Being strategic with inventory flow is one of the keys to maintaining efficiency in warehouse management. As a controlling point of inventory in your supply chain, the warehouse ideally has a highly efficient Warehouse Management System (WMS) as a best practice measure. An inefficient, error-laden system in a warehouse often results in poor inventory management, shipping procedures, order fulfilment, and customer satisfaction, making an overall warehouse experience a nightmare for many businesses.

Improving a warehousing experience can be achieved through building an intelligent warehouse with optimisation of space utilisation, automation and returns management processes. While a business owner can go through the lengthy process and often a painful learning curve, using an experienced and professional 3PL in Sydney can assist by providing best practice services from the beginning.

Learn 5 ways to improve your warehouse management experience and inventory flow with a 3PL in Sydney.

1) Gain intelligent warehouse solutions

Warehousing forms a very critical link in any supply chain and requires efficient management of all current operations as well as future supply chain plans. This includes physical flow planning, coordinating staff, an effective IT network incorporating scanning and deploying the right management systems to run the operation most efficiently. Intelligent warehousing (domestic and offshore) incorporates all these components while being able to scale up or down as per business demands. Likewise, they also pay attention to their relationships with sub-contractors to ensure a seamless process flow and uninterrupted supply chain experience is delivered.

With extensive experience, third party logistics providers located in Sydney and Brisbane have intelligent warehouse operations that can be modified, adapted or changed quickly in response to new business requirements, which enables the most critical part of your supply chain to work intelligently.

2) Improve space utilisation

The purpose of warehousing is to handle the estimated volumes and store a set number of products and unit loads optimally. In a warehouse, each square foot costs money and poor space utilisation can be very costly for your business.

Low vertical space utilisation, wide aisles, multiple products in single bin locations and/or partial unit loads being stored in full unit load locations are some examples of poor space management, which uses costly space and consumes extra time for operations. Such problems can be easily addressed by working with a 3PL in Sydney, that can assist in designing an efficient warehouse layout with the right storage and material handling system to ensure that your space utilisation is optimal at all times.

3) Achieve system driven replenishment cycles

As orders go through the picking process, the inventory of products decreases and products ideally are replenished in the warehouse for further sales and distribution. With thousands of products stored in a warehouse, monitoring inventory depletion and placing replenishment orders can become impossible to handle manually. In this scenario, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) is ideally smart enough to generate a replenishment order based on demand as soon as the inventory level of a specific product falls below a certain level. This also assists in accounting for inventory flow fluctuations and elasticity of demand throughout the year.

A 3PL in Sydney will aid you to design and tailor a WMS to work according to your set inventory routines so that stocks are maintained and replenished to the right levels at all times, improving your customer satisfaction and order fulfilment experience.

4) Incorporate returns management processes

No matter how many quality practices you embrace, the return of products is inevitable. This means you must have reverse flow processes in place for these products in your supply chain. For distribution centres and/or warehouses, these act as supplementary costs that require financial and labour resources to handle the returns.

A 3PL in Sydney can carefully analyse the re-sales, repairs, or return value and incorporate it as a process to be handled within the WMS. This greatly assists in having better inventory controls in place and ensures efficient processing of returns takes place.

5) Accomplish customer satisfaction with automated billing

Smart businesses know that customer service and satisfaction are top priorities for any business. Handling warehouse related transactions at an individual unit level (store/factory/customer) will boost satisfaction without burdening the business with additional bottom-line costs. A Sydney 3PL understands the amount of time spent on billing and provides automated billing solutions that allow you to track and record all inventory movements and status in the order fulfilment process at the unit level. This automated billing and recording is likely to assist in improving efficiencies and satisfaction but also identifies hidden operational costs, which may be overlooked without these checks in place.

Warehouse operations are the critical link in any supply chain, which can have a huge impact on your supply chain performance. Responsible for storing and managing inventory, the warehousing function plays a major part in inventory flow optimisation and can lead to an unpleasant experience throughout your supply chain resulting in poor business performance and unsatisfied customers if not managed well. By working with an experienced and professional 3PL in Sydney, you are likely to gain the best practices warehouse experience for your supply chain.

BCR is an experienced 3PL provider and international freight forwarder that delivers customised solutions and options to business customers. With 3PL warehouses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Townsville and Cairns and a global network with offices in over 100 countries and 6 continents, BCR is well-positioned to improve your supply chain.