Pain Point – Warehouse Management Systems

These days, it’s still not uncommon to find large warehouses that are still running their operations using paper. There are several reasons why organizations decline to use barcodes, barcode readers, and software that helps to direct activity or capture information about product receipts or shipments, but the primary reasons usually include high cost to purchase/implement (hardware, software, and training), lack of a strong understanding of the benefits that can be gained, or lack of understanding of the inventory costs that can be eliminated by implementing a quality Warehouse Management System.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have traditionally been very expensive and have been islands of information. When there is a steep cost to a product like this, the perceived benefits and costs need to be fully understood before a decision is prudent, but it’s very common for a good WMS and Inventory Management System that work together to produce benefits and tangible cost savings that pay for the cost of the new system within 3-6 months of usage.

Xcellerated Solutions can help with the selection, design, implementation, and integration of Warehouse Management System–would you benefit by:

  • Reducing Mistakes Due to Human Error?

Paper systems and manual data entry work. Most of the time? If your business has any complexity in it’s warehousing, a good WMS will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help you run your operations better.

When a complex warehouse with buildings, rooms, aisles, locations, bins, racks, pallets, boxes, subcontainers, and lots of inventory SKUs meets lower-wage workers, the potential for error is large. A good WMS knows where inventory is, how much exists, and knows how to tell where workers to find things. It knows that when a user scans an incorrect SKU barcode, it will apply rules to help the worker fix the mistake. It also understands capacities, spill-over/alternate locations, and high-flow traffic areas.

WMS may feel like extra work at first, but the benefits can revolutionize your business!

Xcellerated Solutions can help with all aspects of warehousing, inventory, and SO/PO management. We have experience with many types of barcode tracking implementations, and have developed and implemented warehouse and logistics planning and scheduling modules.

  • Simplifying the Device Requirements (Cheaper to buy, easier to maintain)?

In the not-so-distant past, $1,500 ruggedized devices (difficult to customize or administer) were the only options available for warehouse management. Even with the high price tags, these devices were subject to battery failure (and loss of programming) or physical breakage–they are often large and clumsy. Today’s systems can use cell phones (with a rugged case and pop-socket) or a cheap tablet to do the same functions. These are surprisingly cheap to replace and often don’t get broken.

WMS may feel like extra work at first, but the benefits can revolutionize your business!

Xcellerated Solutions can work with your current WMS hardware or can help you configure new devices for use with your environment. We can help with all aspects of WMS and its supporting software and systems.

  • Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and/or Smart Tracking to Assist with Warehouse Operations?

Even if you have a powerful WMS system, there’s a strong chance you haven’t fully utilized its capabilities in the ways that can solve some of your biggest problems. (Hint–most companies don’t fully engage their system–it’s common to do a quick implementation without fully engaging on all levels.) One way to quickly leverage your system is to use it’s rule-based engines that can look for and help eliminate problems.

AI sounds intimidating (and sometimes a little scary–thanks Terminator!), but it’s really not. To simply the concept, realize that as humans, we use “natural” intelligence countless times a day–we just don’t notice that we used our previous learning experiences to avoid stubbing our toes 358 times per day. It became automatic for us when we learned that stubbing our toe hurt and avoiding that behavior was far less painful. AI just means teaching our systems to look for patterns that cause problems, and when it finds one, take an appropriate action.

Two big differences between training a human child and training an AI rule: 1. The child will pick many things up without having to be explicitly told. 2. The AI will never become distracted by something else–it will behave exactly as expected (but your instructions must be PERFECT.)

WMS may feel like extra work at first, but the benefits can revolutionize your business!

Xcellerated Solutions are experts in designing, coding, and implementing rule-based artificial intelligence (AI) into systems. We can help set up Artificial Intelligence bots or scheduled tasks in your environment that will tattle, fix, or re-route workflows to ensure that major problems are completely avoided and that unexpected problems can be easily corrected and future-proofed.

  • Using Automation to Validate, Expedite, and Simplify Operations?

Modern warehouses are complex environments. Inventory tracking is only part of the problem–efficiency and accuracy are often sources of hidden costs, downstream problems, and wasted time and money.

By automating routine and research-related tasks, workers can be directed to pick (and/or put away) products using AI-mapped patterns and routes to cut trips by 75%–while completely eliminating human errors. (The worker is directed to the correct location for the transaction at hand, location and products are scanned for accuracy, and because several orders were handled on the same trip, the efficiency was multiplied.)

WMS may feel like extra work at first, but the benefits can revolutionize your business!

Xcellerated Solutions can help with setting up both your warehouse procedures (barcodes, locations, planning) and your systems to optimize your warehouse efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. We can also help with full integration of your warehouse with internal and external systems.

  • Adding a REAL WMS System?

If you haven’t invested over $100K in your warehouse management system through a traditional purchase (and you haven’t subscribed yet), chances are that you’re still running your warehouse using paper reports, logical (maybe printed) maps, and human memory. Chances are that your competitors are automating, and it’s becoming a disadvantage for you NOT to have a good WMS in place.

Things have changed a bit–the $100K+ stand-alone WMS systems through 2015 are becoming far less interesting, and without the need for specialty processing, most WMS transactions are now found built into the best ERP systems–without the high price tags and the need to integrate. These modern systems are price-competitive and efficient.

WMS may feel like extra work at first, but the benefits can revolutionize your business!

Xcellerated Solutions can work with implementing a strong WMS system that is fully embedded in a great ERP system. We can also help with a more traditional full-featured WMS system (either on-premise or cloud/subscription) that requires more in-depth design, implementation, and integration.

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