When it comes to understanding your warehouse and inventory management, data is your best friend. Of course, all that data a business collects is only as good as the methods of and strategies for analyzing it.
One of the best strategies a business can look to implement is real-time analytics. Real-time analytics can help to improve processes and workflows by identifying potential issues before they create a negative impact. By having real-time analytics in place to analyze data, warehouse operations have an accurate indication of when the data was created, which facilitates its organization, understanding, and accessibility. This helps to streamline the process of reporting on data and improves the effectiveness and quality of reports.
Yet where do we start in implementing this type of strategy? In this case we can begin by looking at the tools we use.
If we want to use real-time analytics to help increase efficiency within a warehouse, look no further than a warehouse management system, or WMS, that has real-time data reporting and gathering. Keep in mind that not all WMS’s have this capability though. So, looking for a WMS that has real-time tracking of your inventory and operations is important. For example, Akatia’s warehouse management solution, WAM, is built for Salesforce and its cloud environment. Due to this WAM provides a full 360 degree real-time view of your warehouse data. This is important since your business will want the most up to date data available when analyzing and reporting on it.
This type of operational data can greatly affect the efficiency of your warehouse and the departments that interact with it. A robust WMS can prove highly effective in accurately tracking your inventory, its storage, shipping, and management. This will then prove useful in successfully rolling out a real-time analytics strategy. So, let’s discuss a few ways real-time analytics can impact your business.
Real-time analytics can help avoid disruptions or bottlenecks within your operations and overall supply chain. Effective WMS’ ensure that processes are standardized and that operations run in a predictable fashion. Of course, a process is only as good as the people who created them and systems that support them. At times we don’t always grasp all the variables involved or see the tiny cracks. Real-time analytics can find and produce actionable insights required to be able to isolate any inefficiencies, thus boosting productivity. With as much as 81% of the warehousing sector expected to implement a variety of new processes by 2024, real-time analytics will be invaluable in providing the insights to make these changes.
Your WMS is often integrated with other core systems like a CRM, accounting software, transportation management system, and ERP. Depending on which department team members work in will have an impact on which system they interact with or have access to. Having real-time analytics from your WMS helps other departments and team members perform effectively by having the real-time information available either through dashboards or reports. This allows them to address demand quickly and make informed decisions. Furthermore, by having real-time data capture and analytics these interconnected system data can be used to aid one system with its specified purpose.
A WMS with real-time analytics also helps in streamlining and consolidating reporting. As an example, if a business uses spreadsheets or disconnected systems to manage and track their inventory it becomes difficult to provide real-time and accurate data to report back on. Having good reporting, that is underpinned by real-time analytics, helps impact efficiency because stakeholders and decision makers are receiving adequate or meaningful information.
On the other hand, if competitors are investing in WMS technology that has real-time analytics features, then they are putting you at a disadvantage. While one business struggles to adapt or is constantly putting out fires, which inherently becomes part of the process, the other isolates inefficiencies and finds ways to improve.
Implementing a WMS is all about getting better at managing your inventory and warehouse, Real-time analytics lets you get a handle on your processes and understand them better. Oftentimes we’re so focused on the process as it exists that we sometimes lack the perspective to find a better way to work. By having a WMS with real-time analytics, you can test to see what is working, what doesn’t, and make adjustments quickly.
Real-time analytics in warehouse management is critical as businesses continue to transform in the digital revolution. The ability to analyze and communicate real-time data effectively helps warehouse operations to become more efficient, plan accordingly, and scale effectively. With the industry continuing to expand, real-time analytics will help businesses to better meet demand and adapt quickly to the ever changing business landscape.
If you would like to improve how your real-time analytics by implementing a WMS like WAM or want to implement a better WMS for your warehouse management, get in contact with us by using the link below.