We’ve all experienced it.
Running frantically around the warehouse like a headless chicken, desperately searching for that last order of cherries that needs to be dispatched straight away, you take a wrong turn, have to go back up the same aisle, when suddenly… you’re consumed by a giant glowing ghost!
Oh alright, you’ve probably not experienced the last bit. But sometimes inventory management and warehouse stock control can feel an awful lot like playing a well-known 80’s arcade game.
Nobody wants to experience the Pac-Man effect in their business, not least because it’s just as likely to lose you orders and clients as it is to get you eaten by a large neon ghost! Managing the time that you take to fulfil and dispatch orders, as well as storing stock strategically and efficiently, will ultimately turn the tables so that you’re the one gobbling up the ghosts of inefficiency and cost wastage.
Plan your route
A warehouse by definition is a planned space for the storage and handling of goods and materials. The key word here is ‘planned’. If you don’t base the layout of your warehouse on the most effective way for staff to use it, there could be seriously detrimental financial and operational implications for your business.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your warehouse is just a place of storage for your stock, you also need to take into consideration the volume of goods, speed of through-put required, transit points, sorting areas, duration of storage, the need for repacking or labelling, and tracking of stock.
In Pac-Man terms, you need to plan your route so that you can hit the fabled power pellet, and turn the tables on everything that’s wasting your business time and money.
The ERP Power Pellet
The most satisfying part of any game of Pac-Man, is when you swallow the glowing power pellet and you get to start gobbling up ghosts. We believe that the mythical power pellet of warehouse management can be found with the right business management software.
A large percentage of businesses in the UK still operate manual processes or have standalone systems to produce orders and manage deliveries from suppliers and to their customers. This can result in longer delivery times, inaccurate orders and lost stock. If you’re one of these companies, Enterprise Resource Planning software, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, can bring all of your operations together in one solution. Rich with features and functionality, it can help you manage your warehouse more effectively and increase efficiency when producing orders, picking and dispatching. Just to be completely clear though, it’s not actually a large glowing power pellet.
Power Up and Take Control
The warehouse and inventory functions within Microsoft Dynamics NAV will allow you to automate and manage procedures concerning stock control, space optimisation, equipment and people, with the aim of reducing costs and fulfillment times. NAV also reduces or eliminates the amount of manual processes that you undertake when passing information between departments, cutting out any potential for mistakes or lost orders. This also increases the speed of fulfillment.
Basically, it’s the equivalent of a power-up from an ‘80s arcade game.
The major benefit to using NAV, is the fact that all of your information will be available in one system, allowing you to report directly from one database, rather than multiple systems. This provides much faster and more accurate collation of the data you need to analyse when identify opportunities to improve productivity. Ultimately allowing you to make more positive and effective decisions for your business.
The Next Level
Optimising picking and packing processes is also incredibly important for any business with a warehouse facility. Planning the layout of your warehouse in line with your technology will help you streamline the amount of time it takes to process orders. With the help of barcode scanning equipment linked into NAV, you can itemise products needed for the order, map the most efficient route that your pickers will take through the warehouse, and retrieve information relating to the stock, such as product descriptions, product prices and alternative locations if it’s not available in your warehouse.
All of this can take your business to the next level, giving you the capability to grow, expand and evolve from the two dimensional pixelated universe of Pac-Man, to the 3D, hi-definition world of the future.
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