The importance of data integrity in warehousing

Written by William Sudding
Created: 13 February 2018

the importance of data integrity in warehousing.jpegData integrity is the difference between being able to keep promises to end customers, or running around trying to find items you were sure you had in stock.

We all understand the chaos caused by having an incorrect inventory report. When an item is available to order, but it isn’t in the system, can’t be traced, or is out of stock, not only does the relationship with your customers take strain and impact your bottom line, but the sales teams who promote it are left with egg on their faces too.  

Keeping it Under Wraps

Instead of dealing with PR and social media nightmares in the wake of inefficient delivery mechanisms or stock shortages, it is best to look at the system you’re using and find out what is going wrong that causes these embarrassing issues.

It all starts with people.

Human Error in Inventory Management

Simple WMS systems provide a great solution to businesses who need a quick, digestible view of their inventory.

However, there are a few man-made problems with these that make it difficult to get an accurate view:

  • Delayed data input
  • Use of old information
  • Uncertainty around real-time stock quantities
  • Loss and shortages are flagged too late
  • Disconnects between various sales platforms
  • Distribution delays due to warehouse inefficiency

Not only does bad data cause information shortfalls and confusion, but it also goes hand in hand with space mismanagement, higher costs, and time wastage.

While human error in warehousing data management is unavoidable, there are ways to mitigate the problem, improve efficiency, and up the quality of data and the speed at which it is processed.

What should your data look like?

  • Real-time
  • All-inclusive
  • Related to actual product constraints
  • Integrated throughout the supply chain

Why?

Accurate inventory data is crucial to being competitive in the omnichannel space. With sales platforms available both online and in-store, your orders will be coming from multiple points, and distribution must cover consignment, online delivery, and outlet sales.

You need to track your inventory in real-time, through the supply chain, to avoid shortages to any one of those markets.

Warehousing management systems can give you a great view of your inventory that is supplemented by enhanced features and fully-integrated software, with a procedural guideline that allows you to make the most of the space, labour, and time available to you for any given requirement. Great data will tell you how best to pack your inventory logically and to suit your business’ needs.

The Benefits of Great Data from a Great WMS

A good warehouse management system should provide you with sound data that allows your business to respond to growing demands with flexibility and foresight.

Other benefits include:

  • Time-savings of up to 60% on the order cycle
  • Elimination of order shortfalls and over-selling
  • Inter-branch inventory comparison and management from one location
  • Reduced expenses through loss, client refunds, replacement and small order batches
  • Reduced labour costs
  • Simpler labour management with improved knowledge of demand
  • Reduced time expenditure
  • Valuable insights into current and future trends
  • Advance inventory planning and replenishment
  • Mathematical warehouse layouts for greater efficiency

These benefits not only improve the efficiency and profitability of your business, but allow you to make informed decisions about the supply, promotion, and distribution of your products, in advance.

Master data is a crucial element for a successful WMS implementation. Get the master data checklist as a guideline to reaching this goal.

Download Master Data Checklist


If your company is aiming for data integrity, you may also be interested in keeping up with industry benchmarks. Download this helpful checklist and ensure your business keeps up with industry benchmarks.

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