We keep seeing exciting articles about drones, robots and other futuristic developments, but whether you are a large multi-channel retailer or a young growing company, the message is clear: technology has a significant part to play in warehouse and e-commerce optimisation, and many companies are devoting time and money to research and develop products in this area.
Consider goods-in. At a high level the process is simple - you place an order with a supplier and in due course the supplier delivers the goods to your warehouse either in one go or in multiple deliveries. But, as we all know, once you start getting into the details, potential issues arise. How do you know when the whole order has been received? What should you do if what you receive doesn’t match the order, or if some of the items are damaged?
Traditionally a lot of the receiving process has been manual. Some warehouses may use printed copies of Purchase Orders (PO) and tick off items as they have been received, adding notes to the PO to record any items that are damaged, over-supplied, not on the original PO or missing / under-supplied. Others may manage the process using goods inward books or spreadsheets. Once the delivery has been checked and received into the warehouse, the baton passes to back office staff and buyers who must now liaise with suppliers to confirm payments and chase discrepancies.
Many products exist on the market to help with this, including a number of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) which offer solutions to manage your entire warehouse process and integrate with your enterprise and e-commerce systems.
If you’re not ready to go for the whole WMS just yet but are curious to see what would happen if you automate part of your operation, then it could be worth giving our free Goods In Scanner app a try.