Streamlining warehouse efficiency with ERP software

October 28, 2014 at 4:18 PMAdministrator

Shipping warehouses and distribution centers should strive to continually improve their operations and efficiency. These do not have to be radical changes made on a weekly basis; small improvements built throughout all departments over an extended period of time are both manageable and effective. Follow the tips below for a more efficient warehouse.


Use real-time data
No warehouse or distribution center is functional without an accurate data management system. Recording incoming shipments, outgoing items and controlling inventory takes an enormous amount of scrutiny. Using an
enterprise resource planning software system can help ensure data is not only stored, but is readily available to those employees needing to access it on a regular basis.


Prior to the day's orders heading out for shipment, warehouses should be conducting inventory control counting cycles. Though it may be tedious initially, operations will improve and pickers will feel more supported and optimistic about their work.


Include package dimensions in the recorded information for each shipment. With barcodes that represent different box measurements, shippers will have an easier time getting items moving.


Picking improvements
Each warehouse needs to identify the best picking methods for itself. Without a picking method suited for the needs of the distribution center, a lot of time and energy will be wasted during the picking process. It's also possible that multiple picking types are necessary. If this is the case, split the facility into zones based on picking type.


It will help to determine the fastest-moving items and make sure they are restocked at the end of each day and ready to go for the next day's shipment. For these items that are routinely sent out to the same recipients, consider using batch shipping practices, as well.


Behind the scenes
There are some measures that can be taken to improve efficiency that may not be immediately apparent to many distribution centers. For instance, brightening the lighting in a facility will improve picking accuracy and speed. Energy efficient lighting options can also decrease expenses.


Billing customers through the use of enterprise resource planning software can also improve both operations and client satisfaction. Account numbers and carrier preferences can be stored on customer profiles in the warehouse's ERP system.

Freight charges can sometimes pose unique issues for accounting department personnel. Automating shipping software to send freight amounts to the host system before items ship and invoices are sent will save time readjusting these figures later.