I have just written about using a warehouse management system (WMS), statistics, and optimising resource usage. But we should also discuss the quality of storage operations. The quality of logistics services in Romania has increased greatly over the last few years, and at the same time we are witnessing a diversification of these to get closer to the needs of the customer, which starts to focus on the speed of delivery, which is often one of the determining factors In choices made by consumers.
What are “hot spots” where the easiest mistakes can be made?
The picking area is certainly the most exposed, especially as we have a wide range of products and a huge order of flow. If picking mistakes are discovered before the merchandise is sent to the customer, then the working time doubles, which means an increase in costs. If the mistakes to prepare the goods are not discovered, then we will have a dissatisfied customer, but also possible increases in transport costs.
The loading area is another sensitive point. In the absence of a computerized system that automatically generates the set of transport documents to guide operators and load the goods, situations may arise where some of the datasets in the sets of documents get confused or wander or where the goods are Loading in the wrong transport. These mistakes result in the risk of fines or subsequent mistakes, especially when talking about LTL transports.
How to improve the quality of service and increase process efficiency and staff productivity?
From our experience, this can be done by standardizing operations and using technology. The existence of standards for each operation makes it easier for management to ensure that these procedures are followed by each operator, thus maintaining a high quality of service.
A WMS system and the use of barcodes is another way of improving and maintaining quality. Verifying processes by scanning barcodes is a very good practice. Thus, warehouse operators will follow a standard procedure step by step scanning their location, serial number, product code, shipping labels, etc.
But there are also voices who do not see the necessity of implementing an IT system and think they still handle the pen and the paper. To fully understand the benefits of WMS, do a simple exercise. Check for example, over the past year, how many errors have been made (delivery notes, orders, etc.). Calculate a cost for each of them, and add up and multiply with the years of activity. Use these costs for a ROI calculation for possible WMS investment.