In the first volume of this series, we discussed one of the key advantages a well-designed warehouse management system (WMS) delivers – visibility of inventory. For volume two we will touch upon the direct correlations between an effective WMS and increased customer service.
By implementing the appropriate WMS solution to fit your warehousing needs, you are telling your customers through your actions that, “Hey, we really do care that you get your product on time and in an accurate fashion”. It’s one thing to promise your customers that you can do something for them and another to keep that promise.
The simple concept of customer service is very often confused and misplaced in a world full of fancy gadgets and new-age business theories. At the end of the day, just make them happy; it’s really all they ask for.
A WMS increases customer service directly through:
- Improved warehouse organization
- Efficient usage of warehouse space means lower storage and overhead costs. This translates into a competitive advantage you can leverage to provide more attractive pricing to customers
- A return system that actually works
- An ineffective return merchandise authorization (RMA) program is as frustrating to customers as misleading promotional deals. A returns processing applet is typically integrated in a well-designed WMS
- Better inventory accuracy
- If a customer needs to order a product and your website says that it’s available then you should be making sure this is true. A WMS increases inventory visibility, which reduces the number of stock-out confusions
- By forecasting inventory trends, buyers can determine when a demand spike for certain products will arise and make appropriate purchases to support it
- Faster order cycle times
- A WMS is not only software – it is a complete integrated system that works with your ERP system. RF devices can be incorporated to increase order-fill rates. Shipping stations can be established with shipping partners for automation and shipment management
Vernon Johnson is a warehouse management specialist at WebSan Solutions Inc. He can be reached at 416-499-1235.