Warehouse management systems (WMS) software gives warehouse managers the ability to administer warehouse operations efficiently and provides inventory visibility from any location at any time. In the freight forwarder business, this provides a competitive edge. Like most industries, freight forwarding has become more tech intensive, with companies increasingly relying on software to reduce costs and speed delivery times.

Managing warehouse inventory through WMS software allows for faster freight lead times at lower labor costs.

WMS software systems are customizable

WHS software is not one size fits all. There are many types and implementation options. For example, they can be stand alone systems or integrated into a larger enterprise resource planning system or a supply chain execution suite. Complexity is also a consideration when selecting a system. Smaller organizations often opt for a simple system while larger organizations require complex WMS software. Many WMS software programs are designed for a specific organization size. WMS software vendors can also design and configure WMS systems according to custom specifications. For example, a freight forwarder would need different specifications versus a retailer.

Common features include the following:

• Warehouse design
• Inventory tracking
• Receiving and put away
• Picking and packing goods
• Shipping
• Labor management
• Yard and dock management
• Reporting
• Reduce operating expenses

These features provide many benefits that add to the bottom line.

Reduces operating expenses

In the competitive freight forwarding business, increasing margins has become essential, a trend that advancing technology will only intensify. WMS software systems reduce operating expenses by identifying opportunities to increase efficiencies in labor and space. It also provides programs that help managers optimize workflows through strategic locating of materials, products and equipment. Warehouse floor simulators provide an adjustable graphic rendering of the warehouse, where managers can test placement of material, such as pallets and shelves. Busy freight forwarding warehouses need to run efficiently to keep up with high demand, and these simulators make it possible to create the ideal setup.

Enhanced Inventory Visibility

Today’s freight forwarders need total inventory visibility to compete. Technology now allows freight companies to know where all inventory is at all times and even provides alerts when a freight order falls off schedule. WMS software provides total inventory visibility through barcoding, serial numbers and RFID tagging. Each item is documented as it enters the warehouse, is moved through the warehouse and as it is transported to other locations.

Continuous Improvement

Cloud WMS software makes continuous improvement part of regular workflow. Updates are automatic, as are installation of new features, so an in-house IT staff is not required. Updates are vitally important because they allow organizations to stay up to date with latest improvements and use them to enhance their efficiencies. Because on-site systems require a manual process for updates and new installations, many freight forwarders find the cloud-based solutions offer the best value.

Improved customer relations

WMS software makes it possible for freight forwarders to provide total visibility of freight to its customers and contracted transportation companies. Customers can place orders through the system and drivers can receive orders. This results in faster deliveries, fewer inaccuracies and higher customer satisfaction.

More Efficient Labor Management

WMS software provides managers the tools to efficiently manage picking and packing for increased profitability. In addition, it helps managers choose which employees have the ability to perform the job most effectively, according to skill level, location and volume of other assigned work.

Beyond daily task management, WMS software can help with broad workforce management, including the creation of labor forecasts and key performance indicators. These tools provide managers with increased insight into upcoming staff needs and employees’ job performance, allowing them to lower delivery times and decrease costs.

Increased security

WMS software programs require employees to login to individual accounts. Each transaction creates an audit trail within each individual account. As a result, employee accountability is increased, and managers can identify new training opportunities and improve employee workflows. It also decreases instances of theft. In addition, user-based access makes it impossible for unauthorized users to access sensitive reports, data and analysis.

Technological advancement is changing industry after industry, and freight forwarding provides no exception. Warehouse management offers an opportunity for freight forwarders to increase efficiencies that reduce costs while speeding delivery times. By employing WMS software, freight forwarders gain a vital edge on the competition.

CSA Software offers custom software solutions for all facets of freight forwarding, transportation management, ocean freight, air freight and more. Our complete freight management software facilitates every aspect of your business utilizing the latest in software technology. It is easy enough for smaller transportation companies yet comprehensive enough for the most advanced global organization. Contact us today for your Free Demo!