Uncovering the Differences between Traditional Warehouses and the Enterprise Warehouse
Small and mid-sized warehouses and their larger, more extensive counterparts (commonly referred to as enterprise warehouses) are different in almost every manner. Yes, they all have similar processes and goals, but the way they go about processing and tracking orders is very different. Larger warehouse environments require much more communication and efficiency in order to get products moved through the warehouse, packed and shipped (accurately) in an expedient manner. One small error or delay can hold up the entire operation and significantly impact the warehouse’s production schedule, a reality many enterprises cannot afford.
Most enterprise warehouses run like a well-oiled machine, constantly turning out orders for their many customers and meeting shipping deadlines in a timely manner. In order to do this, however, enterprise warehouses need warehouse management solutions that are capable of meeting their high demand needs. The typical warehouse management solution will not fit the bill for enterprise warehouses; their needs are just too different and complex to be met with such simple software and technology.
But what, exactly, is the difference between traditional warehouses and the enterprise warehouse, and how do their software solutions differ? To put it simply, enterprise warehouses are like traditional warehouses on steroids. They handle much higher volumes at much quicker paces, often shipping out thousands of orders a day to a variety of customers and retailers. Because they have such high volumes, they need a capable system of tracking, reporting, and managing everything that goes on in the warehouse. They often have multiple locations and require extensive management and collaboration.
Enterprise Warehouse Management: What it Requires
Automation in the traditional warehouse setting consists of eliminating manual processes and implementing barcoding technology. When a traditional warehouse implements automation tools, everything changes. Efficiency increases, productivity gains are made, and costs are reduced as workers are wasting less time on time-consuming and redundant tasks. In the enterprise warehouse environment, however, automation is only one part of the success puzzle.
In order to operate at its true potential, an enterprise warehouse needs the following:
- Advanced shipping capabilities to streamline the picking, packing and shipping process. A true enterprise warehouse management solution includes directed picking and directed shipping features to guide workers through the warehouse as they pick sales orders and automatically updates the ERP system on orders picked, packed and shipped.
- Real-time dashboards for full visibility of the warehouse operation, including inventory levels, productivity stats, and employee schedules. These dashboards allow managers and executives to make quick decisions based on facts and respond immediately to problems in the warehouse.
- Automation technology in the form of barcoding, mobile devices and voice picking technology. Automation isn’t just a nice-to-have feature; it’s a must in the advanced enterprise warehouse. Barcoding capabilities paired with mobile devices and voice picking help advanced enterprises stay on top of their game.
- Pack list printing capabilities are a must in any advanced enterprise solution. In order to pack Sales Orders accurately and effectively, employees must have a list of what needs to be packed. Advanced enterprise solutions provide pack list printing options from a variety of mobile devices so workers can print their lists on the spot without wasting any time.
- Inventory management and tracking capabilities, including cycle counting, physical counts and real-time inventory reports.
- Advanced reporting that integrates directly with the existing ERP system so users can access the reports they need quickly and easily.
- Warehouse mapping to easily guide workers through the warehouse.
Scanco Enterprise: The Answer for the Advanced Enterprise Warehouse
As you can see, the needs of the enterprise warehouse are much more complex than those of the traditional warehouse environment. That’s why we’ve created an Enterprise Sage 100 solution designed specifically to meet the complex needs of the advanced enterprise warehouse. Scanco Enterprise is one of the first mobile enterprise warehouse management solutions on the market, providing enterprises with the benefits of mobile technology for their more rugged warehouse environments. Learn more about how our Enterprise Sage 100 warehouse management solution can help your advanced enterprise perform at its optimum potential.
Is your enterprise warehouse struggling to keep up with demand? Have you considered adopting mobile devices into your processes? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below this post – we’d love to hear from you!