We close out our series of posts on WHY businesses need WMS by highlighting Aberdeen Group’s conclusions about the place of WMS technology – that is bar-coded scanning and automated warehouse management systems.
In terms of technology in its surveyed Best in Class firms, 88% of those firms used a defined, computer-based warehouse management solution – compared to just over half that number in the Laggards category, who did not.
As a result, inventory accuracy among WMS users was about 97%, vs. 92% for non-users. Better inventory accuracy leads to better visibility, higher-fill rates, fewer back-orders and better promises to customers.
Picking accuracy was 98% among WMS users vs. 95% among non-users. Now, a 3% improvement may not sound like much… until you recall (in our third post in this series) how just a 1% improvement yielded tens of thousands of dollars per year in cost savings. In high-volume operations, the improvement in cost savings could be measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
WMS users utilizing bar-coding technologies were, of course, more likely than all other companies to use their technology to confirm warehouse transactions. As the report noted, “this ensures that both the correct action was taken, as well as that the underlying data is in sync with the warehouse reality.” Again: higher pick accuracy and quicker turnarounds. It’s all about beating the competition.
Additionally, WMS users tended to measure their performance (compared to their non-WMS-using peers) twice as frequently – a key component in any quest for continuous improvement.
Better still, turnaround time among WMS users was nearly a full day better (2.5 vs. 3.5 days) among WMS users.
And as Aberdeen also noted, visibility into locations of goods after put-away was dramatically better (than all others) when companies used WMS and kept it up to date. The study found visibility was about three times better for clients who stayed current in their WMS, versus those running older systems. And better visibility means better decisions about shipments, faster turnaround, and happier customers.
And after all, aside from reducing expenses, isn’t “happier customers” what improved warehouse operations is all about?
WE HOPE THIS SERIES HAS BEEN USEFUL TO YOU IN ASSESSING THE BENEFITS OF AN AUTOMATED WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION. We encourage you to review Aberdeen’s original report, authored by Messrs. Scott Pezza and Nari Viswanathan, here.
We are also grateful to the blog http://barcodeinformation.wordpress.com/ produced by a company called Ryzex, who did their own analysis of Aberdeen’s report, and is a provider of WMS technology solutions.
And lastly, our shameless plug: Our firm implements warehouse management systems, including our own E-Z WMS system now in use by several firms – and soon to be more. If you’re looking for an effective WMS that can be implemented for about half the cost of traditional systems, we encourage you to contact us any time. You can click on the link following to download a four-page feature brochure in PDF format to learn more: