Every warehouse is run differently with different methods of optimising their processes, but the end goal is the same for all; to pack and distribute goods in a quick and efficient manner (see our handy calculator for more information about scaling up your warehouse!)
There are five main processes every warehouse should keep in mind and work to improve: receiving, storing, picking, packing, and shipping.
With a WMS, you can more easily optimise each step.
This is the process of collecting materials or goods from the manufacturer. With a WMS, you can more easily scan each incoming item which will log it into your system. That way, you always know how much of a product you currently have in the warehouse.
Storing involves putting away received goods in the most optimal locations. A WMS can help with this process, showing you the best places to store certain items based on location for maximum efficiency; after all, around 50% of time spent during the picking process is actually finding where the products are stored.
This involves collecting orders from storage to get them ready for distribution, and without a well-integrated system, has a huge potential to go wrong. With an effective WMS and the right technology, you should be able to optimise your picking process with easier access to picking lists and quicker scanning. Ensuring your warehouse layout is up to scratch in the storing process will help you greatly, too.
Packing is the process of collecting picked items and getting them ready to ship out to customers. With a WMS, packing can be optimised through defined routines; for example, scanning products to print out an order receipt to then hand forward to the next stage. A WMS helps with organisation and allows a smoother, faster packing process.
The final process, shipping is all about sending goods out to your customers within the timeframe that they ordered. The best way to optimise shipping is actually to ensure you’ve made all of the previous processes as efficient as possible, so you’re not sending out damaged products or missing any orders. With a WMS, you can check out goods like you would’ve done when you received them; that way, not only do you know what’s incoming, you know what’s no longer available.
With any integration with a WMS, it’s worth noting that you’ll receive a set of flows to help you organise your warehouse process. Here’s an example of what those might look like, using a Shopify X Peoplevox (PVX) integration:
Products to PVX
Orders to PVX
Inventory from PVX
Fulfilments from PVX
Refunds from PVX