Volume 47, Issue 1 - January/February 2008

Warehouse Call
Controlling Inventory and more
by Jim Houser and Patrick Majure,WMS product manager for DMSi Software and president of Majure Data, respectively. Their comments are solely their own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

A Critical Timeline
A WMS Can Help Deliver Products Promptly 

Inventory accuracy can make or break your business. When a customer wants product, your ability to deliver on time, and as promised, is critical to his or her happiness and ongoing loyalty. 

With increasing competition, especially in the current market, it is imperative that you service your customers accurately and efficiently. 

The changing dynamics of the building products industry—with more special-order products, SKU proliferation and the demand for more value-added services—have made this task daunting, if not impossible. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are designed to systematically handle these issues, enabling you to exceed your customers’ expectations, along with the competition. 

On Schedule
Today’s customers expect products to be available on their schedules. Customer patience has been reduced to nearly zero, with an expectation of immediate, accurate and direct feedback. After all, with the existing use of e-mail, cell phones and PDAs, you can connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime—instantly. Likewise, the same urgent responses are now expected in business. 

The Heart of the Matter
The heart of real-time WMS payback is perfect information about product quantity and location. Barcoded products and locations result in precise, system-directed receiving, picking, shipping and delivery. Inventory and transaction handling accuracy translates into substantial office and warehouse efficiencies and flawless product delivery. Information on exact product availability and real-time order fulfillment status allows your customer-service staff to provide information and make commitments, with complete confidence, based on real-time information. And when your business can be relied upon to follow through with its commitments, your customers will enjoy improved service and turn to you for more products—forgetting your competition altogether. 

If you haven’t invested in a WMS, the time is now. The increased complexity of the building products industry demands accurate and efficient execution in the warehouse to effectively compete. Complete inventory confidence, elimination of lost-item problems, improved efficiency in cycle counting, reduction of order mistakes and ease of training new employees are just some of the benefits associated with a WMS. The bottom line is satisfied customers and increased profitability. 

WMS Benefits at a Glance

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