Before 2015 NetSuite only offered a neat package of Inventory Management tools, without going the whole nine yards and offering an all-encompassing warehouse management system (WMS) (we’ll go into the difference between the two shortly). Until then to see the benefits that a WMS offers, users would reach out and utilise extender products that integrate with NetSuite and do the job, but the good news is that now NetSuite natively offers a complete WMS platform – and you should care!
WHAT IS A WMS?
A Warehouse Management System is a software application that supports the day-to-day operations in a warehouse. WMS programs enable centralized management of tasks such as tracking inventory levels and stock locations. WMS systems may be standalone applications or part of an ERP, like the case is with NetSuite now.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT AND INVENTORY MANAGEMENT?
Inventory management and warehouse management share a lot of common attributed. Both warehouse management and inventory management involve:
- Monitoring product quantities
- Cycle counting
- Often using barcodes to track parts and products
- Picking, packing and shipping items
- Managing multiple locations
- Receiving orders into inventory
A WMS incorporates inventory management basics, like the ones listed above, and utilizes both technology and operating best practices to optimize all functions within a warehouse, such as inventory, space, equipment and labour.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
A WMS becomes a must-have for organizations who want to cut costs, reduce human error and boost accuracy across a multitude of different facets of the business.
Amongst other things, a WMS will:
- Support growth within the organization without increasing staff or space needed
- Reduce the errors caused by human dependent processes
- Result in faster order turnaround times – same day shipping & delivery
- Allow omni-channel fulfillment
- Ensure compliance requirements are met
- Increase inventory accuracy
- Optimize warehouse space
- Reduce labor costs (lower search times)
- Increase visibility on the floor
THE FINAL WORD
NetSuite offers both a WMS Lite and WMS Advanced platform, meaning that less complex, smaller warehouses, as well as larger operations where optimization strategies are needed are covered by the platform.
The platform itself is packed with value, with key features such as bar code scanning, dynamic forward pick replenishments, cycle counting, lot/batch number with FFO & FEFO, expiration tracking, serial number tracking, kitting and much more built in.
If you’re running a plant without a WMS you’re missing out on the opportunity for your organization to reach it’s potential. Get in contact with us today to find out how NetSuite WMS capabilities can be added to your existing NetSuite implementation to build out a scalable and robust solution that delivers increased efficiency and improves operational excellence.