With everything that goes into warehouse management, it is incredibly important to figure out the best way to handle it all. That’s why we’re going to explore manual vs. automatic warehouse management.
Attempting to manually manage a warehouse (or multiple warehouses) presents a big logistical challenge. Tabulating inventory quantities with a pen and paper or in Excel spreadsheets is time consuming and can lead to serious data errors. The fact is that most warehouses go through changes faster than a manual warehouse management system can keep up with, requiring frequent cycle counts to bring inventory quantities back up to date.
From the reordering process to the storage of goods and then the picking, packing, and shipping of items to fulfill orders, everything involved in warehouse management takes a great deal of time when done manually. It’s easy for mistakes to be made when performing any of these tasks without the aid of barcode scanners or other tools.
A business automation platform helps with warehouse management in many ways. Auto reorder points on parts, inventory tracking across multiple locations, and easy access to multiple shippers are just a few of those ways. Cycle counts can be performed with handheld devices to instantly update inventory quantities instead of having workers write down notes with a pen and paper and later add those numbers into a desktop computer. Plus, you can organize your warehouse into three categories to put similar-sized and similar-selling items close to each other for more efficient storage and picking.
By keeping everything organized and tracked, you can avoid time-consuming cycle counts. Your records will be much more accurate, and when you do perform cycle counts they’ll be much quicker because you’ll know where everything is supposed to be within the warehouse. Tracking inventory in multiple warehouses allows you to look at sales trends and supply chain issues on a per-location basis.
Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks, and small business. Fishbowl is the #1-requested manufacturing and warehouse management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies.