There’s no doubt that the economy is still in a fragile state. The Commerce Department released its report of fourth quarter earnings at the end of February, and, although the economy did grow, the growth is the slowest it has been in two years. And the sequester will not help things. With cuts all around, including unemployment benefits that would have gone right back into the free market, one can only wonder if we’re going back into a recession. Sorry for the bleak news, but this should serve more as a reminder that businesses must be efficient and cost-conscious in all facets – and this includes the warehouse.
You can have a fantastic marketing plan and a great product, but if you can’t get the product to the consumer in a quick and cost-effective manner, your business will surely falter. That’s why more and more warehouse management consultants are being hired to identify problems and provide solutions. Their end goal is to minimize costs without sacrificing operations. Let’s take a look at some of the ways they might do this.
- Recommending and implementing a software management system: One of the most important parts of successful warehouse management is good warehouse management software. Software is used for keeping count of inventory, managing products that are shipped and returned to the warehouse, tracking where products are stocked and more. All WMS software is not created equal, though, so warehouse consultants can help determine your needs and find vendors who can deliver the software needed for your particular warehouse and supply chain.
- Offer recommendations on operations: One of the things a warehouse management system consultant will do is ask you many questions about your business. They will ask you about the nature of your industry, current and expected volumes of sales, productivity objectives, inventory goals and more. The ultimate goal of these questions is to determine where your business needs improvement. Do you need a new warehouse layout? Do you need to look into a new transportation vendor? Consultants will review your operations and goals and compare them to industry standards to determine recommendations.
- Employee training: Once they determine changes needed, you can expect warehouse management consultants to train you and your employees on the new software and operations. The software and new procedures can be fantastic, but if they aren’t being implemented correctly by the end users, they will do your business no good. Nearly half of large-change projects don’t work because of human error. Consultants will train to eliminate these risks.
These simple yet useful tips will help get your business operating effectively and efficiently.
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Jillian Johnson is a professional content marketing writer and blogger with a particular interest in writing about business. To read more writing by Jillian, follow her @MissWritey.