Retailers are notorious for waiting until the last moment to place stock orders with manufacturers and distributors, meaning the pressure is on to get items to them as fast and safely as you can.
Trouble is these types of demands can, for those without the appropriate systems, mean extra work and cost.
To best optimise your resources, you will need to fully understand what the customers’ requirements are and drive this information directly through your warehouse. Having clear processes in place for pick, pack, and dispatch, including delivery schedules, is critical and will help you to keep an efficient and effective supply chain.
Get the right information into you warehouse…
The first step in the process is to get the right information into your warehouse process, but giving your warehouse team a pile of papers and expecting them to sort through and get them in the correct order ready to deal with is not best practice!
Ideally, what you want to achieve is less work, with more time to process orders and get them successfully out of the door.
For this to happen, using warehouse devices which are linked directly into your ERP business application would give you time back and guide your team through the pick, pack, dispatch process within minutes of receiving the order. Helping to ensure orders are processed on an “urgent” to “normal” scale.
Get the delivery out the door…
Whether you use in-house delivery trucks or outsource to a third-party logistics company, there are lots of things to consider in the delivery process.
The main piece of the puzzle is integration – whoever is taking your products to their destination will need to know quantities, weights, tracking numbers and information, as well as printed labels. If you use third party logistics, you will need a manifest ready at the same time as the products leave, or for in-house transport, collection and delivery notes.
Another vital point to consider is the physical loading of vehicles, to make the lives of your delivery teams easier a first loaded last off system is best.
Loading and route planning can be done by truck or by end-retailer through an integrated system such as Dynamics Consumer Goods, saving time and wastage, and giving you the visibility to optimise timings and increase productivity.
Keep track of the finer details…
ASN’s, an Advanced Shipping Notice. This is a type of shipping notice often demanded by retailers really throws a spanner in the works for a paper-based warehouse.
The criteria for ASN’s is strict, meaning you will need be able to show what is in each container, on each pallet, and give each of these a unique UPC (universal product code) in order to give the end retailer a precise run down of what they are receiving.
This process can be easily managed however, by recording that information as you are picking and packing the stock. By using an electronic device/terminal in the warehouse it’s easy to specify which pallet is for which dispatch, and see where you can pick onto that pallet and close it when full; regardless of where about in the warehouse product needs to be picked from.
Getting visibility for your whole organisation…
At whatever skill, level or responsibility your warehouse staff work, they each need to know what needs to be done and when, and your managers need to be able to accurately monitor and manage these processes. That’s where ERP, EDI and warehouse management come into one.
An integrated software solution can make the manufacturing to goods-out process easy and effective, giving optimal visibility at every stage of the process, providing details for every link in the chain and allowing you to understand your warehouse traffic to better optimise for increased future performance.
Watch our series on Reasons to change your business software in the Consumer Goods sector https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoS7gV-LINmkEjanb8HXAXE9RR66f3cx4 to discover more…