Optimizing Warehouse Management: 9 Key Reports You Shouldn’t Miss

Image of a woman with tablet in a warehouse with barcode scanner and clipboard in front of her.
A warehouse staffer evaluating WMS reports.

The significance of a seamless Warehouse Management System (WMS) cannot be undervalued in today’s fast-paced ecommerce and logistics sector. WMS is not merely a tool for monitoring inventory or managing space; it is a critical component for streamlining operations, boosting productivity, and maintaining impeccable customer service standards.

One of the standout features of a top-tier WMS is its capability to generate vital reports that provide insight into various facets of the warehouse. But are you truly harnessing this feature to its fullest?

Must-have WMS Reports

Reorder Reports:

A reorder report is used in inventory management to indicate when items in stock reach a specified minimum quantity, prompting a reorder to replenish the stock. This ensures that there’s no stock-out situation, and operations can continue without disruption. The value of reorder reports is that they alert sellers to restock products before they are depleted, ensuring a continuous flow of operations.

Stock Reports:

Stock reports provide an overview of current stock levels, and they allow sellers to see which employees did what and when. By understanding what products are in surplus and which are nearing depletion with a stock report, sellers can make informed buying decisions, minimize overstock costs, and optimize cash flow.

Purchase Reports:

This report shows both the quantity and value of goods on order, offering a glimpse into what will soon be hitting your warehouse floors. Beyond just numbers, by analyzing purchase trends, you make use of the data to negotiate terms with suppliers, anticipate future demand, and streamline your procurement processes to optimize your stock levels. 

Order Accuracy:

With the competitive nature of ecommerce, shipping an order without errors has never been more essential. Monitoring for discrepancies in items, quantities, or damaged goods is critical for maintaining customer trust. Make sure when your warehouse staff receives returns or finds damaged products, your team is marking them with the return codes, allowing you to see if there is a common theme. By regularly checking order accuracy, you can help identify supply chain issues, poor quality of items, or areas of improvement for staff when picking and packing orders.

Order Cycle Time:

Time is of the essence in logistics. Assessing the duration from the order receipt to its readiness for shipment provides insights into the efficiency of your warehouse processes. A shorter cycle time typically means quicker delivery timeframes, boosting customer satisfaction.

Warehouse Space Utilization:

An efficient warehouse maximizes space without clutter and knows exactly where products are located. This metric reflects how much of the available space is utilized through percentages/decimals, aiding in future space planning and storage strategies. Effective space management can lead to reduced operational costs.

Transfer Reports:

Monitor the movement of goods between different warehouse locations or departments within the warehouse. These reports help track products and ensure they reach the right place, reducing mishandling and losses. For example, if you want to track products at your 3PL warehouse, then you would create a bulk transfer order for that stock being moved. In the transfer order report, you would be able to see your inventory quantities of said location and where that inventory is stored: your internal warehouses, a 3PL, FBA, etc. 

Inventory Turnover Rate:

Inventory is the lifeblood of any warehouse operation. This report dives deep into how frequently your stock is being replaced, aiding in optimal profitability and ensuring smooth operations. By keeping a keen eye on turnover rates, you can gain invaluable insights for improved demand forecasting and refined inventory management.

Return Rate:

High return rates can be a symptom of underlying issues, whether they are related to order accuracy/picking mistakes, product quality, or external factors. To calculate this, you would divide the total number of returned orders by the number of shipped orders in that given month, giving you your percentage. By analyzing return percentages, strategies can be devised to reduce them, ultimately saving money and improving customer satisfaction.

Your Warehouse, Your Partner

Without the above reports, sellers would be missing out on important data for when they are making business decisions or when they are trying to identify areas of operational improvement. 

When reviewing the reports, if discrepancies arise or goals are missed, approach the situation collaboratively. Diagnose issues holistically and identify the root causes via data and with an open mind as much as possible. Sometimes, the challenges may originate from how your products are packaged or labeled, not staff misconduct. Other times, it can come down to process. Staying on top of data and reporting within your business is a way to enhance customer trust and satisfaction, reduce operational risks, and foster a smoother and more predictable ecommerce experience.

About Finale

When it comes to warehouse management, Finale stands out as a leader for ecommerce sellers. So much so, in fact, that Finale holds the highest rank of all solutions in a recent assessment of WMS providers. Offering a full reporting suite that provides valuable insights into your business, Finale empowers brands to fine-tune inventory and warehouse operations, from tracking stock levels to analyzing order accuracy. It’s not just about keeping up; it’s about staying ahead of the curve.

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