The time has come to finally clean out the menacing, wooden behemoth that has become your desk. As you sift and sort through mountains of paper, piles of folders and disorganized heaps of phone chargers, camera batteries and ear buds, you discover something quite valuable and long forgotten. Tucked away in an envelope, quietly resting is a gift certificate to the best steakhouse in the city. It somehow got lost in the shuffle, but now this gift from an occasion you can’t quite remember has made its presence known. While dreaming of the beautiful evening and amazing meal that is in your near future, you peel open the envelope and scan the pertinent information, but one glaring, disheartening fact jumps off the page. This gift certificate became null and void over three months ago. If only there was a system that made it possible for you track, manage and monitor the status of such an important asset. While there are trays and file cabinets for your desk, fortunately there is something more sophisticated for your food and beverage logistics; a warehouse management system, or WMS.
While losing the opportunity for a free steak dinner can be disappointing, there is much more at stake within the food and beverage supply chain. In addition to health and safety concerns, operational costs and efficiencies must also be balanced in this competitive sector. Implementing technology to control costs and streamline operations enhances visibility and food safety. This is a critically important strategy within the warehouse of food service organizations. To optimize this critical hub, a warehouse management system can be a game-changer.. Here are five ways that leveraging a WMS can improve your food and beverage fulfillment operation.
1.) Visibility: A WMS is a centralized software system that offers in-depth transparency within your warehouse operations. The ability to view, track and manage inventory in this part of the supply chain boosts order and shipment accuracy.
2.) Enhanced Turnover: In response to consumers making food and beverage purchases multiple times a week, if not each day, inventory needs to be turned over on a frequent basis. To meet these higher velocity demands, a WMS offers the ability to track weights, quantities, expiration dates and more, continually throughout each day.
3.) Traceability: Where visibility allows you to get an instant snapshot and status over your warehouse operations, traceability allows you track a product throughout the supply chain. Being able to keep track of orders within the warehouse allows you to prioritize shipments to deliver a fresh and accurate product.
4.) Mobile Capabilities: With the constantly moving elements of the food and beverage supply chain, orders moving to, through and from your warehouse need to be seen no matter where you are. Managing these goods as they are in transit can create opportunities to streamline your logistics. With the mobile capabilities of a WMS, delivery routes can be changed and processes can be adjusted to produce optimal results.
5.) Labor Streamlining: A key component to a warehouse management system is its labor management solution. Through tracking the day-to-day activities of your warehouse staff you can find the policies and procedures that are working well and the ones that aren’t. With new accurate data, decisions can be made to enhance your entire warehouse operation.
As the food and beverage sector becomes increasingly competitive and a greater emphasis is being placed on health and safety, technology can be the key differentiator for your overall operation. Through the streamlining of your supply chain, not only can costs be controlled, but far reaching benefits for your brand can be attained. Leveraging the skills and resources of a third party logistics provider can provide the technology necessary to meet these goals. Barrett Distribution Centers invests in technology and WMS implementation to create supply chain solutions. For more information, click here.