Inbound and Outbound Operations
Without solid inbound and outbound capabilities, the rest of your warehouse functions will be focused on playing catch-up. Having a strong system in place for quick check-in and fast and accurate put-away will help you avoid mistakes later on. On the same note, having a robust outbound system can help prevent returns, increase customer satisfaction and lessen the load on your inbound resources.
You may have a smaller setup, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to manage your inventory. Big operations like Amazon and Walmart have set expectations so high that customers no longer expect (or forgive) mistakes. Having a clear and comprehensive view of your stock is the only way to keep up and minimize errors. This is a crucial feature of warehouse management software for small businesses.
You want to be sure whenever you invest in a new system that it is usable alongside your current software. Luckily, warehouse management software can come as a stand-alone product, part of a larger SCM module, or as part of an ERP. You’re pretty much guaranteed a way to make it fit your existing solutions, just choose wisely!
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This capability can help reduce human error during labor planning. If you have a lot of redundancy in your warehouses, such as the repetition of the picking or put-away process, this may be an asset to you.
Analytics and Reporting
Business Intelligence is a significant component of any successful endeavor, and the more places you can access it from, the better. As described above, there are many situations where it’s impossible to know the cause or extent of an issue without precise analytics.
Additionally, most systems today offer cloud deployment. The real-time visibility that you can only get with the cloud makes any analytics and reporting more viable. With up-to-the-minute data, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions and more accurate predictions.
Now that you have a better understanding of what you might be looking for, here are the top five solutions for small businesses: