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Balloon One


Craig Powell is a Managing Director with over 30 years' experience in the IT consultancy industry. The last 20 of those have been spent building Balloon One, a company focussed on supply chain execution systems for SMEs. Below, he'll be sharing his insight on the benefits of warehouse management systems for growing businesses.

When you scale up your business operations, you need to make sure you have the infrastructure in place to handle increased levels and demand for stock in its warehouse. With more items to process, it's vital that there is a robust system in place to track everything and make sure it gets to where it needs to be — in the most efficient way possible.

But growing a business isn't as straightforward as just scaling up your operations. There can be all kinds of unexpected issues and risks that need to be addressed as soon as possible in case they prove fatal to your business. There can also be lots of golden opportunities to improve your processes that are, unfortunately, too easy to miss. This is where a warehouse management system (WMS) can be very beneficial.

In this article, I'm going to cover seven key reasons why a WMS is essential for a growing business: reliable stock handling, performance analysis, warehouse efficiency, better informed business decisions, and improved customer relations. I'll describe how WMS software can help and discuss the benefits it brings to these areas.

Reliable stock handling and logistics

With more demands on stock and logistics as your business grows, a WMS can ensure that your processes don't suffer under increased stress. You can keep on top of your bigger inventory and work out how to organise it so that your staff can fulfil their picking duties quickly and efficiently. By having an accurate and up-to-the-minute record of your stock, you can also prevent over-ordering and wasting products.

Monitoring and analysing performance

A WMS can help you to spot areas in your supply chain that are lacking and areas that you're excelling in. You can monitor KPIs and identify areas for improvement in terms of your staff's productivity and accuracy, as well as how well you are utilising your warehouse space. You can then act on this data through training your employees or reorganising your stock, so you never miss an opportunity to streamline your operations.

Increasing warehouse efficiency

With the ability to track stock, a WMS automates the process and reduces the need for your workforce to do so manually. Paperwork takes up time, manpower and storage space and by digitising your processes your warehouse efficiency will be optimised, so your resources can be better spent on output. Plus, automation removes the risk of human error, so you'll benefit from increased accuracy too.

Making better business decisions

With the data delivered by a WMS, you can make more informed business decisions. This includes increasing or reducing certain orders based on real time market analytics. These take into account sales, holidays, and even the weather to predict consumer behaviour, so you can alter your output accordingly. You can also make decisions based on expected delivery times from your suppliers.

Improved customer relations

As a result of a more reliable stock tracking system and a more efficient warehouse courtesy of your WMS, your customers will benefit from better service. People want their orders to be filled as quickly and as smoothly as possible and the right WMS can help streamline your warehouse operations so that the process seems almost automatic. This results in better customer relations, which in turn will lead to increased loyalty, repeat orders, and new customers through referrals.

Supporting future growth

Your WMS can closely monitor your growth through real time analytics to address potential issues early, before they become major problems. This should help prevent unforeseen calamities and give you more time to prepare for any unavoidable problems. The records and current data it can supply you with about your warehouse can support you to come up with more effective solutions, too.

WMS software is also easily customised to meet the changing needs of your business, including your growing team. You can create new user profiles for different staff members, who can manage different areas of your warehouse using the same software in a synchronised process. That way, everyone has access to the same information and communication is more effective.

These are just some of the ways a business that is gaining traction can benefit from a warehouse management system. By providing insights and data about your warehouse in real time, you can identify, address and solve issues that could be preventing your business from thriving. This makes your processes more efficient, saving you money and winning you customers, which can help you grow your brand even more.


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