In today’s data driven world knowing how your warehouse is performing and finding areas to improve efficiency and speed of delivery are like gold to management and customers. Regularly running reports in your warehouse management system is critical for diagnosing the health of your inventory and warehouse management processes. In this blog we will discuss 9 reports that can help you identify which products are raising your inventory holding costs, improve the use of your warehouse space and define best practices for your labor force.
Massive amounts of data can be correlated at the touch of a button in order to spot trends, discover inefficiencies, and speed up the entire process. Workforce management is made simple and can be customized by need. You can maximize relationships that increase your bottom line and eliminate time and resource waste.
How do you determine which reports are the most useful to run? Well, we have done the work for you and have compiled what we have seen as the 9 most telling reports that your warehouse manager should be running to improve your overall warehouse efficiency:
1. Bulk Picking Report
This WMS report groups together items that ship in the same general direction so that shipping costs and lead times are reduced. It also reduces the time employees spend in picking product for shipping by locating fast moving products in the most time efficient ways so that employees don’t pick the same product over and over, eliminating wasted steps.
2. Vendor/Supplier Report
Statistics about suppliers that shape the relationship between your warehouse and theirs. Get reports on supplier performance, complaint history, returns, and information about specific products. These reports help you make the decisions that improve your relationship with suppliers or terminate relationships that no longer fit your company’s vision.
3. Direct/Indirect Labor Report
This report is used for planning your labor force efficiently. You can use it for making hourly, weekly, monthly, and seasonal adjustments to your labor force. Use this report to predict how many employees you need at a given point and only use the workforce you need.
4. Cycle Counts
Your WMS can keep track of incoming and outgoing inventory eliminating the need for physical inventorying, saving time and money. The cycle count will show you where each item is at any given moment.
5. Inventory on Hand
A WMS report on the amount of inventory available for shipment at any given time. This report can be used to adjust your inventory due to miscounts, theft, or other mishaps. Setting inventory maximums and minimums reduces slow moving inventory that sits too long, while also reducing instances where items are on backorder.
6. Empty Bin Report
My newest favorite is the empty bin report. This report allows warehouse operators to see what space is available for incoming shipments, assisting in decreasing put-away time by eliminating the need to drive around the warehouse looking for an empty bin. This report is very beneficial, especially to 3PLs. It allows warehouse operators with multiple tenants to identify and utilize the space available in the most efficient way possible to increase profits.
7. Advanced Receipt Notice (ARN)
The ARN is the recipient's side of the Advanced Shipment Notice (ASN) that is sent from the shipper to the warehouse. It represents the expected material that will arrive at the warehouse on that shipment. This report helps the warehouse plan for future receipts and follow-up on receipts that don't show up when expected.
8. History By Supplier
This report allows for personalizing your relationship with your supply chain. Identify the suppliers that boost your bottom line. Spot the low producers and identify ways to improve the relationships you have with your suppliers overall.
9. Shipments By Customer
This final report is used for personalizing your relationship with your customers. This report can help you customize the experience your customers have with your business. Small changes that make your customers experience great encourages repeat business and word of mouth recommendations.
These 9 reports are a great starting point to analyzing and understanding the health and well-being of your warehouse, fulfillment, distribution or ecommerce facility and they should be run regularly to establish a trend and monitor efforts. Quick and easy access to these reports in your WMS is also necessary but that is a whole different blog on outdated warehouse processes.
In the 21st century there is a plethora of technology to help warehouse operators but the key to optimizing business is with the data and how you utilize it so get with your warehouse manager and get these 9 reports up and running today!