How a WMS Can Grow Your Food & Beverage Business
Published on 9 December 2022
Have WMS Solutions Become a Necessity in the Distribution Center?
Food and beverage businesses have a unique set of challenges when it comes to managing and distributing their inventory.
For instance: the shelf life of supplies in the warehouse varies from SKU to SKU and is normally much shorter than that of CPGs. When it comes to expiry dates, it’s vital to maintain accurate inventory records to prevent contamination and waste.
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) helps companies better manage their inventory and cut down on avoidable inventory shrinkage. With the right WMS solution, Food & Beverage companies can optimize SKU localisation by type (such as gluten-free, organic, allergens, etc.), size, weight, or handling requirements. They can also streamline the movements of goods across the distribution center and enforce warehouse management best practices (from FIFO to traceability).
That said, operators in the Food & Beverage industry need to know what a WMS is before they can reap the benefits of having one. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is a Warehouse Management System?
A Warehouse Management System (WMS), is a specialized software package that supports activities in the distribution center, streamlines the movement of goods across the supply chain, and unlocks new efficiencies to help companies scale for growth. Nowadays, a WMS is necessary to the implementation of warehouse management best practices.
It’s easy to overlook the fundamentals of running a successful operation when business is booming and orders keep coming in. For example, if your operation is running at full capacity, it will prove difficult to accommodate seasonal surges in customer demand and maintain optimal shipping times. With a WMS to support your operations, however, your company can maximize its distribution center’s capacity through, notably, the automation of warehousing processes (putaway, picking, replenishment, packaging, etc.).
Similarly, a WMS can accelerate your business’ growth by enabling it to explore new sales channels. Some WMS solutions have the capabilities to help operators optimize storage locations and implement advanced picking methods to achieve cross-selling capabilities and omnichannel efficacy.
And then, as we were saying above, a WMS ensures detailed and accurate visibility on all stocks and inventory status. In the Food & Beverage industry, where margins are traditionally thin and hang on an operator’s ability to minimize losses, that kind of visibility can be the difference between scraping by and racking up the profits.
The point is, it doesn’t matter whether your business is booming or enjoying a steady level of demand. In all cases, a robust WMS helps avoid oversights and optimize operations so that you can stay focused on what matters: continuing to grow your company.
The Benefits of a WMS for Food & Beverage Businesses
Here’s how a Warehouse Management System can help you grow your food and beverage business.
First and foremost, a WMS helps you keep better track of items in your distribution center.
With a WMS, food and beverage companies can leverage lot, batch, and/or serial numbering to trace and record inventory supplies and expiry/best-before dates. Accurate visibility on item status and tracking capabilities help reduce spoilage and costs while simultaneously improving efficiency. It also enables targeted recalls when necessary.
Manufacturers reap extra benefits from tracking materials and ingredients, as it helps them prevent disrupting shortages and costly excess inventory.
Another key benefit of a WMS is that it enables operators to implement warehouse management best practices in their distribution center. With a WMS, all end-users on the floor work off a centralized system that handles tasks in real-time. At the same time, management can monitor all activities and maintain far better visibility on inventory levels in real time.
For food and beverage businesses, maintaining real-time inventory information reduces inventory shrinkage. Once integrated with their software architecture, a WMS communicates all transactions and data in real-time to other systems. Paired with a powerful ERP system and an AI’s predictive capabilities, organizations can leverage their WMS to make informed decisions about, for example, the goods that will help them boost business revenue and reduce losses in the coming season. Real-time inventory management enables businesses to forecast supply accurately and avoid backorders.
The result? Faster fulfillment, on-time delivery, happier customers, and healthier business operations.
Faster Order Validation & Stress-Free Fulfillment
A Warehouse Management System can keep track of the exact day and time inventory is due to arrive. It can then improve the receiving process by considering staffing resources and storage equipment. By leveraging a WMS that has the ability to monitor inventory and equipment movements, businesses can better manage their inbound and outbound planning.
Additionally, WMS technology keeps track of all details from shipping schedules, order quantities and dates, and product inventory levels on-hand or back-ordered—and displays all of it in real time. This gives employees all the information they need at their fingertips. It allows them to track items as they move through the supply chain and determine an item's location from the point of origin to arrival at its final destination.
As such, a WMS lets you efficiently manage your inventory and track shipments and deliveries. This means that there are fewer chances for mistakes when it comes to tracking data or fulfilling orders from customers. With a WMS, you can speed up the order validation and fulfillment processes while efficiently managing shipment allocations and optimizing your supply chain.
The SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES Helps you Take Command of Your Supply Chain
These are but a few of the advantages and benefits food & beverage manufacturers and distributors can draw from a WMS. These systems can help you manage your warehouse operations more efficiently and provide you with the means to sell more products and increase revenue.
That being said, growth strategies require innovative and scalable technologies to succeed.
The SOLOCHAIN WMS/MES was built with that consideration in mind.
SOLOCHAIN software combines warehouse management and manufacturing execution system capabilities to automate manufacturing and distribution processes from start to finish. Additionally, its cloud-based, flexible platform is chock-full of features and capabilities that enable efficiency, lower costs, and support operational excellence.
With accurate real-time data, the software helps you manage your supply chain by minimizing risk and improving reliability. Automating your processes with SOLOCHAIN helps you get more out of your warehouse space and improve organizational operations and productivity. Additionally, you'll eliminate the need for excess inventory by limiting shipping errors and increasing inventory accuracy.
If you're looking to optimize your business operations and accelerate growth, SOLOCHAIN is the software solution that keeps you ahead of the game.
A Warehouse Management System is a software solution that automates order fulfillment and inventory management. A WMS integrates with your existing ERP, eCommerce, or other enterprise applications to provide a single system of record for all warehouse activities.
As such, a WMS is an excellent tool for growing your food or beverage business. It can help you manage your inventory and track your supply chain, saving you time and money and increasing efficiency, productivity, and customer service. It also provides real-time visibility of inventory levels. This enables you to make informed decisions about which goods to change to boost revenue and minimize losses due to damaged products.
An integrated inventory management solution will help you get more control over your supply chain and increase efficiency, which are both key to being profitable in today's competitive market.
This blog post has given insight into what a WMS can do for your business. Please contact us if you have any questions about the topic or want to learn more about what SOLOCHAIN WMS can do for you and your business.
We look forward to helping you grow!
At Generix Group North America, we provide a series of solutions within our Supply Chain Hub product suite to create efficiencies across your entire supply chain. Our solutions are in use around the world and our experience is second-to-none.
We invite you to contact us to learn more.
Download our guide to the Warehouse of the Future
Did you enjoy this post about WMS? Here are three to read next: