two men in hard hats

Warehouse Security Protection: Part 2 – Physical Security

In the first part of this series, Warehouse Security Threats: Part 1 – Theft, we discussed the importance of warehouse security and how to protect your business against potential theft. In this second part, we will look at physical security measures that you can take to further safeguard your warehouse. These measures include installing security cameras, using alarm systems, and other safety measures. By taking these precautions to improve warehouse security, you can help ensure that your warehouse is safe from unauthorized access and theft.

Assaults in the Workplace

menacing man with wrenchAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), workplace assaults resulted in 20,050 injuries and illnesses involving days away from work and 392 fatalities in 2020. Violence is actually the fifth leading cause of death in the workplace, with the deadliest incidents involving an active shooter. This alarming statistic should not be ignored by any warehouse or 3PL.

Examples of on-the-job violence in a warehouse can include criminal intent, customer or client, worker-on-worker, and domestic, which typically targets women. Managers and safety professionals at every workplace should develop a policy on violence that includes:

  • Staff training
  • Developing an emergency action warehouse security plan
  • Conducting mock training with local law enforcement
  • Adopting a zero-tolerance toward workplace violence and assaults.

Of course, there is no way to know if or when an assault could take place in your warehouse, however here are some behavioral signs to look out for:

  • A decline in job performance and/or unexplained absenteeism
  • Withdrawn, depressed, or makes comments about suicide
  • Resistance to change and accusations of unfair treatment
  • Evidence of excessive drug or alcohol abuse
  • Non-compliance with company policies
  • Severe emotional or mood swings
  • Paranoid delusions

It is important to be alert and pay attention to your warehouse employees. Encourage them to report any situations that could be a warehouse security risk to their supervisor or management. It could end up saving lives!

Intentional Damage or Destruction of Property


firefighters putting out warehouse fireThere are many ways to protect your warehouse, people, and contents from fires being set maliciously; aka arson. Make sure your warehouse security includes safety systems like foam suppression or sprinkler systems. Don’t forget about alarm buttons or additional lighting near potential points of entry so they can be activated if anything goes wrong.

Lead your warehouse security safety team to prepare employees for emergency situations by executing practice drills and evacuation instructions. Be sure to include an outside location for evacuation meet up to account for all employees on site. Being prepared with fire warehouse security measures can and will save lives if an emergency were to arise.


Posting signs notifying would-be vandals of warehouse security systems and installing security lighting fixtures with alarms attached to them will deter many crimes before they happen. It’s important to note that vandalism has far-reaching consequences. Those who commit the crimes often say their actions aren’t really harming anyone but rather just hurting property. This is far from the truth as property destruction leads to heavy emotional stress and financial losses.

Violence Against Your Physical Warehouse

Intentional destruction of your physical warehouse is often considered ideological violence. This type of attack more commonly comes in the form of riots or looting and can occur at any time with little warning. Warehouse security measures often overlook this threat form. It’s important that every warehouse, 3PL, or distribution center treat this threat with high priority, regardless of what you think might happen in the near future.

This type of terrorism occurs when certain individuals disagree about what the company represents, products carried by the business, or choices made by management, leading them into taking violent actions against the facility. It could lead to millions of dollars of damage if it happens. It’s important to protect yourself AND your employees from these crimes by consulting a security expert on warehouse security who’ll help set precautions and protocols.

Unapproved Facility Access

Theft or Loss of Secure Entry Badge

If someone steals or loses an employee’s badge, it can become a big headache for warehouse security and is a cause for alarm. Scannable ID cards are a great way to control facility access, however, it is not infallible because activated badges still allow access to the warehouse. It is important to inform your workers that they should notify management immediately if this threat to warehouse safety happens so that new employee IDs can be issued while deactivating old badges’ access.

Robberies or Unlawful Entry

hand on door handleOwners are in danger of being robbed when they let their guard down on 3PL or warehouse security. Robberies can happen at any time, especially during off-hours with little human contact. However, unauthorized access for a robbery doesn’t always happen when a facility is closed which can put employees in danger’s way whether it is for company property or employee personal items.

Alarms and/or cameras should be installed and monitored so you can be notified of a situation and for documentation of a crime afterward. Be sure you have a warehouse security plan in your company policy so employees are aware of proper procedures to take in case of a break-in.

Outside Guests

Visitors will come to your warehouse more often than one might expect. Whether they are customers, delivery personnel, or personal guests they all need to be tracked through a visitor logbook and issued badges limiting access to protected areas. An electronic logbook will create databases for reports to keep track of who was visiting and what type of visit each person had. This information can help your warehouse better manage warehouse security measures and resources, and identify the employees responsible for a particular visit while protecting your facility, employees, and inventory.

Hold-the-Door Access

Holding the door open for someone and a person ‘sneaking’ in behind you are two different ways that unauthorized people can enter your facility. Someone can follow an authorized staff member into the warehouse without their knowledge. An employee could unwittingly hold the door open for someone who – by design – has their hands full carrying equipment or even a box of donuts and a cup of coffee! If your warehouse security includes a one-badge scan system instead of a carousel gate this could be a vulnerable point in entryways. It is important to train all staff on proper security policies to avoid such non-compliant situations.

Unintentional Situations

Severe Weather

The weather is unpredictable and can cause a variety of problems for your warehouse or 3PL. Natural disasters like fires, hurricanes, or tornadoes take away precious work time while also risking employee job loss if your facility suffers damage. To avoid disruption during these times it’s important that you have emergency preparedness plans along with a disaster relief agenda so downtime will be minimal.

You may think that your company’s supply chain is safe from the effects of climate change, but according to a recent study by Harvard Business Review. Nearly 80% percent have no alternative facilities lined up or emergency business plans in case a disaster strikes. The study suggests that a manufacturer, 3PL, or warehouse will quickly recover if it has a functional business continuity plan.

A business emergency plan going forward should cover crisis management protocols, supplier and customer communications, disaster recovery, and insurance. Be sure to communicate with your customers, suppliers, and other leaders in the warehousing industry to plan for any possible weather-related risks.

Accidents, Equipment Failure, or Urgent Situations

coffee spilled on computer keyboardHazards are a given in any warehouse. Employees could spill beverages on critical tech equipment, a facility’s sprinkler system could malfunction, or security systems could crash affecting the entire building and rendering quite a bit of damage. In order to circumvent any unexpected damage to your inventory or equipment it is important that you have warehouse security system policies and plans in place.

Regular equipment and policy adherence inspections can aid your warehouse’s physical security. Be sure your company makes preventative maintenance a priority to thwart future issues. Preventative maintenance is usually a given in any facility but may be pushed on the back burner if other priorities arise.

Update Warehouse Security for the Future

With today’s threats to public safety, it is more important than ever for 3PLs and warehouses to review security procedures regularly. Consider installing access badge systems so that only employees with appropriate clearance are able to enter the building and make sure each department has its own fire extinguisher available with appropriate training. Metal detectors or weapons detection systems should also be considered on a location-by-location basis. It is critical to maintain strict entry requirements both inside AND out by hiring reputable employees and working with trustworthy vendors.

tablet with security camera footageQuick list of security additions to consider:

  • Install entrance security doors
  • Log all visitors electronically
  • Fortify any windows with extra security
  • Review warehouse insurance policies on a regular basis
  • Make alarm panic buttons readily available to employees
  • Add internal and external security cameras with cloud backup
  • Install brighter lighting
  • Install a professional alarm system or upgrade as needed
  • Install weapons detection systems
  • Hire security guards and/or perform security checks at the close of business
  • Limit access with control systems and security cages
  • Use warehouse management system (WMS) software for inventory tracking

In order to protect your company from physical risks, it’s important to develop a facility security checklist and know how to conduct an in-depth physical assessment of your warehouse or 3PL.

We’ll cover more about cyber security in part three of this series so stay tuned! In the meantime, contact Logimax today for questions about our WMS and cloud services.

Worker scanning a return in warehouse

How to Maintain Order and Process Returns in the Warehouse Efficiently

Product returns are always a hassle. Whether it’s due to shipment damage, product malfunction, or product recall, managing returns effectively is essential for 3PLs and warehouses. One of the biggest challenges when handling returns is keeping employees’ labor-intensive tasks well organized. Through automated processing and integration with external systems, your 3PL warehouse management system (WMS) software should be easy for employees to use and track stock to process returns efficiently.  

Your Logistics Software is Key

WMS software is the backbone of any distribution center, and it can help you maintain order and efficiently process returns. With a powerful, easy-to-use warehouse management system, you will be able to track all inventory from initial arrival to shipping orders out the door. And since your WMS also handles returns or recalls, you can make decisions based on real-time data rather than estimates or guesses. 

The best 3PL WMS software should supply product information and traceability for every single item moving in or out of your facility. This includes inventory location assignments, product expiration dates, and lot numbers. Lot and expiration date details should automatically be tied to each item’s barcode since all inventory transactions require a scan. Warehouses whose WMS supports radio frequency and barcode labeling can leverage their wireless network to experience dramatic increases in inventory accuracy, picking accuracy, and productivity.  

Efficient logistics operations are vital to product returns and recalls. The best WMS software from Logimax optimizes efficiency by:  

  • Automatically sorting single or batch orders by date 
  • Measuring user productivity against established time standards 
  • Automatically enforcing product consolidation and rotation based on item and location rules 

WMS Software Can Help with Labor Savings 

All return and recall processing rules can be pre-set and tracked through your WMS softwareLogimax can even work with your HR system via advanced metrics to preplan and optimize workflow to track labor hours. Utilizing barcoded employee badges and asset/equipment tags, 3PL warehouses can easily trace employee time and attendance, labor and equipment costs for returns, and how long employees and equipment are assigned to activities. With the WMS software and your HR system working together, you will know exactly how high your labor costs are per task and can make any future accommodations for better productivity.   

Instituting Return Procedures 

Return guidelines are usually specified by each customer based on their requirements. However, 3PL warehouses always implement a standard set of procedures for returned goods because you must have a set way of physically handling and processing inbound returns. Every step in the process can be stored in Logimax’s WMS software for full return traceability. 

1.  Receiving Returned Inventory

A Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) or Return Goods Authorization (RGA) form should always be filed prior to the initial product return. These forms can easily be generated and sent using a web client portal. Customer name, return authorization date, order number, and carrier tracking number are pieces of information usually included. On arrival at the warehouse, the shipment is compared to the RMA/RGA for accuracy. Once received into the WMS system, returned products should be marked accordingly and moved to the inspection area.

2.  Inspecting Returns

When you receive a returned item, it’s important to be thorough in your quality inspection process. There are a few different things you’ll want to check for: 

  • Carton and product damage 
  • Product expiration dates 
  • Product tags, including barcodes and stickers 
  • Any other markings on the product or packaging that may indicate tampering or reconditioning 

Food items cannot be resold once returned. Log these returns immediately and dispose of the food product accordingly. Return damaged or malfunctioning products to the manufacturer or destroy them per customer instructions, recycling procedures, and governing agency guidelines.   

3.  Repacking Inventory

Non-food products can be resold if the item is not damaged or malfunctioning and damage is only to the packaging. These items can usually be repacked and added back into inventory with a new SKU assigned to note that it was previously returned. These items are sometimes offered at discounted prices — as warehouse deals or opened box discounts. Repacks occur either at the warehouse facility or the manufacturer depending on the 3PL warehouse partnership.  

Procedures for Recalls

Distributors and 3PLs both can be incredibly valuable to brands in managing their product recalls. During a recall, a warehouse must be able to provide complete life cycle information on affected SKUs, including lot number and expiration date. It’s vital that the warehouse is aware of what recalled inventory is in-house, quantities shipped out already and to whom, and how much recalled product is yet to be received.  As a general rule, recall procedures should include: 

  • Report all prior shipments of recalled products to your client. 
  • Immediately put a hold on all of the recalled SKUs. No product marked for recall should be allocated or shipped, even if it is on the staging dock. 
  • Assign a segregated area of the warehouse for recalled products. For better visual identification, indicate the area with appropriate signage and mark items with hold tags. 
  • Alert customers. This may be done by the manufacturer or distributor depending on procedural recall assignments. Customer communication typically is in the form of an email and sometimes accompanied by a press release. 
  • Do not receive any additional recalled product from the manufacturer even if it is on order.  
  • Change the class code of the recalled product SKU for potential ordering, picking, receiving (returned), or destroying under specified guidelines and regulations.  
  • Generate and issue appropriate reports to the client. 
  • Some clients may require a mock recall as part of their partnership with the warehouse to ensure that the process will run smoothly, should a recall occur.  

Trends in Returned Products

Logimax WMS software can also aid your clients in identifying trends in returns by generating customized reports. These can include which products have been returned, why, when, and how often over select periods of time. This is particularly helpful in identifying future recalls, uncovering packaging or shipping issues and problems, and highlighting possible product defects or opportunities for improvement. The ability to provide this information to your clients gives your business a huge advantage. 

Because the supply chain is built on relationship building and cooperation between your 3PL warehouse and customers, look into finding the right technological solutions for your inventory tracking. Make your returns processes more effective by integrating the best software for warehouse management systems from Logimax. 

three people shaking hands in warehouse

How to Get More Warehouse Customers and Keep the Ones You Have

A primary goal for any business is to keep their current customers and increase the bottom line with new sales. Logistics companies are no different. You secured and have kept your current customers for a reason – you’re doing a great job overall. Whether your facility offers services designed to address an industry’s unique needs or is an expert in managing supply chain logistics, it’s important to know what your business is best at and to promote it. Do your current customers and prospects know all of your capabilities? If you promote your strong points, your company can maintain a competitive edge over other warehouses serving the same market, resulting in maximum customer satisfaction and increased growth. 

Identify What Makes Your Warehouse Different from the Others

It is extremely important to define your position in the market. You don’t want to end up lost in a saturated market of indistinguishable and interchangeable warehouses in the eyes of prospective and current customers. Emphasize how your company is different and highlight the specifics. 

Value-Added Services 

Compile a complete list of all value-added services your business offers and pick out the strong points. Are you experts in logistics and freight or a fierce price negotiator? Are you a go-to for high-volume distribution customers? Do you offer on-site kitting and assembly or repacking and rebranding? Are you known for efficiency at processing returns or managing recurring subscription shipments? Say so! Use your proven track record and customer service ratings to your advantage. 

Capabilities of Your WMS Software

Obviously, not all warehouses use the same warehouse management system (WMS) software or the same software provider. In addition, even the best WMS software companies do not all provide the same features and services. Highlight the unique features of your warehouse system and how the flexible features can be utilized to address each of your clients’ needs. Items important to a prospective warehouse customer might include customized and itemized billing, automated and custom reporting, 24/7 access to inventory and online ordering, top-notch security, error-free operation (enhanced by the use of auto-ID equipment), and system up-time. Perhaps most important is that your system offers easy integration with their preferred shopping cart as well as other external tools like EDI, WCS, accounting, and billing. 


Nobody wants to choose a high-priced warehouse that doesn’t have a proven track record of success for its clients. Let your current and prospective customers know how partnering with your business can actually save them money. One obvious way to prove savings is by highlighting your capability to remove the client’s logistics burden through your industry expertise. Examples could include noting your ability to negotiate shipping prices, high picking accuracy, maximum operational flow, or tiered storage options. However, businesses are also looking to work with trustworthy companies. Seth Rothbard, franchise owner of InXpress adds that “Choosing a logistics partner shouldn’t just be based on the cost, as there will always be a cheaper option somewhere out there. The trust factor is what one needs to be looking for in a reliable partner.” 

Invest in Being the Best

Highlight how your warehouse invests in continual capital and operational improvement. Examples of key growth areas of interest to customers include employee training, installing and updating the best WMS software, technology and machinery investments, accreditations, quality processes, and physical warehouse facility improvements. 

Educate Customers: Can They Increase Sales by Partnering with You?

The benefit of partnering with your warehouse isn’t only about relieving the logistics burden from the customer directly. It also opens doors for them to increase sales. Be sure to inform your current and prospective customers about how your logistics services, combined with your WMS software, can lead to increased profits for them.

One of the biggest benefits for a customer is scalability in the warehouse. They have the advantage of being flexible with inventory levels seasonally and monitoring products with specific life cycles. In addition, and thanks to the expert knowledge your warehouse provides, a customer is able to ship from anywhere, even breaking into the international market and expanding their footprint globally. Highlight the technological advantages your warehouse provides, thanks to your WMS software system, to quickly and efficiently ship products. This helps increase their client’s customer satisfaction rating. All of the aforementioned, combined with the in-depth knowledge your operation brings to the table for each customer, can save them money and increase sales. 

Promote Your Warehouse on the Web

Times have changed quite a bit from industry events, large conferences, and annual trade shows. They are making a comeback; however, the pandemic has made online marketing more important than ever. Warehouses that have harnessed the power of internet marketing have a distinct advantage over their competition. Here are a few tips on how you can increase your warehouse’s online footprint. 

Your Website

Your company website should offer a plethora of information for prospects searching for a new warehouse partner. Be sure all listed information is easy to find and clear, as well as includes your areas of expertise, accreditations, and industry uniqueness on subpages. However, don’t forget about the contact information basics. Contact information should always be easy to find. A Call to Action (CTA) should also be included on the site in more than one place. This can be achieved through call-outs like Contact Us For More Information or Click Here For An Overview. To garner more interest, include customer reviews and testimonials. Given all of the above, be sure to enhance your SEO through keywords and backlinks to increase your 3PL warehouse website’s rankings. 

Social media

Social media isn’t just for teenagers and celebrities. It can benefit your business too! You can find leads or communicate with customers through a Facebook or LinkedIn page. It’s important to note that social media requires prospect engagement on the company’s part. Encourage customers to share their positive experiences with your warehouse, important industry information, or share your informative blog posts. In addition, select company employees can become active in groups or pages. As they interact with current and prospective customers, it often leads to increased company awareness, referrals, and new business. 

Paid and Unpaid Campaigns

Another way to scout for leads is by utilizing internet campaigns, either paid or unpaid. Unpaid campaigns include emailing your current customers and prospects about your warehouse’s latest accomplishments or services. Paid campaigns can come in the form of search engine ads (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) or social media advertising (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.). Both types are built on a pay-per-click format. That means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Be sure that link goes to the first page you want them to see (it might not be your home page) and where they can take action. When entering into a paid campaign agreement, always target your specific geographic market so you don’t waste money promoting your services to companies too far away to be real prospects. 

To summarize, if you want to attract new warehouse customers and keep the ones you have, you must make a strong case for why they should partner with you over your competitors. Don’t be afraid to highlight what makes your warehouse unique, including the features enabled by your warehouse management system software. To find out how Logimax’s WMS software can help you retain customers and gain more leads, contact us today! 

Warehouse managers and worker talking in a large warehouse

9 Considerations When Choosing the Right WMS System for your Warehouse

Whether you are in the market for a warehouse management system (WMS) or are looking to replace the outdated one you already have, you likely know the benefits of having one manage your operation.

A fully functional WMS gives you greater e-commerce capabilities, gives you better control of your inventory and production process, improves efficiency and speed, and delivers data in real time to help you determine future improvements.

But how do you choose the right WMS for you? The market is jammed with WMS at different price points and capabilities. Here’s how to sort through them to determine which one is best suited for what you need now.

  1. Identify the ROI. How much tangible savings do you expect? You know a WMS will help save labor costs and help you better utilize warehouse space, among other benefits. But to what extent are the savings you need to see? What are the intangible savings?
  2. Determine capability. Are you a single warehouse operator or do you operate multiple locations? Are they all within the U.S. or are some across the border? Figure out which company has a track record of integrating multiple locations, of coordinating multi-facility inventory and split shipment of customer orders?
  3. Direct to customer capability. If your business deals with direct to customer, or e-commerce selling, you’ll want a WMS that specializes in both. They’ll need an interface to e-commerce order processing and small order pick, pack, and ship options, among other things. Pick a WMS that has a track record of functionality in this space.
  4. Flexibility is a must. You may know what your operation needs now, but what about the future? What happens if you get into e-commerce and now you’re dealing with different outbound carriers, higher returns, and other variables you hadn’t anticipated? Get a WMS that has the flexibility to work in all environments and can accompany all order profiles.
  5. Plenty of picking. Any WMS expands your picking options, but what are your requirements? Do you need pick to list, pick to box, zone picking, wave picks, pallet picking, etc.? See which WMS accommodates the kind of picking you need for your operation; you’ll also want a WMS that is flexible enough to handle a range of picking in case you need it in the future.
  6. Carrier capability. Determine which options are available regarding carriers. How well does the WMS you are considering interface with your preferred carriers? What kind of options does the WMS give you to support different configurations for printing shipping invoices, and more? If the WMS does not accommodate your carrier of choice, does it integrate with another system that can?
  7. SaaS or on-premise. Do you want a WMS that is installed into your system or a subscription-based system that exists in the cloud? There are pros and cons to each. The fully licensed model requires hardware, software, professional maintenance, IT support, and more while the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is more affordable but less secure. Questions to ask are: Which one provides customization? Which has better support? What are the long-term costs versus short-term and is it worth it to invest in a system that might grow your business over many years versus one that will solve your problems now?
  8. Inventory management. Any good WMS will track inventory to give you better accuracy. However, you’ll want one that is comprehensive and can create an audit trail of every location of items, from receipt through shipping; look into how the WMS tracks inventory and make sure that every transaction shows the date, operator, and has a time stamp.
  9. Support matters. What kind of support does your vendor offer? Is there someone available 24/7 or just during certain hours? Which level of support is included and which level is not? What does the support cover? What does it take to have someone onsite or is all the support online by phone? Determine the relationship you’ll have with the vendor post-installation to make sure it aligns with your comfort level moving forward.

Want to explore a warehouse management solution that fits your business? Visit or call (855) 253-8855 to set up a demo or to learn more about our WMS and 3PL software.

How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management Solution – Part I

Knowing what to look for when selecting your warehouse management solution (WMS) can feel overwhelming. But using the steps here can help you choose the best WMS for your organization’s specific needs.

Read on, as we cover the first steps in our two-part series: How to Choose the Right WMS Software. 

1. Analyze Your Current Operations

First, look objectively at your current logistics operations. Where are you strong? These areas can be leveraged for a quick fix that optimizes what’s already working. Now, look at which areas in your operation are weak and need to be improved.

To figure both of these out, think about the following:

  • Existing hardware scalability/reliability
  • Current business processes
  • Your warehouse layout
  • Latest e-business capabilities
  • Your process for allocating staff and other resources
  • Any customer feedback and comments you’ve received

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Use your findings from the exercise above to first list, then prioritize, what specific technology requirements you need or want in your WMS

2. Identify/Prioritize Requirements

During your search, you’ll come across and evaluate multiple WMS software platforms with features and functions that may sound impressive, but may not be beneficial to your organization. The list you create can help ensure you’re on track. It will keep you focused.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Don’t forget post-implementation support as a requirement…over the life of your solution, it’s the support that could make or break your satisfaction. 

3. Allocate Budget

Be wary about spending more than what you truly need for your organization. Determine (and stick to!) a budget you can realistically afford. Your budget should cover all costs. Think about everything: hardware (server/RF); software (don’t forget user licenses), services (implementation/modification), maintenance/support, etc.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > You may also want to consider leasing options. 

4. Define Timeline

Timelines are one of the most essential parts of preparing any project plan. Figure out your end date and work backwards.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Mentally prepare your team for the road ahead (get buy-in by explaining the benefits). And don’t forget to give both customers and vendors notice of any upcoming switches.  

5. Delegate Roles

It’s always best to have one primary project manager. Clearly define all roles and requirements, and be sure to give explicit authority to act from senior management. This can drastically improve both efficiency and effectiveness of the planning process throughout the project, ensuring communication and consistency across all points.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > The project manager should also be the primary liaison between software vendors you invite to respond to your RFP and your organization.

6. A WMS Experience & Designed for Your Industry

If you’re a 3PL provider, choose a WMS solution specifically designed for multi-customer logistics management.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > It may seem more difficult, but a modified WMS will simply not do the job as well for 3PLs. 

Check out the upcoming part two in our series to get more helpful tips on how to choose the right WMS software for your operation. 

Want to see us in action? Schedule a demo today!

two workers pointing at tablet

Keep Your WMS Up-to-Date: 5 Considerations

Distributors, 3PLs, and manufacturers have had more than enough challenges on their hands recently. It’s no surprise if you haven’t had time to focus on your warehouse management system (WMS) inadequacies. If you find that your system can’t keep up with the ever-changing demands of everyday product fulfillment, now is the time to contemplate investing in your WMS. Consider the following five key recommendations to keep your business operating efficiently and your WMS operations up-to-date. 

1.  Saving Time and Money Through Self-Service

Have you provided key stakeholders with the ability to view inventory online? If you haven’t already provided inventory and ordering access to your sales team and customer base, you are in need of an upgrade. Instead of wasting time on phoned-in stock checks, manual order entry, and paper proofs of delivery, it could all be done electronically 24/7 without CSR assistance, via self-service web access. The drastic improvement in efficiency and increase in value-added customer service will save your staff tons of time which, of course, equals money. The end result gives your business an added advantage over competitors that may not offer these WMS best practices. 

2.  Offering E-commerce and Online Access

While e-commerce may not have been the first choice for end-customers to order products prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it sure is now. Many brick-and-mortar companies were forced to close their storefronts during the majority of the past two years. This led to an increase in online ordering because it was the only option for companies to place products directly into consumers’ hands and, in many cases, it still is. Does your WMS system readily handle the intricacies of processing e-commerce orders? Does it operate efficiently? If not, you are well overdue for a much-needed upgrade. Consider Logimax’s digital offerings, a cloud-based system built on the super-secure IBM platform, for online sales orders that will give your company new superpowers in e-commerce. 

3.  Fixing Operational and Security Issues Before It’s Too Late

What worked in the past is not always what will work in the future. So, while your current WMS system has worked for your 3PL or warehouse, are you prepared for the future of the industry? Experiencing glitches or software system crashes is a huge red flag in the logistics and distribution industry. Do you even know if your firewall is secure? Nothing is more important than being able to conduct or complete daily customer orders without WMS system errors, viruses, or, worse yet, a complete shutdown due to a ransomware demand. If your core system cannot provide you with reliable operational stability, you should have your IT infrastructure evaluated for security, speed, and industry best practices.  

4.  Keeping Your Company’s ERP/WMS System Up-to-Date

A WMS systems expert should be constantly monitoring your current ERP and/or WMS software system and identifying much-needed improvements. A WMS system that has not been updated on a regular basis will not run as efficiently or be able to incorporate the latest hardware. Your software provider should be interacting with your company regularly to identify areas to streamline and/or upgrade functionality. Whether it’s an add-on module or a regularly scheduled software update, you may be surprised at what your system is now able to do. Logimax provides annual software updates and system reviews to ensure that your 3PL, warehouse, or manufacturing facility is operating effectively. 

5.  Investing a Little Now Rather Than Paying More Later

Every business is watching its finances like a hawk daily, be it operating or capital expenditures. However, if you are holding off on needed WMS software or hardware enhancements that can provide you with a competitive edge, you could end up harming your bottom line directly. Consistent software upgrades are vital to maintaining working WMS systems properly, increasing best-in-service practices, and saving valuable employee time. Newer feature add-ons, whether software or hardware, can pay off very quickly. Consider adding Logimax Wireless Task Automation or integrating Varsity Logistic’s ShipSoft with Logimax WMS to give your company the upper hand. 

As a 2021 Top 3PL provider, you can rely on next-generation software and hardware solutions from Logimax. To learn more about our browser-based solutions for 3PLs, warehouses, and manufacturers, click here. 

Warehouse with conveyor, icons showing different processes

3 Major 3PL Supply Chain Challenges for 2022

2021 was a rough year for everyone, including the product distribution industry. So what does 2022 have in store for the industry now? More problems, of course! Any business involved in product distribution and third-party logistics (3PL) is facing new challenges to get their products to customers in a timely fashion. The general public is still seeing bare shelves in stores and suppliers are struggling to provide inventory to fill the void. Adding new issues to the already ongoing industry problems has been quite a hurdle for manufacturers, warehouses, and retailers alike.

Adding New Problems to Old

Transportation Freight Fright

After taking a hard hit over the past two years, the number of trucks on the road is still not adequate to meet industry demands. Transportation leaders have been working around the clock to increase the number of truck drivers to pre-COVID levels through incentives including sign-on bonuses and other perks. Approximately one million truck drivers will need to be replaced over the next decade according to the American Truck Driver Association’s 2021 Driver Shortage Update. The forecast is based on gender and age, as well as expected freight growth trends in driver demographics. Over the past two years, labor shortages in the shipping industry led to fewer trucks for available distribution methods.

And then there is the unrelenting torrential weather. From tornadoes and unprecedented rains to crippling ice and snow, 2022 has witnessed record-breaking storms and floods that have shut down several regions of the U.S. Making winter months even more challenging, the higher frequency and increasing magnitude of these weather patterns are being seen from coast to coast resulting in additional shipping delays.

Help Wanted

Moving products in the supply chain takes people to make it happen. 2020 worldwide shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of people hitting the unemployment line. However, when health restrictions lifted and businesses reopened, many former employees did not go back to their old jobs. This resulted in service, retail, shipping, manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution employment gaps. “The warehouses and distribution centers, those staff were laid off,” said Port of New York and New Jersey deputy Bethann Rooney in a recent Cheddar News article. “They went on unemployment and it’s been very slow to get them back into the workplace,” she added.

To add insult to injury, massive sick-outs are now being felt from the worldwide spread of the Omicron and other emerging variants. All industries have been impacted, leaving businesses with no choice but to rely on overworked skeleton crews or reduce hours of operation. As more and more employees choose to pursue different career paths, commonly referred to as the ‘Great Resignation,’ employers have experienced major gaps in sustainable labor. In an article from The Seattle Times, owner Stewart Leonard Jr. of northeast United States supermarket chain Stew Leonard’s stated, “Everyone is hit with a shortage of labor…Some because of the Great Resignation, but a lot of it is the Omicron surge.”

Pipeline Backup…Again

Although slowly clearing out the backlogs, United States ports are still having problems moving products off the docks. It’s not just about full containers and ships sitting in line at sea anymore. Manufacturers are also playing catch-up and filling backorders while trying to juggle new orders and distribution. Some cities have now shut down factories due to spikes in COVID transmission in China and the United Kingdom, resulting in a reduction of goods imported into the U.S. yet again.

Not everything is doom and gloom. Let Logimax help relieve your stress, with an evaluation of your warehouse management system software today.

workers in warehouse

How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management Solution – Part 2

There’s no question that selecting the correct WMS software for your needs can be extremely difficult to do. Yet it remains one of the biggest decisions warehouse managers or anyone else in your organization can possibly ever make.

Given the stakes, it’s important to have a resource like this two-part guide to help you select the best possible option.

Read on, as we cover the final steps to finding the warehouse management solution that will make everything, from ordering to operations, run more smoothly.

Did You Miss Part I? Catch up now:
How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management Solution – Part I

6. Keep Integration in Mind

Spend at least some time looking into how a WMS will integrate into your existing systems – think about transportation, accounting/financials and any other enterprise system you currently use.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Talking to a vendor’s current software customers is a great way to dig deeper into how easy the integration and interface experience was when they switched.

7. Call References and (if Possible) Make Visits

The best way to figure out how great a software solution is, is by simply looking to other companies who use it. Of course every WMS vendor will tell you they’re the best, but the proof is in what others are going to tell you. Take the time to call and, if possible, visit.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Identify a list of questions to ask customers regarding the implementation methodology and timeframe. Questions to ask could include:

  • How are issues handled?
  • Is their staff knowledgeable and helpful?
  • Did they take time to understand your business?
  • Have modifications been difficult?
  • Is the solution you received was what you expected?
  • Etc.

8. Really Look at the Software Provider

History can tell us a lot about an industry provider. In the age of the internet, when companies can present themselves any way they want to, it’s easy to be deceived. Keep in mind, the biggest company isn’t necessarily the best.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > There are a number of indicators that can give you insight into how well a WMS will fit your needs. Ask any software provider you’re considering things questions like:

  • How long have you been in business? 
  • Is distribution and logistics software your primary specialty? 
  • Do you have strong, long-lasting partnerships with hardware providers? 
  • Are you economically strong?
  • Etc.

9. Compare Strengths and Weaknesses

By now, you likely have a shortlist of WMS providers you’re considering. You probably also have a pretty clear idea of your needs and what any deal breakers are. Time to compare WMS solutions against each other. To make this a worthwhile exercise, simply list out the pros and cons for each solution you’re considering. Weigh them next to one another and you’ll be able to quickly (and effectively) redline any WMS software that won’t be the best fit.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Evaluate: how each solution meets, exceeds or falls short of what you’re looking for. Review your requirements for a solid WMS investment.

10. Evaluate Software License Agreements

Yes, it can feel burdensome to review licensing agreements, but it’s also something that must be done. Cutting through all the legal paperwork and terminology in those agreements is certainly not most people’s idea of fun, but it just might save you a lot of money and frustration. After all, licensing agreements tend to contain some very serious information within them regarding how software may be used. If you’re not taking the time to look through licensing line by line, you’re probably going to miss something important.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS TOP TIP > Not sure what to look for in a licensing agreement? At the most basic level, you want to know if contracts are fair and reasonable – for both parties. 

Want to see us in action? Request Product Info today!

laptop screen with graphs

9 Benefits of Warehouse Management Software

The right WMS software can make it possible for your operation to run more efficiently, effectively and smoothly.

Looking for the right software solution for your warehouse? Keep the following benefits in mind when you’re evaluating any new WMS software.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #1: Highly accurate order fulfillment

WHY YOU NEED IT: The right WMS software optimizes the omnichannel experience to make order management possible across all of your sales channels. Labor and inventory tracking allows you to carry out every task related to fulfillment, with enhanced speed and accuracy. Make it easy, fast and safe for your customers to get your products in their hands. Eliminate missed deadlines, late shipments, missing product and the dreaded customer returns.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #2: Optimized picking and shipping

WHY YOU NEED IT: First and foremost, your software should allow you to identify what and where product is located. The right comprehensive picking tools mean you can easily and seamlessly define the steps to prepare and pack goods. Most importantly, specific instructions can be set so moves and transfers can be optimized to ensure efficiency.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #3: Faster Delivery Times

WHY YOU NEED IT: Once warehouse operations are streamlined and you have increased transparency, delivery times can be drastically reduced. The right WMS means you have a system in place that:

  • Increases efficiency
  • Allows inventory to be packed
  • Automatically generates invoices and packing lists
  • Informs other locations about pending deliveries with advanced shipment notifications

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #4: More Efficient Labor Management

WHY YOU NEED IT: A WMS’s labor management tools can increase employee efficiency in the warehouse using key performance indicators (KPIs). This can better-ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner. Lot zoning and task allocation let you streamline employee workflows so tasks can be carried out while expenses are tracked and employee theft is minimized.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #5: Increased Visibility

WHY YOU NEED IT: Your WMS should increase visibility of any order’s status in real-time, with virtually 100 percent accuracy. Automated data collection through the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanning and/or barcoding means users can easily follow order status.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #6: Optimize Your Storage Space

WHY YOU NEED IT: A great WMS means it’s possible to design workflow, picking logic and bin slotting throughout your organization and warehouse. Use your space more efficiently, so you can quickly adjust for seasonality variances.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #7: Minimize Your Inventory Movement

WHY YOU NEED IT: Managing inventory is critical, especially in a warehouse environment. Your warehouse management system should allow you to:

  • Increase warehouse accuracy and visibility
  • Track and place inventory in the correct location
  • Cut costs by minimizing unnecessary inventory movement
  • Allow workers to carry out tasks and responsibilities more quickly

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #8: Improve Dock and Yard Productivity

WHY YOU NEED IT: Managing truck movement in and out of yards or loading docks with real-time tracking that shows up-to-date locations of trucks and trailers can dramatically cut down on time spent loading and unloading. Some WMS solutions even let you manage cross-docking, so you can also cut down on storage time.

WMS SOFTWARE BENEFIT #9: System Dependency and Security

WHY YOU NEED IT: There are many WMS software packages out there. What sets us apart is that Logimax runs on the IBMi platform on site or in the cloud. IBMi security is still the most reliable anti-malware, anti-hacking, 24/7 reliable platform available. This ensures your data is secure and accessible at all times.

Choosing the right warehouse management software doesn’t have to be hard. Knowing what to look for, and how to evaluate different systems is half the battle.

Ready to check out Logimax’s WMS software? Request a demo today!