Examination of the warehouse management system (WM

Examination of the warehouse management system (WMS) prior to the busiest season

Are you prepared for peak season with a WMS (warehouse management system) maintenance schedule?

There is a strategy for maintaining each of your essential investments:

You are aware of when your car needs an oil change.

You are aware of when to change the filters in your appliances.

You are aware of when a review of your selection procedure is necessary.

As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Why should the people, processes, and technology employed to manage your likeness centers be any different?

When was the last time your WMS warehouse management system was subjected to a stress test prior to the busy season?

Where should your efforts be focused?

Prior to the beginning of the peak season, a number of duties must be completed. Following the categorization, we will discuss what you should study for optimal performance.

Facility

For optimal fulfillment performance, your facility must be in optimal condition. Examine critical areas and implement any necessary solutions as soon as possible.

Space architecture 

It is essential to make flexible use of floor space during peak hours. You must pre-identify zones for excess, floor stowage, and heated picking. Then, evaluate your process with these temporary changes.

Equipment servicing

Ensure that maintenance was performed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Close all outstanding, delayed reservations. When high-throughput demand is placed on these assets, you desire for them to be in pristine condition.

Important Initiatives 

The anticipated alterations for the peak season will be postponed until the following year. Ensure that your plans (output, personnel, training) account for the features you will actually have, as these may differ from what was promised.

Personnel

Your facilities require extensive labor. In the majority of facilities, the majority of warehouse administration tasks are still performed manually. Are the necessary number and caliber of personnel assembled?

Team Dimensions

During periods of high demand, numerous businesses implement additional schedules. Ensure you have hired the appropriate number of temporary employees and consider how you can be flexible if necessary by maintaining strong relationships with on-demand labor agencies and recruiting firms.

Introduction and Skills 

Have new warehouse management or automation systems been implemented? Ensure that your teams have received the proper training and orientation to effectively utilize the technology. Perform some role-playing; do not assume that all information was retained. Don't forget to offer additional support in the aftermath. 

Workforce Management (WFM)

Modern WFM solutions are able to manage shift personnel as well as intra-facility repositioning.  Individuals who have completed their duties in the receiving area can be redirected to the packaging and shipping area.  Historically, this was a manual process, but when task failures are detected, newer solutions can perform it automatically.

Employees are Humans

Ensure you are aware of who has additional responsibilities. Many people do not work to survive. Employees will maintain high morale and loyalty if they meet their personal and professional obligations.

The Process

Typically, processes are designed for one thing: average daily volume that can be predicted. Many processes are not designed for situations of maximal flux and can fail catastrophically under such conditions. For the continuation of operations, all warehouse management scenarios must be practiced.

Cycle Count 

If you haven't done one recently, it's a good idea to draw a random list of SKUs and assess the accuracy of your inventory. Unless the veracity of your website transcends 99.9% (depending on your industry), you may be in for some unpleasant surprises. Be sure to investigate the numbers to determine if certain departments have a lower level of accuracy, which could conceal process issues or even deception.

Select, Pack, and Stock

Ensure that the warehouse management procedures are executed as specified. Understand the rationale behind workarounds and emphasize exceptions. Update the process where it makes sense and retrain for standardization.

Volume Stress

Construct and carry out a cycle that surpasses 110-120% of your previous peak's most taxing shift. Examine failures. Was this possible? What failed to keep pace? Prior to encountering actual situations in which demand exceeds fulfillment processes, identify and correct as much as feasible.

Inventory / Forecast Assessment

Les prévisions become less accurate the further in advance they are made. It is possible to plan for preliminary demand one year in advance. Have you evaluated it recently? Are early sales emphasizing the SKUs you anticipated, or are they emphasizing something substantially different?  It is possible to modify incoming orders by analyzing sales data from mid-year events such as Amazon Prime Days.

Technological advancement

Despite all of its benefits, technology adds a new area for pre-peak season enhancement. Ensure that both the physical and digital systems you've deployed are prepared to withstand a toirrioară attack. From transportation to communication to execution, these will serve as the foundation for exceptional performance.

WMS Warehouse Management System

Utilizing obsolete technology to address contemporary issues? This increases the probability of inventory system failures, late/missed deliveries, excessive costs, and customer apologies. 

Avoid another January review with your CFO asking why sales have increased but margins have declined. All justifications are eliminated by modern warehouse management systems (WMS). 

Material Handling Equipment

If you have deployed any form of new MHE, it must also undergo stress testing. While transportation enables tremendous productivity, there is a limit beyond which it cannot keep up. When evaluating the facility, keep its location in mind.

Connectivity to WIFI and the Internet

Internet connectivity is more important than ever for business operations. Internet access is now required for essential functions on mobile devices and workstations alike. When this fails, operations cease relatively quickly, resulting in significant losses. This is particularly crucial given the increased use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in recent years. Collaborate with your IT team to stress-test the network from multiple locations throughout the building. Identify and eradicate inactive regions in addition to replacing faulty hardware.

Exterior Factors to Consider

Not everything that can fail exists within the four walls of the warehouse.

Vendor Obligations

Do not assume that your vendors will satisfy their delivery deadlines. Determine the essential components of your supply chain. Contact these vendors to ensure that they are not late. It will be difficult to recuperate from a cascading failure induced by past-due receipt dates during peak season. You can also use supply chain management software to monitor and administer your products and suppliers. 

Examining Contract Commitment Volume

What is the minimal order quantity? Is your business a high priority? Inquire with your suppliers and service providers for an update. The majority of businesses do not operate with constant flow, and it is crucial to secure commitments for seasonal demand. Frequently, you will be required to pre-purchase up to 50 percent of your anticipated volume, but you will have the assurance that you can scale up to 100 percent if demand increases. Compare this to your list of requirements. 

Virtual Locations and Third-Party Logistics Companies

This relates to the previous topics. If you are leveraging offsite and it is not a routine function, you must include it in each of the aforementioned stress testing as soon as possible. Apply the same quality assurance procedures to your virtual facilities as you would to a new permanent building. This has nothing to do with your personnel, processes, or technologies, but rather your third-party logistics providers. Despite their remarkable adaptability, the same risk of process failure applies to these. 

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