Warehouse automation is fast becoming one of the essentials of supply chain management. But there are some very common myths that have been making rounds in the industry and believe it or not, even the most seasoned professionals may fall for them. In this blog, we clear the air around some preconceived notions surrounding warehouse management systems. So let’s get started.
Myth 1: Automation is suitable only for large brands and retailers
Larger and well-established brands definitely require a robust automation infrastructure, as they simply cannot operate their mammoth business processes manually. But this doesn’t mean that the smaller brands can afford to do without automation.
Strategic planning in today’s highly competitive business environment requires a highly data-driven approach right from the beginning. There’s very little margin for error, especially for brands just coming into the industry and up against formidable competitors, both new and old.
Fast-changing business environment especially demands that brands receive a continuous stream of real-time inputs and leverage automation to make well-informed decisions. Automation also boosts the efficiency and accuracy of business processes like picking and packing, thus enabling the smaller brands to save on some precious resources.
Myth 2: Adopting advanced warehousing means we must completely change every process
A drastic change in technology can significantly hamper the ongoing warehouse processes. When migrating to an advanced WMS solution, many brands are in fact apprehensive of bringing their warehouse processes to a halt.
These fears are entirely unfounded. New age warehousing solutions are often on plug-and-play rather than the rip-and-replace model. This means there is no pressure on brands to suddenly upgrade to a new system and do away with the old processes. The migration with solutions like Increff WMS is smooth, gradual, and well-planned, causing absolutely no disruptions to the ongoing warehouse operations.
Myth 3: Automation means robotics
The word ‘automation’ instantly conjures up images of a massive assembly line with robotic arms fixing parts into automobiles. But that’s a very narrow view of the idea of automation. In reality, a number of technologies — both physical and digital — come together to set up automation in a business process.
Transformation in warehouse management is all about automating the movement of inventory within and out of the warehouse with minimal human assistance. It seeks to eliminate repetitive, labor-intensive, manual data entry, and analysis tasks, with automation-driven processes. Most often automation in warehouses simply refers to the use of software to replace manual tasks.
Automation begins with the serialization and barcoding of all items, which makes them traceable both within the warehouse and throughout the supply chain. These are scanned and tracked using Bluetooth scanners and handheld terminals (HHT). The use of digital solutions such as warehouse management systems, merchandising software, and returns management systems allows brands to manage their inventory, take assortment-related decisions, and handle returns with greater efficiency.
Myth 4: New WMS will require expensive, time-consuming training
Advanced technology may appear rather formidable and hard to handle. It may often lead to resistance amongst the staff due to fears of the unexpected. For business owners, it could mean added costs of elaborate training interventions. But a cursory look at some of the new-age software solutions is enough to bust this myth.
WMS solutions like Increff WMS offer an incredibly simple UX/UI and workers can get started on the system with just 5 minutes of training. This makes cross-functioning of your existing staff easy and precludes the need to hire any specialized workforce for operating the system. In times of labor shortage, this feature can especially come in handy and help brands save costs on skilled labor. Besides, the implementation and deployment of the solutions are very quick and effective.
Quite contrary to the prevailing notions, therefore, new WMS solutions facilitate and empower your workforce, rather than pose a threat to it.
Myth 5: Warehouse operations must shut down during audits
Audits are a frequent feature of warehouse management and can be quite time-consuming. This doesn’t mean the normal warehouse operations must be suspended during audits. With new-age warehouse management solutions, audits can be performed with utmost accuracy, while operations in the warehouse go on as usual.
Contrary to the above myths, new-age warehouse management systems powered by automation, make warehousing highly efficient, easy, and cost-effective. As business competition intensifies, automation is fast becoming an essential prerequisite for brands, no matter how big or small.