How a WMS helps you increase performance and decrease errors



Getting something wrong is never a pleasant experience, but in a business environment the results can have a devastating impact that is amplified greatly. As well as dealing with your own disappointment, there are also customers who require answers! Clients are often particularly quick to notify suppliers when something has gone wrong, whether it be overcharging, incorrect items being despatched, or goods going to the wrong recipient. Regardless of what the nature of the discrepancy is, it is not in your best interests to have disgruntled customers.

Accuracy is expected as standard in the logistics industry, as customers are paying for that as part of a service. A few slip-ups here and there will usually be accepted, but wouldn’t it be great if you could increase your accuracy and provide the highest level of performance that could translate to only 3 errors in 1,000?

“Customer Relationship Management” is a broad term that opens up a whole can of worms, with the buck not stopping at improved accuracy – something that is expected as standard. Here are a few points, however, that do equate to Best Practice CRM:

  • Joint business reviews with a dedicated account manager
  • Senior management involvement where applicable
  • Accessibility and Responsiveness from supplier
  • Integration of specialist resources
  • Proactive implementation of “value added” services

Although the first couple of points are “soft” issues that are easy to understand, implement and maintain, they should not be overlooked as they play a massive part in making your client feel valued. If you can make each customer believe that they are your priority then you are off to a good start.

A Warehouse Management System will help you deliver on the remaining points, building a rounded basis for sound business relationships. Historical data relating to customer transactions and stock, and within the restrictions of current data protection laws, is kept within a WMS and can be generally accessed on demand, often in the format of choice. This eliminates the time, hassle, and headache of having to answer ad hoc customer queries in a manual environment.

Furthermore, value can be added to your customers by offering automatic reports detailing the business information they require, by email or whatever form of electronic transfer they may prefer. A WMS makes these types of transactions common practice, and once you have defined the frequency, contents, and format, no additional work will be required.

Remote access and real-time scanning further enhance a WMS by providing a means to automatically update systems as and when transactions are completed, improve accuracy to those higher levels, and immediately share this information with those who need to know.

It is maintaining this relationship through the use of a WMS, providing the information customers’ want, linking with their systems, and having good communications and visibility that will allow you to keep them, and in the position where they won’t even want to consider taking their business away.

Next: Part IV – Securing the Future of Your Business