Years ago, I did a study to determine the relationship between operational flow, information flow and paperwork flow for efficient and effective output. The dilemmas in those days, were that systems weren’t always linked, printing of workpapers was necessary for cross departmental data flow and workflows were not always clear.
Wow, how times have changed. By operating in the cloud, the elimination of workpaper printing and the linking of systems is very achievable. In moving to this environment, clarity of operational flow is a must. The time saving benefits, however, can be up to 50% to get warehouse tasks done.
If you’re considering the addition or upgrade of your 3PL Warehouse Management System, here are some features that I would advocate as you make your selection:
- Software is cloud based for flexibility of use
- There is clever device integration to computers, scanners, mobile phones & tablets for operational efficiency
- The system integrates with customer systems and accounting systems for seamless data flow
- Software is bundled with a Transport Management System for order placement to delivery visibility of orders
- Powerful tools are available for easy reporting/analysis either from within the software or through download to spreadsheets
- There is flexibility on product configuration, enabling customisation in product data and controls, including expiry management, and unit of measure calculations
- Warehouse locations and storage types are configurable enabling smart storage controls
- Great communication of order progress through email notifications
- The system is simple to setup and is easy for employees to learn and use
- Software contains efficiency driven pick and pack, along with wave management
- Charge calculations are automated and flow through to invoicing to improve data accuracy and achieve faster time to invoice generation
- Customers have real time visibility of stock and can place orders anytime
- System has strong stock control capability for inventory accuracy
- The software provider offers exceptional support in set up and once operational
- The software is continually enhancing its functionality and delivers productivity and profitability to your business
At the end of the day, if you’ve spent the time understanding your operations work flow, determining the features needed in your business, software selection will be simpler because you will know the questions to ask about its functionality.
Author Jo Rademaker
Software Onboarder, CartonCloud.