For a moment, let’s focus on what’s really important. Specifically, what you can control in your warehouse.
Integration of the Human Element in Warehousing
Most WMS must-have-feature lists settle on some combination of ERP integration, optimized inventory management, and mobile deployment. Deeper discussions list data collection capabilities, especially the extent to which your inbound/outbound inventory flow tracking can lead to real-time insights into how to run your business.
However, for a truly substantial “must-have” discussion, you have to consider feature performance in the context of how people will interact with their WMS. Removing the human element from your WMS formula leaves you with only half a solution.
Calculating the Human Element in Preparedness
Warehouse operational preparedness is highly affected by the human element, and your WMS can play a central role in achieving 100% uptime. A WMS determines the what, when, and where product will flow in and out of your warehouse. A truly smart WMS will determine whether or not the who is prepared to handle that work at any given moment. Furthermore, it will tell you how to bill for maximum profitability.
“’Exactly how well prepared are you to do business?’ is what I always ask our clients,” says Ed Troianello, President of QSSI. “It’s the question to ask first, last, and repeatedly throughout a conversation about WMS features.”
Ed stresses that situational awareness is the key to operational efficiency and effectiveness. QSSI people are deeply rooted in a mindset of due diligence. The warehouse is understood as a “live” environment with immediate cause and effect ramifications for a person’s actions. “Cultivating a culture of continuous improvements is the most important thing we can impart to a client’s people,” says Ed. “During system implementation and years later, as a company expands into new markets, we always circle back to this idea. You want to remove human error from the equation? You need to first understand how people impact the warehouse and how the warehouse impacts people, in time and space.”
How to Assess WMS Features Incorporating the Human Element
Recognize the interdependence of critical operational components in the warehouse. The value of a full stack WMS toolset increases at an exponential rate when your people can leverage multiple, interconnected sources of data for labor, inventory, orders, shipping, automation, and more. An enterprise-wide solution to warehousing involves customer service, management, executives, and client relations, in addition to operations.
Imagine a high-functioning query tool capable of generating warehousing solutions impacting all aspects of your business. Redefine competitive advantage. During the implementation process, the ideal is the three-legged stool approach to planning your warehousing system: configuration, preparation, and resiliency. All three should be addressed together and at each stage of the process. All three require integration of your company’s human capital.
For example, configure for maximum uptime, prepare for inevitable change, including new opportunities, and build into the system the capacity to be resilient in the face of supply chain disruptions. A balanced implementation strategy is more than the sum of its parts and, therefore, capable of addressing multiple issues at once: substantial increases in order volumes and e-commerce demands, decreased processing times, and the challenges associated with acquiring qualified labor.
WMS as Common Operating Environment
Most companies need actionable insights into their business, not more data, which is why indiscriminately piling on the WMS features doesn’t make much sense. To outperform the competition, decision-makers at all levels of your organization require knowledge of how your business is performing.
A WMS that serves as a common operating environment allows for the expansion of operations where it counts.
Environments that demand uninterrupted functionality perform best within a common platform, because this is also where people perform at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. PowerHouse provides that common thread rooted in a common application, for a holistic solution, from document management to ERP integration.
With the right information at the right time, your people can extend and then built new revenue channels, avoid unnecessary downtime, and achieve maximum efficiencies. For 30+ years, we’ve seen people as the answer, whatever the challenge. Move forward with the right people to help.
- Central point of access to data from all operational systems
- Collaborative channels for connecting and sharing in real-time
- KPIs at both facility and enterprise levels
- Operations instrument for streamlining human observations
- Analytics for decision-making and situational awareness
- Benchmarks for troubleshooting and measuring KPIs
- Early warning system for anomalies and trends
- Data manager for records and reports
- Training tool for skill development and knowledge transfer