Warehouses are the hubs of supply chains, and in order for a company to stay competitive and satisfy customer requirements, the warehouse needs to operate like a well-oiled machine. As warehouse managers are looking for more and more ways to optimize their operations, they’re turning to new technologies and data analysis to improve processes.

The most effective and efficient technologies are ones that automate warehouse operations and reduce manual tasks. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are great for keeping all inventory flow, material handling, and other data in an easily accessible place — whether as part of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or as a stand-alone tool. When choosing a WMS, look for one that provides strong data collection capabilities and has the ability to display and analyze data in real-time.

Similarly, partnering with an equipment supplier that offers a platform to track equipment and device maintenance and deployment takes the optimization a step further. TRG’s ServiceHub, for example, enables warehouse managers to see which devices are in repair, which are due for maintenance, and deployment status in real-time, and has a built-in feature to submit a repair request.  

Combining the data collected from these programs and knowing how to analyze them can help to optimize warehousing operations — including labor, inventory, equipment, and processes —  and keep the facility running at top performance.

Predictive Action

Data collected from WMS and service portals give full visibility on operations to managers, so that they have the foresight to take action before there’s a larger issue.

Use data from a WMS to:

  • See how quickly inventory is moving, when to replenish, or set up auto-replenish
  • Monitor space availability and prevent overstocking
  • Prevent clutter and disorganization by planning routes and layout

Use data from a service portal to:

  • View maintenance history to identify problematic devices that may need to be upgraded or replaced before a major issue occurs
  • Know the exact status of repairs and deployments to allocate devices appropriately
  • Have complete visibility into the number of mobile assets to prepare for peak season and the potential need for additional equipment

Monitor Current Operations

Real-time information from WMS and maintenance systems helps warehouse managers make smart business decisions and plan ahead for resources. The data collected provides visibility to operations that removes emotional input and blind spots for true data-based decision-making.

Use data from a WMS to:

  • Evaluate how employees are spending their time, and make decisions on how to increase efficiencies through automating various tasks
  • See the fastest way between given locations in the warehouse and adjust the layout if needed

Use data from a service portal to:

  • Track how many devices and equipment are being serviced, and if additional replacements are needed
  • See when the equipment was received, its repair status, and when it will be shipped back

Reactive Analysis

Taking a look at data monthly or quarterly can help improve warehouse optimization. Managers can identify trends over a period of time to see what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve efficiencies.

Use data from a WMS to:

  • Plan inventory stocking
  • Scale up or down labor and resources
  • Determine if additional space will be needed
  • Identify where errors or inefficiencies are regularly occurring

Use data from a service portal to:

  • Identify devices or equipment that are repaired too often and may need to be replaced
  • See how many repairs/replacements occur each month at each location and work with consistent offenders to treat equipment in an appropriate manner. Some facilities may be more abusive on equipment than others; data from these platforms can inform action to get the abuse under control
  • See the types of repairs needed (human error/breakage, malfunction, etc.) and address the source
  • Evaluate time spent on maintenance calls, downtime from out of commission equipment, and turnaround time for repairs

For more information on how to use data for warehouse optimization, fill out the form below. Our experts are on hand to talk through best practices and a solution that fits your needs.