03 November

Automated Warehouse Management for e-Commerce – A Smarter Way to Tackle Inventory Issues

Categories: Blog, Warehouse Management System

Introduction

The e-Commerce industry is at the cusp of a major revolution. Just like the upheaval of the early 2000 that caused the dotcom bubble, the current state of e-Commerce is witnessing a major change in how e-Commerce companies, vendors and consumers interact with each other. On one hand, with the introduction of Web 2.0 in 2007, visitors of e-Commerce websites could voice their opinion and change the fortune of vendors on the digital marketplace. The proliferation of smartphones ushered in a new era of the internet, with more and more people being connected to the internet, nearly all the time. This ensured that while there were more consumers, it also became more difficult for e-Commerce organizations and vendors to manage their inventory in a relatively easy and hassle-free manner. The need for an easy-to-use warehouse management system was met by vendors, one of the best of them being Pallet WMS System.

How Warehouse Management Works

The process for warehouse and inventory management is a pretty straight-forward process. In a nutshell, the process can be defined using the following diagram:

Warehouse Management Work Flow

The Entire Workflow Management Process

However, the actual flow of goods is not so linear, nor is it smooth. The following graph displays how the products reach the warehouse, and how they leave the warehouse.

Warehouse Product Flow Gantt Chart

Warehouse Product Flow Gantt Chart

In this example for the store Tech Stop, an electronics e-Commerce store, the chart above shows the random movement of goods and within the warehouse. The “Green” lines show how goods are flowing in to the warehouse, the blue lines show the sorting of goods for both retail as well as online space, and the red lines display the flow of goods moving out of the warehouse. In this situation, the flow of goods is erratic, simply due to the nature of demand for the said goods.

How to Simplify Warehouse Management

Traditionally, warehouse management and inventory management was done using paper ledgers that recorded the flow of goods in and out of the warehouse. The biggest issue of the erstwhile system was the lack of co-ordination between various sections within the warehouse, with the inventory usually being tallied at the end of the month. This system led to a large number of errors, misplaced products and lack of transparency.

QR Code

QR Code

Since the early 2010s, almost all product packaging contain QR codes that not only have product information, but also contain information about product pricing, date of manufacture and other details. The benefit of QR codes is that they can be scanned, and the product information can be uploaded directly on to the database.

Benefits of Pallet WMS

Pallet WMS provides a one-stop solution for all kinds of warehouse management issues. Given below are a few examples of what it can do:

  • Receiving Incoming Shipments – Incoming shipments are dependent on a large number of external factors such as delivery companies and shipment routes. In addition, different products come from different regions with different timelines and delivery dates. With Pallet WMS, you can receive notifications about the approximate time of the arrival of the shipment, as well as help you keep track of the shipment if it has been delayed in transit.
  • Inventory Management – The inventory in your shelves is the backbone of your e-Commerce business. The proper management of the system, as well as the connection of the physical stock in the shelves coupled with the stock being displayed online can ensure that your consumers cannot order products that are not in stock. This ensures improved consumer service, which in turn ensures a higher rate of customer retention.
  • Easier Cross-Referencing – The process of cross-referencing is an essential part of warehouse management where incoming stock, shelf stock and outgoing stock must be matched to ensure that there is no discrepancy with regards to the entire product lineup. With Pallet WMS, the entire process of cross-referencing inventory is automated, ensuring that there is no loss of stock or of incoming or outgoing items.

Conclusion

With the whole e-Commerce and the IT industry at the cusp of a revolution, it is imperative to have an automated system to maintain stock and ledgers of all goods and monies flowing in and out within an organization. In this regard, technology can be leveraged to ensure that goods and services reach the right place at the right time. To ensure this smooth flow of information, Pallet WMS is the optimal choice for small and medium enterprises who want a hassle-free solution for their warehouse and inventory management woes.