Warehouse management means different things to different people. To me it means any system that helps control the quantities, locations and disposition of materials in business warehouse stores. Sometimes that is done with the Dynamics Business Central warehouse management (or another ERP system) and very simple incoming and outgoing transactions. Sometimes it is done by barcode labeling all products, locations and activities within the business and using mobile devices to track every movement.
Within the Business Central warehouse management modules are many features and functions. Microsoft documents the setup and features of the system, but in summary out of the box it supports:
- Warehouse Shipments
- Warehouse Receipts (used with inbound ASN usually)
- Warehouse Picks
- Warehouse Put-Aways
- Warehouse Bins, Class and Zone Codes
- Various worksheets for warehouse and bin management
Business Central Warehouse Management is Full Featured
Whether a manufacturing company is aiming to control your warehouse through Business Central warehouse management without barcode devices or they plan to implement RFID technology with advanced mobile device WMS – there are reasons for wanting a warehouse management system. These are my thoughts on what those reasons often are, and which warehouse control technique best applies to that reason.
Stockouts are the bane of manufacturing and distribution companies. Stockouts that occur when Business Central says a manufacturer should have the inventory on the shelf are infuriating. Before running off to buy a WMS to solve your stockout problem, be sure to identify the root cause. Most likely manufacturing staff are failing to record inventory changes accurately in Dynamics 365. As I often say, automating mistakes just lets people make more of them faster. Dig into the reasons – they are rarely because of a lack of Business Central warehouse management.
Products can be lost for a few reasons. In a small manufacturing company, if product is “lost” that might be for the same reasons you are having stock outs. The Microsoft Business Central warehouse management system likely has errors in it that make manufacturing staff think product has gone missing. Be sure the right inventory transactions are recorded at the right times. Again, using a warehouse system might just accelerate the errors.
If you have a very large facility – or goods can be stored in many locations a barcode control system makes sense. This is especially true if the decision as to where to put stock depends on which bin or shelf has space. Be aware that your staff will now need to scan every time they move, pick or put stock away. This increases the number and complexity of the transactions in Business Central warehouse management.
Are manufacturing staff constantly travelling back and forth between a computer running Dynamics 365 and the warehouse? Are they entering thousands of inventory transactions a day? Are there complicated or tedious serial number transactions that need to be done by hand? Then the Business Central warehouse management solution makes a lot of sense. Increasing manufacturing staff productivity with an empowered workforce is a major reason to implement mobile warehouse management in Dynamics Business Central.
Some manufacturers have very similar looking products and can easily make an error when shipping. I have seen this with a number of different businesses (mattress manufacturing, motor and pulleys, etc.) and it can quickly become an incredibly costly mistake. Within the Dynamics 365 system, there is no way to force a user to pick the right product. Adding a simple barcode system that checks to make sure the shipper is selecting items designated for that particular order can fix this problem. These types of errors don’t always require a full end-to-end warehouse management system to solve. In LEAN manufacturing speak, they need a simple Poke-Yoke solution only - which can be done with barcoding.
For more information on warehouse management, check out our latest blog post on "4 Mistakes Dynamics 365 Manufacturers Make Implementing Barcode Warehouse Management".
If you need help with a Business Central warehouse management, give us a call at: (519) 585-7524 x.45 or contact our team, we're excited to talk with you soon!