WMS solutions support the transparent, data-based workflows required to maintain flexible shipping and fulfillment activities.

The modern marketplace necessitates scalability. Consumer demands ebb and flow as new trends gain traction and older fads fade. Businesses must keep up with these constantly changing currents to remain competitive. This requires the establishment of agile internal production processes that can scale up or down, depending on demand. Warehouses are, of course, subject to such internal shifts as well.

How do organizations facilitate scalable operations within these critical facilities? Warehouse management systems. These complex solutions support the transparent, data-based workflows required to maintain flexible shipping and fulfillment activities. Here are some of the ways WMS software supports scalable warehouse operations:

Accurate inventory management
Businesses in almost every sector struggle with inventory management. Shrinkage is often the most serious concern here, as enterprises lose money on product that is either stolen or misplaced. In fact, American retailers alone suffered shrinkage-related monetary losses amounting to more than $45 billion in 2015, according to research from the National Retail Federation. Shrinkage is often the result of ineffective inventory tracking practices. When shipping and fulfillment personnel cannot accurately and quickly pinpoint product tucked away within warehouses, operational efficiency declines and, along with it, scalability.

WMS solutions tackle this problem head-on, infusing product monitoring processes with state-of-the-art asset tracking tools, Inbound Logistics reported. Warehouse managers can view accurate, real-time data and effectively oversee the thousands of items that enter and leave facilities on a daily basis. This kind of digital visibility makes it easier to handle changing customer demands and achieve the flexibility needed to survive in today's marketplace.

Optimal labor productivity
Despite all of the fantastical talk surrounding warehouse automation, a vast majority of organizations continue to lean on large human workforces to get the job done. In fact, hiring for on-the-ground workers such as freight stockers and material movers has increased in recent years, according to labor market data provider Economic Modeling. However, even with larger warehouse rosters, some companies struggle to keep up with the competition. Why? Inadequate labor productivity.

"WMS solutions give warehouse managers the power to prioritize tasks and establish work queues."

Overall, the warehouse industry boasts strong productivity marks, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this state of affairs puts considerable pressure on the businesses navigating the space and many falter as a result. WMS solutions can effectively address this problem, giving warehouse managers the power to prioritize tasks and establish work queues. The data collection capabilities inherent in these systems also prove helpful in this regard, as operational stakeholders can review facility performance metrics, via asset tracking information, and tweak workflows to achieve optimal labor productivity, according to the Distribution Group. This brand of fluid, data-backed workforce planning lays the groundwork for greater scalability, establishing the labor-based flexibility needed to execute work orders of all sizes.

New internal capabilities
Product configurations grow more complex while delivery guarantees shrink, paralleling across-the-board increases in consumer expectations, TechTarget reported. Shipping and fulfillment operations bear the brunt of these dual shifts, as many work to reconfigure their spaces and processes to accommodate never-before-seen demands. Unfortunately, many warehouses are simply not equipped to handle such changes, maintaining antiquated workflows that do not comport with fast-moving modern purchasing and logistics trends.

WMS solutions facilitate the operational progression required to meet these challenges, giving warehouse managers the power to support cutting-edge shipping and fulfillment capabilities such as cross-docking and slotting. With these new operational options in hand, businesses can open up new revenue streams and field resources capable of meeting ever-changing marketplace expectations. 

Is your organization prepared to move forward and achieve maximum scalability within the warehouse? Connect with F&A Data Systems. We work with industry-leading vendors like Dell, Microsoft and Oracle to develop cutting-edge WMS solutions for companies of all sizes. Contact us today to learn more about our product and service offerings.