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How an ERP System Can Help Your Pick, Pack and Ship Activities

The productivity of a warehouse is crucial within the supply chain; it can make or break a company’s bottom line. The goal is to keep customers satisfied and the businesses running seamlessly. It is critical that we periodically review these operations to see if these are operating as efficiently as possible. A good ERP system can help! Read on for some essential tips on how to improve your warehouse and shipping activities.

Organize the Warehouse and Workstations

  • How organized are your goods?
  • What methodology did you utilize?

Organizing your warehouse improves productivity and maximizes efficiency. It should be designed for speed, accountability and ensure accuracy. There are several strategies to maximize productivity, including implementing a methodical location numbering system to easily identify a specific warehouse location – based on position, level, bay, aisle, and zone. These locations can be tracked in an ERP system using bin locations.  You will have real-time information on the material available in each bin while saving time.

Warehouse Management Tips & Strategy

You can also de-clutter the warehouse by enforcing the ‘5s’ methodology (Sort – Set in order – Shine – Standardize – Sustain). Another proven warehouse organization strategy involves designing workstations according to the characteristics of the worker and specific tasks. This improves productivity and minimizes the risk of workplace illnesses or injuries.

Use a Velocity-Based Layout

Traditional product placement layouts, such as grouping products based on the manufacturer or the type of product, are largely inefficient and time-consuming. Instead, you can improve your effectiveness by implementing a velocity-based layout in your warehouse strategy.

By placing the frequently picked products closer to the shipping area, warehouse staff can easily and quickly pick the items on demand. Additionally, warehouse managers should consider integrating the packing and shipping stations to free up space and streamline the fulfillment process.

Powerful reporting capabilities within an ERP system can help provide your warehouse manager the tools necessary to plan, arrange and adapt. By running a report of historical shipments, one can obtain the information that is needed in order to determine the optimal locations for storing each item.

Streamline Workflows

  • How do all of your warehouse resources fit together?
  • Or better yet, how do you identify gaps in the processes?

Warehouse managers can determine how departmental workflow and scheduling affect operations by creating a visual map. This allows you to understand how things are working, including the health of the warehouse layout, storage of different materials, and handling of items. Simply put, streamlining workflows through visual mapping is like creating a well-oiled machine.

One very useful feature is the capability to generate paperless and optimal picklists for your warehouse employees. Many companies just have their shipping people pick the items in the order provided in the original sales order. But sometimes this can result in a warehouse employee constantly travelling back and forth from one side of the warehouse to the other. But some ERP systems can generate an optimized picklist where the picking order is based upon the location of the item. These systems can improve efficiency by minimizing the travel a warehouse employee needs to gather all the items.

Velocity Based Warehouse Layout

Measure Results and Review Effectiveness

You can’t have 2020 vision for your warehouse strategy if you don’t measure and review the results. It’s important to analyze and gauge how you’re utilizing available resources.

  • What is the flow of goods in and out of the warehouse?
  • Are there any inefficiencies in the chain that may negatively affect the bottom line?

While analyzing the effectiveness of a warehouse, it’s essential to review the whole process – there’s no point in improving one system when another is lagging.

Your sales mix can vary from season to season or from year to year. It is important that you continually review your operations to ensure you are optimizing for what you will be shipping in the future and not just what you shipped in the past. An ERP system with a powerful MRP system can provide visibility into what is coming up ahead so you can prepare for materials on-hand and store it in your warehouse where it can be easily pick, packed and shipped.

Leverage Technology

Nowadays, there are tons of technologies designed to improve accuracy and increase productivity in a warehouse. Some of these tools include bin tracking, pick-to-label, bar codes, integrated CRM processes, and advanced inventory tracking methods.

Having an advanced bar code capability within your ERP system can be extremely helpful in making your shipping activities as efficient as possible. Not only will it save time, but perhaps more important, it will limit and reduce human errors. Shipping the wrong product to a customer because someone picked the wrong material can be tremendously costly and negatively impact the goodwill you have with your customer. A good bar code capability integrated with your ERP system can save you, oftentimes the initial cost of implementation.

kechie inventory software

Conclusion

As we shared in our previous blog, providing integrations with the leading shipping software companies is an example of My Office Apps commitment to incorporate innovative features using partnerships and smart algorithms in the Kechie ERP solution to help make our clients more efficient and profitable. With the help of a great Warehouse Management System like Kechie®, you can integrate several real-time systems to ensure the seamless flow of data and efficient movement of goods in the warehouse. This leads to lowered costs, space management, increased accuracy, and easier analysis of results.

Our goal is to provide the best solutions for small and medium sized businesses utilizing the latest best practices techniques in order to contribute to the success of our customers.

For more information on shipping and the Kechie ERP software, you can visit www.kechie.com or www.myofficeapps.com or better yet, call us at (714) 486-1487 and ask us to schedule a demo so we can show how we can help solve your business issues you face, both today and tomorrow.