Roberto Michel, senior editor for Supply Chain Management Review, recently wrote an article about different ways to improve inventory control in today’s DC operations. He reached out to our very own Howard Turner to ask him about the role that a WMS plays in this process. Howard discussed some of the new features a modern WMS solution can provide that enhance accuracy and other aspects of inventory control.
For all the attention on emerging technologies as a route to better inventory management, when you examine the typical system footprint, WMS is what governs inventory. That makes an effective WMS table stakes for inventory accuracy in DCs, notes Howard Turner, director of supply chain systems at consulting firm St. Onge Company.
“The positive impact a WMS can have on inventory is a bit overlooked these days, because WMS is so widely used, but WMS still has a critical role to play,” Turner says. “WMS is the system of record for inventory, so even with all the advancements in data capture, that data is likely going to feed into and support the WMS. So even though many companies already have some type of WMS in place, we continue to see interest in upgrades to gain new capabilities that users can’t get from an older or legacy system.”
Newer WMS solutions have features like task interleaving and dynamic cycle counting that contribute to greater inventory accuracy, says Turner. For example, during picking, the WMS logic could direct an associate to confirm a forward pick location as empty, or ‘near empty’ based on a configurable level, and trigger a cycle count for that location or bin.
Click here to read the article on the Supply Chain Management Review website!