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How To Take Advantage of WMS Inventory Control in Your Supply Chain

A warehouse management system (WMS) offers great opportunities for optimizing your supply chain resources, including equipment, warehouse space, and the necessary labor. It can handle virtually every warehouse operation, from receiving, picking and packing, to shipping, labor management, reporting, and even warehouse layout design. But, most crucially, it also provides detailed, real-time insights into your inventory data and all of the product movement that takes place within your warehouse. When it comes to your supply chain, what could be more important than inventory management?

Often integrated with your Transportation Management System (TMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and other existing systems, a WMS offers complete visibility into an organization’s inventory and omnichannel fulfillment operations in any location. This keeps your supply chain operation scalable and reactive to ever-shifting market conditions, and it keeps your customers happy with buy-from-anywhere and return-from-anywhere options.

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM VS. WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Organizations often wonder whether it’s worth it to invest in a comprehensive WMS or go for a less complex inventory management system. While both accomplish many of the same tasks and possess much of the same functionality, deciding between the two boils down to your specific business requirements. These include, but are not limited to, customer expectations, the industry you’re in, types of products you’re moving, business objectives and your warehouse layout.

A WMS is most often used by larger, multi-location enterprises for general warehouse optimization and it is able to support distribution in global supply chains. A WMS can handle virtually every warehouse task, from basic picking to complex logistics. It is also responsible for tracking the location and movement of stock throughout the warehouse. It analyzes inventory records and enables forecasting for better decision making, as opposed to simply collecting and storing the data like the average inventory management solution.

Inventory management software, while able to handle many of the same inventory-related processes as a WMS, is mainly used in smaller supply chains with only a single warehouse or storage location. It manages stock at a high level by determining reorder and replenishment points, performing cycle count checks, maintaining inventory records and availability statuses, and predicting customer demand.

Both systems support technologies like barcoding and RFID, as well as automation technologies like warehouse robots, conveyor systems, and voice-directed picking.

WHY USE A WMS FOR INVENTORY CONTROL?

Whether you want more control over your inventory for smarter purchasing decisions, or to improve quality control procedures, there are many high-level inventory control benefits to implementing a warehouse management software: 

  • Eliminates common warehouse inventory challenges like product shortages, excesses and obsolescence by better anticipating customer demand.
  • Balances order sizes and matches inventory levels with sales levels to minimize operational costs.
  • Prevents problems with incorrect or mislabeled shipment information through detailed inventory records.
  • Tracks inventory supply and demand in real-time with cloud-based software, minimizing the need for expensive hardware or a complex IT infrastructure. 
  • Offers contingencies for emergency inventory situations, such as maintaining safety stock levels during certain seasons, or helping with replenishment points.
  • Maintains a centralized data source to easily share inventory data with other branches of your supply chain.

HOW DOES DATASCOPE WMS HANDLE INVENTORY CONTROL?

Our software solution contains several inventory control modules built in for streamlining your existing inventory management system. These modules eliminate the need for inconvenient spreadsheets and paper records with a user-friendly dashboard. A strong visual inventory control system like DATASCOPE WMS enables:

  • Accurate cycle counting for better stock visibility for enhanced quality control and a more organized warehouse
  • Automated replenishment
  • Enhanced lot traceability through multiple warehouses
  • Advanced KPI reporting and instant messaging notifications within the warehouse
  • Integration with your TMS, ERP and other systems

ERP systems are great for finance and manufacturing control, but they’re not generally used for driving warehouse inventory optimization. Basic inventory control is covered but the typical ERP will only include functionality for purchase/sales order management, factory scheduling, work in progress and accounting.

DATASCOPE WMS has been built specifically for the SYSPRO ERP which has an API E.net business object layer that allows for a more seamless integration of third-party software. Version controlled and containing a wide variety of customization tools, you can tailor the core WMS software to your business’s inventory without skipping a beat. If you’re looking for expert advice on how to optimize your warehouse inventory, or you want to see our software in action, schedule your demo today!

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