Softworx reports that a warehouse is a snapshot of the company’s active supply chain and the efficient delivery of contents to the warehouse is critical to the success of the channel.
Local logistics companies are beginning to compete more aggressively in the international software mar- ketplace and this increases the demand for advanced logistical software systems, says Thomson.
She says that on-the-spot inventory is vital to the efficiency of supply chain operations.
“Critical to the function of a warehouse is knowing the quantity, location and status of every single item of your inventory at any time.
“This information must be accurate and as up-to-date as possible, and be functioning in real time. “This means the logistics software invested in must be able to deliver on information beyond the warehouse’s doors that affect the functioning of the warehouse,” states Thomson.
She adds that the industry had a trend towards outsourcing logistics functions three to four years ago, but some companies have begun to internalise and bring this function back in-house.
“This is largely due to the fact that many companies’ physical logistics capabilities have improved. “Their businesses are also more mature, making them better able to adopt the latest technologies. “In this way, they increase efficiencies and drive their own costs down. “South African companies have traditionally preferred retaining as much control over their business processes and functions as possible. “Highly sophisticated, yet easy-to-use, logistics software is making this possible,” she explains.
Warehouse management can prove to be a nightmare for a novice to the process,
Thomson explains. “It’s all very good and well to know what item of stock is where in the warehouse, but stock that’s just sitting there is costing money.”
Advanced logistics play a significant role in this management process by facilitating a sound logistics system.
“Companies need tools that provide them with best practices for enhancing their logistics warehouse man- agement, while managing everything from work and task management to route management, if they want to benefit from lower operational costs, as well as increased profitability and greater accuracy,” explains Thomson.
Route and transport management is an unavoidable factor in an efficient supply chain process with constant fuel price increases and the traffic congestion on national roads.
“This means that logistics software must enable the user to essentially work backwards through the supply chain so as to identify problems as well as opportunities,” reckons Thomson.
She says that efficient time management is driv- ing more automation of functions for logistics software.
“By automating elements of warehousing processes, like bar coding, and planning where to pack goods, cross-docking and so forth, it frees up employees, who can be deployed far more product- ively elsewhere.”
A company can stock its warehouse in the most efficient way by using components such as demand planning, which entails the stacking of items based on demand trends.
The local industry promises to see a greater inflow and outflow of stock with the arrival of the Christmas season.
Advanced warehouse management applications will be under even more pressure to prove their worth to the supply chain industry, reports Softworx.
The comprehensive soft-ware applications on the market enable businesses to save money by working smarter as opposed to harder, concludes the business applications company.