Successful warehouse managers understand one thing: they’re too busy to rely upon outdated or unproductive order picking methods. Supply chains are being disrupted, inflation pressures are rising, customers are demanding more, and savvy warehouse managers know they need efficient warehouse picking software to stay competitive.
If you’re using an inefficient order picking system and need to ramp up your customer service to stay competitive in these inflationary times, here’s what you need to know about how the right warehouse management system can push your service to the next level.
What Is Warehouse Picking Software?
As a distributor, you’re responsible for finding, picking, and preparing products to deliver to customers. In the past, distributors had to rely on picking items by hand while trying to remember the pick location or picking zone. That often resulted in human error, especially when picking multiple orders at the same time.
Enter order picking 2.0.
The order picking process has gone to the next level with warehouse picking software. This software improves how a warehouse operates by reducing the fulfillment process time for customer orders. It helps warehouse managers get a handle on picking operations by reducing the amount of time needed for planning and executing picking orders.
Here are some of the ways warehouse picking software can help you run your warehouse more efficiently.
Take the Guess Work Out of Inventory
Sure, we know you can spend hours each month taking inventory so you can better manage your orders, but with warehouse picking software, it’s just not necessary. Order picking software fully integrates with your warehouse management systems to give you a real-time inventory count that you can rely on. That means no more after-hours inventory counts, human errors, or the guesswork that inevitably comes with a hands-on inventory count.
Expedite Customer Orders
In today’s competitive environment, warehouse managers have to do all they can to make their customers happy. And customers like an order process that is smooth, easy, and on time. With the right picking software, you can ensure that your customers will receive their orders on time – and without the human error that can occur when manually picking.
Something for Everyone
Warehouse picking software aids managers and pickers by offering options to fit everyone’s preferences. For instance, pickers can use voice picking to save time, and managers can set up the picking schedule with batch picking, cluster picking, wave picking, pick and pass, or pickers can pick one order at a time.
Identify Your Rock Stars
As a warehouse manager, you likely have super pickers who meet or exceed the goal every day, and those who aren’t quite up to the task. Trying to keep track of how many orders a picker picks every hour is a challenge. But with the right picking software, you can easily identify those pickers who stay on course and those who need a little extra encouragement. And that will help you plan staffing in a way that’s best for the warehouse budget.
Improve Order Accuracy
Ensuring that orders are accurate when they leave the warehouse is critical, and anyone who relies on picking without software understands how detrimental to customer relations inaccurate orders can be. With warehouse picking software, you can instead rely on technology to ensure that orders are accurate. What’s more, the algorithms used in this software will define packaging preferences such as box selection and automated sorting. That means you will enjoy predictable fulfillment pricing and your customers will appreciate the enhanced packing results.
Pass Along Cost Savings
When your warehouse pickers are more efficient, your costs go down. For instance, when you utilize the batch picking feature on the warehouse picking software, your pickers will save time fulfilling orders. And those cost savings can be passed along to your customers. Once they realize that you offer cost savings AND orders that are consistently correct and packaged and shipped efficiently, you will leave the competition in the dust.
Inbound Matters, Too
We’ve talked about how important it is to properly and efficiently pick, pack, and ship product to customers, but an often overlooked benefit of warehouse management systems is the ease at which inbound product is placed and organized. Warehouse picking software will help busy warehouse managers know where to place and how to organize the incoming product. These systems reduce costs and make for successful warehouse operations.
Staff Retention Is Key
Warehouse pickers are the lifeblood of your business, but let’s face it, they want to work where things are easier and organized. By using warehouse picking software, you will provide a workplace that your employees look forward to coming to. Imagine the difference, from a picker’s perspective, between a warehouse fitted with picking software and one that relies on manual techniques. It’s no surprise that warehouses that use picking software have better employee retention and a happier workplace environment.
Your warehouse isn’t an island – you rely on suppliers and customers – and both need to be happy for your business to be a success. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could satisfy everyone and reduce the issues that so often arise from late shipments, excessive dock time, and incorrect orders? The great news is that you can reduce these unwanted issues by integrating with a warehouse picking software program. What will you do with all the time you normally spend on putting out all those fires caused by manual picking?
Are You Ready to Make the Move?
If you’re still relying on the old-school way of warehouse management, isn’t it time to make some changes? Here’s the thing: your job doesn’t have to be as hard as it is. Why not let us show you how our warehouse picking software can radically change the way you do business? Your pickers will reap the benefits, your customers will be more satisfied, your profitability will go up, and you will leave the job every day knowing that you armed your employees with the latest technology that allowed them to best serve your customers.
And the faster you implement the new software, the quicker you will see the benefits that come from being known as a warehouse that puts its employees and customers first.
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