This article will define warehouse management and help explain the many benefits of adopting a warehouse inventory system. We’ll also touch on some of the essential features of the best warehouse management software available today.
Warehouse Management System Definition
Warehouse management software, often called a warehouse management system (WMS), is a system that allows your business visibility into your company’s inventory, assets, logistics, and fulfillment operations. With warehouse management software like Sortly, your business can track and manage every item—from raw materials and supplies to equipment and tools—across multiple warehouse locations.
While just about every business needs an inventory management system, such software is especially essential for warehouses. That’s because warehouses play a unique role in the supply chain and rely on properly-stocked shelves and accurate inventory reports more than just about any other industry.
Aside from just tracking inventory, warehouse management software also centralizes and digitizes all the inventory data you’ll need for tasks like demand forecasting, generating a balance sheet, or claiming depreciating assets.
What is warehouse management?
Warehouse management is the process of controlling the storage, organization, and movement of goods within a warehouse to ensure the smooth and cost-effective flow of inventory, from point of entry to delivery. It involves the systematic handling of incoming shipments, accurate inventory tracking, optimizing space utilization, and managing order fulfillment operations. By streamlining operations and leveraging technologies, warehouse management empowers companies to meet the growing demands of the modern supply chain, enabling them to thrive in a competitive market. An effective warehouse management system is crucial for businesses to maintain adequate stock levels, reduce operational costs, enhance productivity, and deliver customer satisfaction.
What are the benefits of warehouse management software?
There are many benefits to utilizing warehouse management software, from a more organized warehouse to faster physical inventory counts. Here are some of the most notable positives of WMS:
1. Better transparency
When you choose Sortly for warehouse management software, your business won’t have to “guess” what’s on warehouse shelves or how much is left. With the click of a button, you can see real-time data on every item in your inventory, including quantity, location, cost, manufacturer, or any other detail you need to track.
You’ll have access to every item’s history, so you can see exactly when an item arrived, was used or sold, or changed hands. This is particularly important for tracking valuable assets like equipment and tools,
2. Improved collaboration
You already know that your warehouse management system will be full of detail-rich information about all your inventory. Your entire business—from stockroom employee to head of accounting—can use these details to sail through some of their most tedious job responsibilities.
Warehouse inventory management systems such as Sortly use smartphone cameras as barcode and QR code scanners, meaning your team can update inventory from any device in any location. For example, your stockroom employees can use smartphones and tablets to quickly check items in and out, update inventory details, or learn more about an item. Inventory tracking in real time ensures your whole team is making decisions using the most accurate inventory data, rather than relying on an outdated spreadsheet that may or may not get updated.
3. Ability to track just about everything
While your warehouse surely needs to track the inventory it stocks, the right warehouse management software will also help you keep tabs on your high-value assets, including machinery and technology.
Look for software that allows you to add categories and tags to your inventoried items, so you can easily differentiate supplies and materials from long-term investments.
4. Improved forecasting
Correctly forecasting demand is essential for those in the warehouse business. But without meaningful numbers and figures about inventory, it’s difficult to predict what customer demand might look like down the road.
Fortunately, WMS can help you track your inventory usage in the past—and you can use those patterns to help you place more accurate, thorough orders in the future.
5. Tighter inventory control
Another reason to insist your warehouse uses inventory management software? Optimized inventory control. Inventory control is the balancing act of having enough inventory to meet customer demand without ever overspending on inventory you don’t really need.
By keeping a close eye on inventory levels, you can reduce the risk of overstocking and tie up less capital, thus improving cash flow and profitability. Additionally, efficient inventory control streamlines warehouse operations, leading to increased productivity and minimized storage costs. This proactive approach empowers businesses to make informed decisions, identify trends, and plan for the future with greater accuracy.
6. Faster inventory counts and audits
Upgrading to warehouse management software can also make your business’s physical inventory cycle counts, end-of-year inventory counts, and inventory audits way more efficient.
The reason is two-fold. First, your team will already have a robust inventory checklist to assist them in verifying inventory. And second, those performing the inventory count or audit will have access to lightning-fast automation features like barcode and QR code scanning.
All of this means that the most challenging parts of warehouse inventory management can be conducted in a fraction of the time, freeing up your employees to focus on keeping your business safe, profitable, and productive.
Experience the simplest inventory management software.
Sortly for warehouse inventory management
If your warehouse would benefit from improved inventory management, try Sortly free for 14 days. Sortly lets you organize, track, and manage your inventory—from any device, in any location. Our easy-to-use mobile app lets you and your team update inventory on the job, scan barcodes from your smartphone, set low stock alerts to remind you to re-order, and more. That means you can work more efficiently, plan for jobs better, and serve your customers to their highest satisfaction. Join the over 30,000 professionals who trust Sortly as their inventory management solution and start your trial today.