are willing to do to identify and address those challenges.

Here are a few common issues related to warehouse management.

·         Poor warehouse design and layout.  How efficient is the physical layout?  Are your people running back and forth to complete the picking process?  Excessive order pick times?

·         Poor location controls.  Can your people find the products they are supposed to be picking?  How long does it take?  Have you partial shipped orders due to not being able to find products?  Is the only time you are sure what you have is when you are out of stock?

·         Cannot find empty locations.  What about put-aways from receiving?  Are product placements random or system generated?  Can anyone find the products afterwards?

·         Congested isles.  Out of space or out of organization?

·         Incomplete order fulfillment.  Partial picked orders?

·         Cost overhead.  Overtime is common occurrence.

·         Warehouse Management System (WMS).  Lack of or incomplete utilization of application to manage workflow and product movement.

·         Poor personnel productivity.  People sitting around or not knowing what to do or taking too long to complete simple tasks.

·         Inventory costs too high.  Ordering obsolete, lost, or slow moving products, because on hand inventory cannot be found. 

·         No process or poor documentation.  How are you to manage what you do not know?  What type of metrics are you measuring? 

·         Everyday occurrences include stock losses.  How long does this need to go on before it has impact on the bottom line?  Business is competitive enough without having to deal with extra losses that could be prevented.

·         High Cost Inventory items.  Sometimes the cost of fixing the problems are not easily justified, because the individual products are not high value.  What does it matter if I lose inventory, if the unit costs is only pennies?  High value items are an easier justification, but the issue remains efficiency.  Product costs are only a portion of the picture.  You must consider labor and overhead too.

·         People productivity.  What happens to productivity if no one has confidence in the system?  In general people expect computerized systems to be smart and accurate.  When there is a disconnect, some workers will sense that it really does not matter if they do a good job or bad, they get paid the same and if it takes longer, that just means more overtime.

·         Location awareness.  How many locations are in use versus how many are needed?  There are a lot of reasons for a single and multiple locations.  How are you measuring your productivity and efficiency?  Is it costing you more than you make to operate that remote location?

·         People collateral.  Is your system information stored in your workers heads?  What happens with the operations manager goes on vacation, or God forbid, get hits by a bus on the way to work?  Efficient systems guide the work/people process, not the other way around.

·         Inventory clutter.  Is your inventory just sitting around?  Sitting by the loading docks without a destination.  Are your isles cluttered, like the big box retail stores, adding to extra product movements or inefficient picking?  Are there trailers in the lot with inbound products?

Has it just become business as usual or are you fed up struggling with your warehouse operations? 

Dolvin Consulting partners with industry experts to look at, analyze and recommend solutions to increase your operational efficiency.  Are you using a true Warehouse Management System (WMS)?  Is that system fully integrated with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system?  Are you utilizing it fully? 

Maybe you are already doing the best you can with the resources you have access to.  Would it make sense to know that or would you rather keep guessing and wondering if there are any real changes that would not only pay for themselves, but increase your competitive edge, avoid layoffs, and stay in business? 

Contact us today to see how we can help your business.  We are here to serve and help.  There is hope for you company.  You are not alone in your struggles.


  1. In every business, the organization of the goods and services are strictly needed. In this concern, it is important that the business owners will be acquainted on the management systems.
    warehouse management systems for success

  2. I wish that I was near a hair house warehouse! great value for money!
    Bonded warehouse