29 Dec 2022
  

Warehouse Management System in Food Industry: Here’s a Guide for a Smooth Operation!

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Surbhi Bhatia

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Warehouse Management System

Business owners in the food and beverages industry face a significant challenge, including low operating expenses. This is because they sell large quantities with very low-profit margins. In addition, a company that commercializes food and beverages must ensure its supply chain is under control. This is because resource outflows can lead to a substantial drop in profits.

An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which collects, stores, manages, and interprets information from different business areas, is essential. However, some companies have greater needs than an ERP.

ERP vs. Warehouse Management System 

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) is often a benefit to food and beverage companies. It allows for the creation of information and controls about every product received, packed, packed, and shipped. It also allows you to see the inventory location and its value. The following functions are possible with a Warehouse Management System:

  • Visibility of warehouse processes
  • Analyse and centralization all information
  • Tracking product movement
  • Problem identification
  • It is important to make timely decisions to ensure that the right products are sent to the clients in a timely fashion.

Because of the volume of information generated by food warehouse management systems, it is better to integrate it into a company’s ERP. For example, the former receives information about sales transactions and purchases from the latter. Although a Warehouse Management System can be used in standalone mode without integration, this often results in unreliable manual processes due to inconsistencies between the information from both solutions.

Warehouse Management Systems are often very helpful for businesses that sell food or beverages.

  • Simplified operations and greater efficiency
  • Time and money savings
  • Automated processes and workflows reduce sales time
  • Flexibility to adapt to new strategies and to change consumer behavior
  • Close inventory control can reduce loss from expiration
  • Faster, more precise decisions are possible based on central information that is easily accessible to logistic managers
  • It is no longer necessary to outsource storage operations. This makes it much easier to fulfill purchase orders.

Want to get more information about warehouse management? We have created an article for you. Let’s get started.

What’s warehouse management software?

Warehouse management encompasses all activities related to warehouse operations, from when goods enter a warehouse until their departure. It includes warehouse activities such as receiving, storing and tracking, picking, packing, shipping, and even picking up. Warehouse management automation is the purpose of WMS (warehouse management software). It is used to make sure that warehouses are managed efficiently and economically. It often includes a web admin and mobile app for workers, which can be integrated with third-party platforms and services to provide a unified management system.

Why is automation necessary in a warehouse?

  • Lower labor costs: Less time is spent in warehouse management, and fewer specialists are needed.
  • Eliminating errors in picking and shipping products by removing manual data inputs and human factors
  • Optimized inventory operations lead to increased revenue.
  • This reduces the risk of theft or loss of goods.
  • This provides real-time visibility, analytics, and the most up-to-date information about activities such as orders, shipments, receipts, and any movement of goods.

How do warehouse inventory management systems function?

Warehouse inventory software has several key features that will allow you to monitor goods in your warehouses and manage inventory control. Warehouse management software can be integrated into other enterprise resource planning (ERP), or it can be used as a standalone system. If you need to manage inventory throughout your entire company, buying a seamlessly integrated solution is best.

Inventory management software allows you to track, track, and ship products. This makes it easy to know where products are at any given time. You can use them to forecast customer demand based on historical sales data. You can also get notifications and alerts to help improve your warehouse’s operational processes, such as when it is time for cycle counts.

How to manage your warehouse inventory?

These are the four key steps to setting up your inventory management software for food industry for efficiency and success. These steps are essential to ensure efficiency and quick product movement when you first set up your warehouse.

Also ReadHow much does it cost to develop a food delivery app?

1. Designate a warehouse manager

A warehouse that is efficient and well-run starts with someone who can lead. Your business should hire a warehouse manager with experience in a warehouse similar to yours.

Singletary stated that a warehouse manager is needed if you have an actual warehouse. A warehouse manager’s job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly. They are the warehouse’s quarterback. You need someone who can organize, is familiar with warehouse operations, and is not afraid to use technology.

Your warehouse manager will keep an eye on your workers and ensure they are correctly scanning and cataloging items. Your warehouse inventory management software will be used to keep an eye on your inventory. They will also engage regularly with them. Your warehouse manager will handle any issues or anomalies that may arise. They should be able to respond quickly if your warehouse employees spot a problem.

2. The warehouse layout should be determined

Your warehouse’s physical layout can either make or break your warehouse workers’ ability to quickly pick, pack and ship items when there is a sale or transfer order. Holton suggests that warehouse workers can be more efficient by dividing warehouses into lots or zones and numbering the aisles and bins.

Although every warehouse may not be set up in the same manner, an organized warehouse is essential for efficient operations. How you set up your warehouse space will depend on the products you store. For example, a warehouse that stores large machinery may have designated areas, but it is unlikely to have aisles or bins like a warehouse that stores smaller retail products.

When designing your warehouse, you should think about how employees will move around the space. Make sure your high-value and high-transaction-volume items are easily accessible, Davidson said.

You might reorganize your warehouse if your business grows. You need to identify the items that move quickly through your warehouse and place them in places that are easy to reach.

3. Set up a process

You will need to establish a process for managing your warehouse. This area should be well-respected by the warehouse manager. Work closely with them to create a warehouse workflow that is beneficial for your company. Singletary says that your workflow should include several key points.

  • How do I receive new inventory?
  • Where does new inventory go when it is received?
  • How can inventory be tracked at what time it arrives, how it is moved, and when it leaves the warehouse?

Singletary stated that knowing the exact location of a piece is extremely helpful when it comes time to sell it. Therefore, you need a system that will tell you where to find the product. In addition, it is essential to track the product as it moves from its original location to the delivery point to the customer.

You should also discuss operational considerations with your warehouse manager.

  • Track inventory location: For efficient inventory management in food industry, decide if you need serial tracking, lot tracking, or a combination of both. The key component of inventory control is tracking. It allows operators to pinpoint exactly where a product is located when they need to pick it up. Serial tracking is helpful for high-value products that are sold in small quantities. Lot tracking is more effective for items with low value and high quantity. Barcoding can be used to automate the updating and tracking of information for individual items in warehouse inventory management software. This is particularly important when you sell on multiple channels. It will prevent you from accidentally overselling or running into negative quantities.
  • Regular inventory audits and cycle counts: It is vital to prevent loss and control inventory. Your warehouse manager may not be aware of the possibility that units might be stolen or lost without regular cycle counts. You could lose a lot of inventory if you only do inventory counts once per year. Particularly important is to conduct regular cycle counts for goods that are about to expire. You should conduct inventory counts on bestselling or high-value items more often.
  • Accounting methods Depending on the operation of your warehouse, you may prefer first-in, first-out (FIFO), last in the first outside (LIFO), , or average costing methods. These accounting methods are essential to warehouse management. Most inventory management software integrates seamlessly with your accounting program to eliminate double entry and reduce the chance of human error. The costing method for warehouse inventory management software must be compatible with your other accounting.
  • Reporting:Warehouse managers create and distribute data reports. These reports can be customized in warehouse inventory management software. These reports can include product quantities, sales data from vendors, and information about expired or lost products.

4. Software for warehouse inventory management.

Warehouse inventory management software can automate and simplify many warehouse management tasks. It also allows you to update stock records in real time. In addition, your warehouse inventory management software will accurately reflect your stock and the exact location of each item as long as your warehouse staff properly scans them and catalogs them as they enter your warehouse.

Notably, ERP software should contain the most information. “The transactional data tells you what items should be cycle numbered and how often. This information is essential for determining which items are to be cycle numbered.

To determine if there are any trends in your business operations, you can look for them to identify if it is preventing shipping or receiving.

Warehouse inventory management software can also be used to automatically reorder stock once products have reached a minimum quantity. Software that analyzes sales data automatically determines the optimal minimum quantity for automatic reordering. It also determines how many products it should replenish.

Key Warehouse Management Software Features

We will now discuss warehouse management software features that you must have in 2022.

1. Inventory Management and Tracking Warehouse

Inventory management software is an essential component of any market-specific company.

It allows you to automate your inventory management process and streamline it.

Simply put, you can get data-driven insight into your warehouse business. You will know what items to order, when they should be ordered, which vendors you have worked with and what rates you have been charged.

You can also reap the benefits of automating manual tasks that are less frequent.

This is possible by turning them into an automated, analog-to-digital process.

Warehouse inventory management software automatically tracks all incoming and outgoing inventory data, which helps lower labor costs and improve productivity.

Warehouse inventory management software can help reduce inventory levels, order fulfillment, and order cycle times.

High inventory data accuracy allows your company to respond quickly to customer needs by having exact stock data, inventory count, and timings to replenish the warehouse.

2. Order Fulfillment & Management

Warehouse fulfillment software automates and streamlines all aspects of inventory management, from receipt to shipment.

It allows you to create smart logistics between multiple warehouses, so it automatically creates routes that correspond with the correct order-product relationship.

The second is how you handle orders and the impact it has on customer satisfaction and sales.

If you own an e-commerce site that sells multiple products and ships them across the United States, it is important to ensure order fulfillment and management. This will allow you to deliver the goods on time and in a quality manner.

Order fulfillment is the key to sales growth. It allows you to scale your business, expand into new markets, and ensure that your company’s core values are met.

These processes can be adjusted more quickly and efficiently to better serve customers.

3. Advanced Packing, Replenishment, and Shipping

When scaling, companies must pick, pack, replenish, and ship the most critical and challenging tasks.

Warehouse management systems are easy-to-use automation tools that allow e-commerce to scale quickly and efficiently.

Picking is one of the most labor-intensive tasks in any distribution center (DC), even if you use wave, zone, or batch picking.

Warehouse management systems offer advanced picking automation tools that can help you reduce labor costs, improve the efficiency of your warehouse processes, scale quickly, and increase your company’s profitability.

The best warehouse management software can automate the replenishment process and allow you to keep it under control.

Your inventory planners and managers automatically perform core operations such as stock data counting and inventory ordering.

You can reduce the inventory replenishment failure ratio, lower labor costs, and automate many processes, such as moving inventory from reserve storage into primary.

High-quality, timely shipment can be partly due to well-thought-out picking, packing, and replenishment.

4. Predictive analytics with insightful charts & dashboards

Deep predictive analytics, which can predict the future, is essential in 2022. You get processed and return gigabytes of daily data.

You will see that the more you analyze, you’ll get better results in your business.

The top predictive data analysis algorithms offer a wide variety of smart techniques. These include Artificial Intelligence data mining and modeling, statistics, as well as others that enable you to make the most of the received data.

The best warehouse management software systems offer predictive analytics that allows you to transform large amounts of data into high quality.

The better your decision-making skills are, the more you have access to qualitative insights from analysis.

Second Data analysis allows you to keep track of warehouse inventory in real-time and analyze emerging issues.

This will allow you to improve significantly your inventory management process, which results in high customer satisfaction and retention.

The predictive analytics tools in warehouse management systems allow you to spot and monitor changing customer behavior.

Your internal business processes and operations should be tuned, so customers receive faster delivery times and better shipping quality.

Top warehouse management software vendors offer data analytics tools to help monitor market trends.

5. Putaway

After the item is approved, the WMS app generates the license plate and suggests a location within the information of a specific EAN.

  • You can scan or manually enter EAN or license plate
  • Display information about a particular EAN
  • Cancel or confirm EAN;
  • Show your suggestion for a location
  • Cancel or confirm the location suggested
  • Scan EAN/license plate to scan items and rack barcode/QR to check in them. This is used to check in new items and for item movement. Pick-to-sound or pick-to-light technology can also be used to check in items.

6. Outbound

These features allow for the management of items that leave the warehouse. The worker is asked to prepare the goods for shipment. This includes the description of the goods, including EAN, license number, quantity, dispatch time, and destination.

  • Enter or scan your license plate
  • Check license plate
  • Generating target license plates – The number that will be controlled at the bay door location

7. Management of labor

Warehouse managers can use labor management to distribute tasks and monitor worker performance. It also helps warehouse workers to maximize their workload and view task list.

  • Sign in to authenticate your user and log out
  • Configure user permissions
  • Work list for users
  • Show tasks with a preview
  • View the task description by opening a task page
  • Sort tasks, e.g. Sort tasks, e.g., by priority or status (pending, in process, completed, etc. );
  • Take control of tasks: Start, Pause, Finish.

Key Steps to Building a Warehouse Management System:

1. Set your goals

It is no secret that you must define your business goals before choosing any type of solution. You will be able to identify the technology solutions that you require in order to solve your problems and achieve your business goals.

If you are looking to automate warehouse inventory management and tracking to reduce labor costs and paper waste, warehouse management software applications may be a good option. They offer all-inclusive inventory management capabilities.

2. Custom warehouse management systems vs. out-of-the-box

We will now discuss how to choose the right warehouse management system by comparing custom and off-the-shelf software.

  • Setup and implementation

Although they offer an easier and faster implementation, the costs of setting up WMS software off-the-shelf can vary depending on project complexity. 

Software development for custom warehouse management is a lengthy, customized process that can be costly but will result in significant savings over the long term.

  • Scalability

Pre-made warehouse management systems offer limited scaling options for your business.

You can build a warehouse management system right from scratch. This will allow you to embed the required level of scalabilities, such as the number of employees and the number of warehouses.

  • On-demand functionality

Pre-made WMS software vendors offer a set of features that you can’t expand or decrease. This is the best option if you want to save money on custom warehouse management software.

  • Integrations

The standard off-the-shelf warehouse stock program has a limited number of integrations. It’s a great way to integrate with other tools quickly, but it also has limited functionality that doesn’t allow for custom integrations.

Instead, building a warehouse management software system from scratch allows you to integrate with hundreds of products by embedding required API connections.

3. Choose a development option

If you are looking to create warehouse management systems that meet your business’s specific needs, you will need to identify the best development option.

There are three key options for development:

  • Locate a CTO/technical Partner
  • A team of freelance developers can be hired
  • You can outsource your software development needs to a partner in custom software development.

Each option has pros and cons, but they are worth considering.

Last words

Because of the rapidly changing customer behavior and a growing market, warehouse management systems are becoming more popular and important every day. However, building a warehouse management system software that is high quality and reliable requires technical expertise and solid background.

Are you wondering how to select warehouse management software? Techugo offers enterprise-level software development for transportation to help you solve your current business problems using cutting-edge technology.

We are happy to help you find WMS software providers. In addition, we are happy to assist you in building a warehouse management system that will meet your business requirements and make your customers happier.

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