Traditionally companies often use a paper-based system for their warehouse, but this is starting to change. Due to a mix of technological developments, the desire to cut down on waste, and general inefficiencies and overall be more productive, more companies are starting to move to a paperless warehouse system to meet these objectives.
There are still many who are reluctant to change from a paper process; as sometimes, the initial cost of transitioning to paperless can be an obstacle, but there are many benefits to making the switch for the longer term. These include:
Improved visibility and warehouse efficiency
Keeping track of orders and shipments is challenging, with changes occurring from minute to minute. If your company is trying to keep track of everything by hand, you run the risk of errors and inefficiency. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) possess numerous reporting functions for every activity in the warehouse, providing detailed information in real-time. In paper-based systems, you can only use manual logs to track productivity and performance, which takes time and is extremely prone to human error. When you go paperless, you improve visibility throughout the warehouse and ensure you always have access to up-to-date, accurate data.
It takes a great deal of time and resources to keep a paper-based warehouse system going. It takes time and money to maintain printers, purchase materials and organise vast amounts of paperwork - time and money that could be invested elsewhere. With a WMS system, your company could reduce, or even eliminate, the costs associated with the practicalities of paper-based management to increase productivity. The paperless approach minimises mistakes and helps to correct issues in real time, with fewer information delays and highly accurate data entry.
Improving customer service
One of the benefits of a paperless system is that it allows you to manage the complex flow of goods between multiple warehouse locations. It can be difficult even for the most experienced management team to track a product's location, shipping status and destination manually. Time can be lost trying to pinpoint where goods are located when they will be dispatched, and who the recipient will be.
In a paper-based environment, if the recorded inventory and what's physically available in the warehouse don't match, the result can be chaotic. This can cause your customer service to suffer, as the flow of goods is not tracked accurately. When customers purchase a product that turns out to not be in stock, they could be kept waiting and dissatisfied. With a WMS system, you can accurately track the movements of goods in and out of your warehouse, ensuring inventory records are accurate.
Better use of space
A WMS system will track item locations and identifies the best places to store them in the warehouse. Manual putaway procedures are reliant on operators to designate locations for products received. If employees do everything manually, you may find those location choices are made based on the employee's preference rather than what works best for the items. Furthermore, the operator may not be able to see every position, meaning some storage space goes to waste.
Reducing costs and environmental impact
The cost of paper, ink and printer maintenance can all add up, and the environmental costs can be significant too. When you go paperless, all of this becomes more efficient. And without having to discard physical waste accumulated from the warehousing processes, you are also helping the environment as well and lowering your carbon footprint.
Moving to paperless processes with a WMS system will lower operating costs, increase accuracy, improve your customer service and use warehouse space more effectively.
To find out more about WinMan's Warehouse Management functionalities download our brochure or contact us today.