With regards to utilizing the necessary steps to create a more flexible and agile warehouse that may adapt and alter into the ebb and flow in the market conditions, the target is to ultimately minimize time product or inventory stays within your warehouse - ultimately setting up a near real-time inbound / outbound activity that will fit all inventory to orders created to turn revenue as soon as possible.
The metrics that are required to be tracked to enhance the warehouse system and process efficiency are:
First-time sales order line picking accuracy
On time shipment
Back order percentage
Turn around time for converting your order into sale
Labor cost in warehouse
Exactly why I added labor cost in warehouse as the metric to measure is always that while improvement in variety of pickers can increase the picking accuracy and change time but all at once it is going to drive the labor costs in warehouse up, and this will never be an optimum solution. The best solution can be to study the main process first and learn the areas where you will find a room of improvement. Then we should implement processes that create more warehouse efficiency also of bringing along the operating costs without having sacrifice of service levels.To create more flexibility and agility from the warehouse, organizations should leverage technology that could bring automation and visibility. Visibility here, ensures that the picker knows the belongings in every bin within the warehouse in real-time and is particularly able to track inventory attributes like lot number, size, serial number or date etc. in real time. This visibility ought to be combined with automation like:
Automated receiving or set aside with the aid of Radio Frequency Identification device (RFID) or bar coding
Automation in replenishment process
Capacity to send advance shipping notices
Managing containers with all the order lines they contain etc.
This combination may help in increasing the overall efficiency of your warehouse system definitely with lower costs inside the longer run. The one thing that we will need to note this is that while now we have brought up the visibility, it must be realtime or near live visibility. If your employee can access data which is month old then still the issues will never be resolved and in fact it can increase the level of re-work so because of this will impact the picking accuracy negatively.
Another factor that has weightage here is that exactly what is the age or version with the warehouse system that this organization is using. While many of the industry leader organizations were early adopters of WMS system however they are the people that are facing bigger pressures today when the WMS solutions have evolved over time and a lot better and efficient solutions can be found today against the things they use. The organizations that kept pace because of this change and kept on upgrading their solution, were in a lot better position today.