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6 ways to streamline warehouse stock management with process automation

Efficient warehouse stock management is crucial for optimising operations and meeting customer demands. Manual stock management processes can be time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. However, by leveraging process automation, warehouses can achieve significant improvements in inventory accuracy, productivity, and overall efficiency. Let’s explore how process automation can revolutionise warehouse stock management, leading to enhanced performance and increased profitability.

1. Inventory tracking and management

One of the primary benefits of process automation in warehouse stock management is accurate and real-time inventory tracking. By using barcode scanning systems or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, warehouses can automate the process of stock identification, recording, and location tracking. Your software developer can integrate these seamlessly with custom-made inventory management software. This will help you to ensure that inventory levels are always up-to-date and visible to the relevant stakeholders.

Automated inventory tracking provides warehouse managers with valuable insights into stock movement, identifying fast-selling products and slow-moving items. This data empowers decision-makers to optimise inventory levels, reduce carrying costs, and avoid out-of-stock or overstock situations.

2. Order fulfilment automation

Process automation can significantly speed up the order fulfilment process. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) integrated with automation technologies can streamline order processing, picking, and packing. Automated picking systems, such as robotic pickers or automated guided vehicles (AGVs), can efficiently navigate the warehouse and retrieve items for shipment.

Additionally, order fulfilment automation reduces the risk of errors during packing and shipping, leading to improved customer satisfaction and a reduction in returns due to incorrect shipments.

3. Customer delivery notifications

The customer experience doesn’t end when the order leaves the facility. Ensuring timely and transparent delivery updates is equally vital for customer satisfaction. This is where delivery notifications through process automation come into play.

Process automation enables real-time tracking of shipments from the moment they leave the warehouse until they reach the customer’s doorstep. Integrating the warehouse management system with a reliable transportation management system (TMS) or last-mile delivery platform allows seamless data exchange and provides accurate information on the shipment’s whereabouts.

Customers, in turn, can access this information through various channels, such as emails, SMS, or dedicated tracking portals. Real-time visibility into the status of their orders gives them peace of mind and reduces the likelihood of customer inquiries about delivery times.

4. Demand forecasting and replenishment

Automated warehouse stock management allows for more accurate demand forecasting and replenishment planning. By analysing historical sales data and market trends, inventory management software can predict future demand more effectively. As a result, warehouses can proactively adjust stock levels, ensuring that popular items are always available while minimising the holding costs of slow-moving products.

Furthermore, process automation enables just-in-time (JIT) inventory management, ensuring that warehouses receive stock shipments precisely when they are needed, optimising storage space and reducing the risk of obsolete inventory.

5. Condition monitoring and preventive maintenance

For warehouses that handle perishable goods or items with specific storage requirements, process automation can be used for condition monitoring and preventive maintenance. IoT (Internet of Things) sensors can be placed on storage units to monitor factors like temperature, humidity, and light exposure. If these conditions deviate from the desired range, the system can trigger alerts, allowing warehouse staff to take corrective action promptly.

Automated preventive maintenance schedules can also be implemented for warehouse equipment, such as forklifts, conveyor systems, and packaging machinery. Regular maintenance reduces the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns, ensuring a continuous flow of operations and preventing potential disruptions.

6. Data analytics and performance optimisation

With process automation comes an abundance of data generated from various systems and sensors. Warehouse stock management can benefit greatly from data analytics and machine learning algorithms that mine this data for valuable insights. Analysing the data can help identify patterns, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement.

Data-driven decision-making can optimise warehouse layout, pick paths, and resource allocation, leading to reduced travel time for staff, faster order fulfilment, and overall increased efficiency.

How Codeminers can help with process automation

Incorporating process automation into warehouse stock management is a strategic move that can revolutionise operations and drive significant improvements. By leveraging automated inventory tracking, order fulfilment, demand forecasting, condition monitoring, and data analytics, warehouses can enhance efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction while reducing operational costs. As the eCommerce landscape continues to evolve, investing in process automation is essential to stay competitive and thrive in the modern supply chain ecosystem.

Here at Codeminers, we excel in bespoke software development and we build and manage eCommerce websites on a daily basis. This not only means we’re great at what we do, but it means we have a true understanding of eCommerce businesses and the technology that comes with them. If you’re interested in getting started with process automation, contact us for a chat!

  • Written by Simon Proctor, August 03 2023