These are the fundamental elements of goods in best practice using a WMS system.
Goods should be checked against a purchase order or pre-notification wherever possible. Relying on delivery driver paperwork alone is open to error. In a perfect world, everything is barcoded. A scan of that barcode will identify the product removing dependency on product knowledge. Counting is key but understanding what unit of measure you are counting is even more important! Counting ‘100’ accurately but then booking it in as items rather than cases will cause no end of problems.
A WMS system will define how much of an inbound movement to check driven by supplier, product or using randomised logic. If there is a known supplier issue, increase the % count within your WMS system against that supplier so users are prompted to check a higher volume of product against a best practice warehouse process. The WMS system will provide a full audit of all checks. Some systems will allow users to attach pictures of damages. This will allow you to share it online with suppliers if seeking a credit.
Allowing the WMS system to drive a best practice warehouse process during putaway will result in big time and money saving benefits for most operations.
The WMS will drive warehouse users to empty locations. It will also take other constraints into account such as size, weight and speed of movement.
For smaller warehouses this may be overkill. Storage locations are scanned confirming goods have been putaway correctly. This scan will act as a time-stamp for audit purposes if any problems arise.
Using a WMS system, stock taking should not require a total shutdown of most businesses.
Having a real time comparison to check against makes preparing for a stock take much less problematic. Counting the stock itself must be done but the administration behind it can be drastically reduced.
The best practice warehouse management process would be
1. scan location
2. blind count items (no advice of what should be there)
3. a recheck is prompted if there is a discrepancy.
This information is fed back to a management screen where progress across the whole count can be viewed in real time.
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