When you started with big dreams and a handful of clients, you probably knew where everything was, right? As your company grows and you add more employees, more customers, and more products, life has become a bit more complicated. If you want to keep things going and keep growing your business, it is imperative that you stay on top of your warehouse management.
Efficient operations require that you know what items you have in your warehouse and can get your hands on them when orders arrive. Of course, the more warehouse operations you have, the more difficult it is to stay organized. A poorly managed warehouse will be frustrating for employees and customers alike. On the other hand, an organized and well-managed warehouse operation will contribute to employee productivity and customer loyalty.
One way to increase efficiency and save money is to regularly reset the picking process. As the demand for products naturally rises and falls, it will affect the running of your warehouse. How do you know when to reset the inventory selection process and the best way to do it?
Choose a strategy that fits your business
Because of the time, planning involved, and disruption to regular business, many companies feel that they cannot regularly reorganize warehouse operations. But, in the long run, this thinking is counterproductive. The benefits of the updated selection process far outweigh the temporary inconvenience of reset.
So, what is the right approach for your company? Here are some options to consider:
1. When implementing a new ERP or WMS
Many business leaders agree that when implementing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or WMS (Warehouse Management System) solution is a great time to rethink your operations in light of the capabilities of your new software. Since there is a long time between software alternatives, even years, this often may not be enough.
2. When doing year-end inventory
The end of the year is a good time to evaluate your operations. You’ll be able to see what’s being sold and what’s not, and address any pressure points that have slowed down your operations when your business is busiest.
Unfortunately, many companies only take action when something is broken. A reactionary approach can lead to chaos. You will find yourself having to make changes under pressure, and these ill-considered decisions can cause long-term problems. If you don’t regularly evaluate and make proactive adjustments, you’re not adapting – and you’re probably missing opportunities to save money, increase efficiency, and more.
Your best strategy will be to proactively re-evaluate your operations. Set a regular time, perhaps monthly or quarterly, depending on how quickly conditions are changing in your company. Conducting a regularly scheduled assessment and adjusting it accordingly ensures that no money or time is wasted in your completion process. Maintain a better handle on your inventory and avoid dealing with disruptive year-end reorganizations. But a word of caution: more isn’t always better. If you try to reset too often, it may cause more chaos than necessary.
Next, select your process
Once you’ve decided on the strategy, the next step is to decide which process you’ll use to reset the picking. Again, it depends on the size and scope of the reset. The first step will be to analyze what you have – what works and what doesn’t. With the data in your ERP system, you can use a reporting tool like Power BI or Jet Reports to decide what to process. Examine your key metrics, such as best-selling items (based on dollar value or quantity). With the information you collect, there are two options:
- Examine the data and determine what changes you can make to the actual repository setup. Maybe you can move the best selling inventory near the packing/shipping area. Most ERP systems have functionality that can aid in this process.
- If your ERP has advanced storage functionality such as directed storage and selection, be sure to take advantage of these features. This will be especially useful if you are doing more extensive restructuring or large-scale changes to your warehouse management.
Reset with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
You can reset the picking process using
In direct selling and site selection mode, you can use Warehouse Reclass Journal to post a journal entry to transfer the contents of one container site to another and you can use Continuous renewal bin To help you better manage inventory. In a non-guided pick-up and drop-off site, you can use a tool called Item Reclass Journal to move inventory between containers or locations. If you have a larger warehouse, you may have spare chests that are not easily accessible where you store loose items. In Dynamics 365 Business Central, this is called container renewal. Allows you to set minimum/maximum quantities for the number of specific items you want to keep in specific boxes. Set minimum and maximum quantities, and the system will alert you when the primary selection container needs to be replenished from large storage bins.
What is your reset strategy for 2021?
The bottom line is that whatever strategy or technology you choose to support, resetting your pick should be on your list of recurring tasks. It will relieve year-end stress while saving time and resources by improving productivity and inventory accuracy.
Want to learn more about improving the warehouse picking process with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?