The end of manual rewriting and confused warehouse workers: get to know the basic processes in a controlled warehouse

Warehouse management

Once you have hundreds of items in stock, you can no longer remember everything or write to Excel. At such a moment, you need a controlled warehouse. To let you know what awaits you, we have written for you how the basic warehouse processes work in a typical e-shop connected to a warehouse management system (WMS) step by step.

Receipt and storage of goods

  1. First, you classically order the goods from the supplier. You enter the finished order into the information system, from where WMS will take it over. He processes the order and prepares the warehouse for its receipt. For example, it changes the status of goods on the e-shop to "ordered from the supplier", changes the theoretical status of stocks or blocks positions on the shelves in advance.
  2. As soon as the supplier delivers the goods, the storekeeper shall inspect the delivery note and carry out a physical check to ensure that the goods are not damaged or that they correspond to their quantity. If he encounters a damaged or defective piece, he will immediately return the goods and enter this information into the WMS.
  3. When the goods are unloaded, the warehouseman uses a barcode reader and reads all the packages one by one. If the goods are not marked with bar codes, the warehouseman will print the labels from the order in WMS and mark the goods. The warehouseman can also accept goods without barcodes - for example, screws or other small parts. In this case, the receipt of the goods is manually confirmed in the WMS.
  4. By loading barcodes, the goods are automatically entered into the warehouse, information system and e-shop - if the company has interconnected systems. This way, warehouse employees avoid manual rewriting and the condition of goods on the e-shop always reflects the real state of the warehouse and vice versa.
  5. After loading all the pieces, the system compares the received goods with the order, so that the warehouseman immediately knows whether the order has arrived complete.
  6. Upon completion of receipt, the warehouseman shall proceed by storing the goods at the place of destination. Some companies use the WMS function, which recommends a warehouse position. The system allocates storage positions on the basis of a predetermined method, for example with regard to the weight of the goods, turnover or the capacity of vacancies. In this case, the warehouseman’s barcode reader will guide itself to the assigned storage position in the shortest possible way. Once all the goods from the order are stored, the receipt of the goods is settled.

Delivery of goods

1. When a customer orders goods on the e-shop, his order is automatically written to the information system and WMS, where stocks are reduced. The ordered piece is also blocked in the e-shop, so it does not happen that, for example, more customers order the last refrigerator at the same time.

2. The system selects a specific piece of ordered goods according to a predetermined removal strategy - for example, FIFO (prefers the oldest stored pieces), LIFO (prefers the newest stored pieces), according to the expiration date or according to the nearest pieces.

3. A managed warehouse creates a queue of tasks, which it prioritizes. The warehouseman selects a task from the queue on his PDA and displays instructions.

4. The warehouseman will see on the display which goods are to be unloaded and the fastest route to them. The WMS guides the warehouseman according to an understandable addressing system, so that even a novice who does not have experience can quickly get to the goods. The warehouseman will also find out the number of pieces and the size of the goods, so that he knows whether to take a basket or a straight cart. The system can assign multiple orders to the warehouseman to collect them at once without having to go back and forth.

5. Once the warehouseman has picked up the goods, he starts to pack them or hand them over to the packers. They place the goods in a box or other container, add a protective filling and use a reader to print a transport label, delivery note or invoice from the WMS (if the company does not send it electronically). Finally, he prepares the shipment for the dispatch area, where the carrier picks it up.

Other warehousing processes

The inventory takes place in a controlled warehouse so that the warehouse workers gradually read all the goods with a reader and then the system automatically detects the differences between the state in the specified warehouse and the expected warehouse. The controlled warehouse significantly speeds up the inventory and the employees manage it easily during normal operation - so you don't have to suspend the warehouse for a few days.

If you have more warehouses and you move goods between them (so-called cross-docking), the system unloads the goods so that they are blocked in the e-shop, and reactivates them after restocking. This is used, for example, by companies that receive goods in a central warehouse and then send them to dispensing warehouses.

WMS also facilitates the replenishment of goods. The system will recommend for part of the goods replenishment to the lower part of the warehouse, where warehouse workers can reach even without a forklift. For example, goods that go on sale or small goods. You set a minimum quantity for the goods at the bottom of the shelf, and the system assigns a warehouseman with a forklift truck in time that it needs to be replenished.

WMS also counts on complaints or unaccepted shipments. If the customer returns the goods due to a defect, WMS assigns him a special storage position and determines that the item cannot be sold. This is followed by a complaint process, after which WMS instructs the warehouseman to issue replacement goods. For unaccepted shipments or returns, WMS will help by not having to beep every item in the package, but only to read the code on the shipment and thus store all the goods inside.

Some companies deal with so-called value-creating processes in the warehouse. For example, they mix goods into gift baskets, attach Czech instructions to it, or divide them into smaller pieces. In this case, the WMS will indicate that this type of goods needs to be prepared and state how many pieces of which material the warehouseman needs for this. Once the goods are completed, the WMS sends the information to an accounting system that calculates the costs. Finally, the storage system stores the finished product.

WMS saves hours of time in warehousing processes that employees would spend manually rewriting, finding the right goods or storing. If you are also interested in a managed warehouse, take a look at our LOKiA WMS solution. We will be happy to prepare a free demo for you.

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