The days of lost or untraceable inventories should be long gone. With effective software systems plus professional management and expertise, the precise location, status, and count of every item in a supply chain should be instantly identifiable.

Surprisingly, there are still companies operating with outdated methods. Today the best 3rd-party logistics companies (3PL) employ systems and training that allow for real-time recognition and result in customer satisfaction.

  1. Reduce the potential for “lost” inventory
  2. Reduce warehouse costs and enhance employee utilization
  3. Optimize supply chain inventories
  4. Eliminate surprises and emergency deliveries
  5. Accurate inventory management – tracking, billing, and financial data become automatic
  6. More efficient production planning and procurement
  7. Cloud-based warehousing systems allow for easy access to crucial information

These methods allow for shorter lead times, lower inventory levels, resulting in fewer errors, reducing emergency deliveries and can provide transparent interaction between warehousing services and their clients.

The solution is a Warehouse Management System (WMS).

What is a Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

Warehouse Management System, (Warehouse management solution or WMS), is the underlying software that facilitates efficient operations throughout the supply chain.

The systems track the precise location of each unit from the time it arrives until the product is loaded and shipped to the next destination.

When supply chain partners are appropriately aligned, the systems can even track inventory all the way from the producer/supplier through warehousing services to the distribution center or end-user.

What Kinds of WMS Are There?

Warehouse management systems can range in complexity, starting with a simple stand-alone system that manages inventory within the walls of a warehouse.

The system tracks inventory received through all regular warehousing services of placing, storing, picking, staging and loading. All of the processes are linked to financial systems that automatically generate billing and new inventory information.

In many instances, 3PLs have installed mechanized, computer-driven slotting and picking systems that automatically transport products from receiving to designated slots for storing. When required for shipment, the systems can select products and convey them to a staging area for loading.

With added portals and collaboration with vendors, sales partners, and clients, the logistics management company’s WMS system can link all internal warehousing services with external data.

This capability provides a real-time, 360° view of the entire supply chain that can adapt to product flow rates to accommodate slow-downs or volume surges.

This transparency can alert the producer to speed up or slow down production, adjust warehouse inventory levels, and manage delivery volumes and frequencies.

7 Benefits of WMS: Why Choose a Warehouse with an Effective Digital WMS

A capable, integrated Warehouse Management System can save money and improve profitability in many areas. Some are:

1. Reduce the potential for “lost” inventory.

No product should be misplaced because each item is assigned a particular warehouse slot and tracked from receiving to shipping using real-time data. WMS improves inventory visibility and helps you manage levels of safety stock of even the most complex supply chains. 

2. Reduce warehouse costs and enhance employee utilization.

More efficient placement and selection can allow 3PLs to reduce labor costs, and larger quantities of inventory can be stored more efficiently with mechanized warehousing services systems optimizing on-site storage space and labor management.

3. Optimize supply chain inventories.

Storage space is sometimes considered wasted warehouse space. Similarly, excess inventory is money lost. Because WMS eliminates uncertainty through real-time visibility of each stage of the supply chain, including warehouse space optimization, this software solution can reduce inventories and safety stocks to ideal levels.

4. Eliminate surprises and emergency deliveries

With the transparency of an effectively integrated WMS and real-time visibility of stock levels and available warehouse staff and storage space, demand changes can be anticipated faster, and customer service can be met with a higher degree of confidence. As a result, inventories may be adjusted sooner to meet the unexpected shift in demand.

5. Accurate inventory management – tracking, billing, and financial data become automatic.

With a well-developed WMS system, all elements of warehousing services are integrated. When a single order is received, the inventory starts to move, invoicing is created, trucks are loaded, and deliveries are scheduled.

6. More efficient production planning and procurement

Warehouse efficiency, production, planning and procurement can better synchronize through shared forecasting and real-time inventory information. Production and purchasing managers can match forecasts with lead times and inventories to improve product flows along and reduce wait times along the entire supply chain operation. 

7. Cloud-based warehousing systems allow for easy access to crucial information.

A warehouse management system can be cloud-based, which allows key personnel to access information with any device from everywhere.

With multiple access capabilities, the client, warehouse, and shipping companies can all check the same product and delivery status information in real-time.

BR Williams Company, an Advanced 3PL Service Provider

BR Williams provides professional 3PL services to world-class customers. As a supply chain provider with warehousing services, transport, and other logistics support, BR Williams, manages all elements of freight movement from manufacturers to distribution centers or retailers.

>>> Read How BR Williams Launched a New World-Class WMS

Having a professional 3rd Party logistics company with a WMS, like BR Williams, to manage your inventory, warehousing services, transport, and delivery improves performance, reduces landed costs, and enhances profitability.

Contact BR Williams for a free consultation to develop a customized logistics plan that eliminates the headaches of lost inventory, poor planning, and late deliveries.

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