Article | February 10, 2022
Employing Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) is the most effective method of streamlining and simplifying warehouse operations. Expanding businesses with immeasurable stock require well-designed warehousing systems that automate and precisely track all warehouse operations.
“Trade isn’t about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them.”
- C. J. Cherryh
The system that enables you to track everything in your warehouse, from inventory to staff activities, is the ideal example of a warehouse management system. In this article, we'll look at three different types of WMS and the criteria to consider when selecting the best WMS for your warehouse. Additionally, we will examine some examples and a comparison to assist you in selecting the best WMS.
Types of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
A standalone warehouse management system is the first of the list of WMS types. It provides features that make day-to-day warehouse operations more efficient. Companies may use these systems to track and regulate the flow of goods in and out of warehouses. This also simplifies complex warehouse operations such as receiving, put-away, replenishment, expiration date tracking, cycle counting, slotting, packing, auditing, and shipping. Standalone warehouse management systems may also include advanced features such as cross-docking and advanced analytics.
Supply Chain Execution Modules
WMS systems are a subset of supply chain management systems (SCM). Software for supply chain management may be used to handle everything from vendor relationships to corporate operations to risk assessment. Its primary objectives are to automate inventory management, material procurement, and product lifecycle management.
These warehouse management systems demand investment in supply chain planning tools with warehousing expertise. This is a popular option because it enables 3PL organizations to explore the substantial advantages of SCM. Combining WMS with other apps enables a high level of integration across various segments of the organization. It enables complete supply chain management, unlike standalone systems that focus exclusively on warehousing.
ERP is a complete software solution that integrates multiple systems' features. It includes applications for supply chain management, accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, and more. ERP is a solid choice for companies wishing to enhance their software systems. Businesses aspiring to stay ahead of competition and boost ROI should consider this powerful supply chain execution system with scalability.
Warehouse management is not just a key component of integrated ERP systems. This must be kept in mind while purchasing ERP software. Make sure the system you select has warehouse management features.
This form of warehouse management system is expensive. Due to its wide scope, ERP may replace many other software programs and consolidate activities. If you're unsatisfied with existing software solutions or wish to integrate them into one system, ERP may be the ideal alternative for you.
WMS supply chain modules and ERP integration allow warehouse management as part of a platform with greater capabilities. The first choice is whether to invest in a specialist WMS or a hybrid offering. The answer is based on your company's size and objectives.
Pointers to Consider While Selecting a WMS
Functions: Each WMS performs a distinct function. Certain WMS are tailored to particular types of businesses. Therefore, it is vital to know what you want and select accordingly.
Cost: It is the second critical factor to consider when selecting a WMS, keeping in mind the financial aspect. The cost of a WMS is determined by its complexity and the functions it provides.
Customer Needs: If you are using a WMS, it is important to be aware of its shortcomings. Based on that, you may determine customer needs and pick WMS functionalities to provide the best service. This point is about selecting and considering WMS functionalities from the perspective of the client.
Warehouse Size: WMS complexity grows with warehouse size since bigger warehouses require more features. So you must pick the functionalities based on the warehouse size.
Warehouse Management System Examples
NetSuite is a cloud-based suite of enterprise resource planning and accounting modules that is available in a variety of versions geared towards various client sizes. The multi-country, multi-currency edition is available as a separate module named OneWorld. NetSuite is known for its easy end-to-end functionality, which spans sales estimations through customer collection, as well as its end-to-end workflow management capabilities. NetSuite connects with shipping providers to provide unified order processing and fulfillment tracking, as well as a comprehensive audit trail.
Additionally, inventory and payroll administration, human capital management, financial planning, and revenue management are some other functions available. Additionally, NetSuite may be integrated with CRM and e-commerce platforms.
While NetSuite's comprehensive suite of services is geared for medium-sized firms and enterprises, a system tailored to the needs of smaller businesses may be constructed. Because it is modular and highly adjustable, the cost of implementation varies significantly based on the buyer's requirements.
Mobile RF barcode scanning
Easy to use
It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
Mobile Cycle Counting
Certain key business operations (e.g., sales tax/VAT) are absent
Returns authorization receipt
Contact information is visible
Has third party plugins
Thorough standard reports
Excellent at tracking financials and budgeting
Workforce and load management
Handle multiple business units
Fishbowl is inventory management software that is suited for small to medium-sized businesses, particularly those who use Quickbooks. It functions as a robust asset tracking tool that enables users to manage assets, goods, and stockpiles more conveniently and efficiently.
Because Fishbowl and Quickbooks are integrated seamlessly, they share the same information, which enables you to receive a more comprehensive and precise picture of your company's warehouse health. This also translates into thousands of dollars in savings because adopting Fishbowl ensures that your initial investment in Quickbooks is protected while gaining the benefits of integration.
Integration with QuickBooks
Offers free trial
It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
Integration with QuickBooks
Sales and buy orders can be generated in any currency
It comes with some ERP features but not an effective ERP solution
Generate work orders
Provides many plugin products
Doesn’t support native shipping and e-commerce module
Inventory and asset tracking across locations
On-premise installation is not available
Real-time inventory updates
Pick, pack and ship items
New barcode creation
Default and custom reports
3PL Warehouse Manager
3PL Central is a cloud-based solution. It has a contemporary user interface and clever workflow functionality. John Watkins and Nancy Rohman launched 3PL Central in 2006. They were operating/having their own warehouse at the time. As a result, this system was developed by warehouse management professionals.
The 3PL warehouse manager comes with multiple features that are ideal for smooth businesses. 3PL warehouse manager is a software solution designed for small and medium-sized teams. It includes a variety of essential features such as real-time data, order management, product rotation/shelf life management, inventory management, and reporting and analytics.
Easy to expand the system
This system needs training to operate
Product Rotation/Shelf Life
Easy to expand the software
For small warehouses/organizations.
Reporting & Analytics
Lack of support
Picking & Packing
Value for money
Third Party Plugins
Effective and useful to scan barcodes
WMS Comparison Table
3PL Warehouse Manager
Overall User Ratings
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Ideal Customer Size
Small, Medium, Large
Small, Medium, Large
Small, Medium, Large
Not available. Free product demo is available
Not available. Free demo is available
Strategy definition for put away and picking up.
Offers multiple plugins and multi-currency conversions.
Centralized management for multiple warehouses and customer data.
Starting from: 499.00/month
Pricing model: Subscription
Starting from: $4395.00
Pricing model: One Time License
Not provided by vendor. Connect with the service provider for pricing
The industry of warehouse management system software is brimming with alternatives. Buyers seeking the finest WMS must first analyze their business needs and then shortlist the WMS. You may use the points mentioned above to choose the best WMS for you. Of course, the examples provided in this article are not extensive, but they are the finest. However, examine your requirements carefully and select the appropriate WMS.
What is a good WMS?
A good WMS must have these nine qualities: maximum functionality, ease of use, complete transaction management, flexibility, useful, easy-to-read metrics, seamless ERP integration, proven track record, and value for ROI.
What is the main goal of warehouse management?
The main goal of any WMS is to assist in ensuring that goods and commodities are moved through warehouses in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
What are the warehouse types?
There are different types of warehouses, such as distribution centers, public warehouses, private warehouses, bonded warehouses, climate-controlled warehouses, and smart warehouses.
Article | May 5, 2022
A consistent stream of marketing qualified leads is vital for B2B manufacturing enterprises. This is because manufacturing companies rely on a daily stream of orders to be productive and offer sufficient work for their personnel. Indeed, the manufacturing business model is contingent upon the sales process remaining active. Even one week without new leads can have a detrimental effect on your business's revenue and the livelihood of your personnel.
Manufacturing businesses can generate new leads in numerous ways. Of course, the particular strategies you choose will vary according to your target audience. There may be some diversity in your strategy for potential leads. This article will discuss three manufacturing lead generation strategies that can assist you in generating more qualified leads for your business.
Why Is Lead Generation Critical for B2B Businesses?
B2B lead generation is critical to sales development since it contributes to the development and conversion of demand for a product. Without a lead generation process, your team would be unable to create prospects, leaving your sales funnel empty.
This would imply that your sales representatives would be without leads to contact, nurture, and close. Operating a sales force without a lead pipeline impairs your ability to forecast sales and earnings, which has repercussions throughout your business.
The development of leads is a primary objective for management and executive teams in general. This can have a significant influence on revenue.
Producing consistent volumes of high-quality leads can provide your sales team with additional opportunities to close and revenue-generating opportunities. As a result, it is an acute component of client acquisition and revenue growth operations.
So how can you increase your business's lead generation in order to maintain growth in sales? Let us ascertain.
How Can Your Manufacturing Company Get More Qualified Leads?
Turn Website Visitors into Leads
Just because you manufacture something doesn't mean you shouldn't try to generate leads online. Manufacturing websites tend to be quite industrial, with lots of information and requirements on each page. Even if this is the case, make it simple for people to contact you. This can be done with a simple “Contact Us” button on each page. Never let these valuable website visitors depart without providing you with their email address.
Consider a web-to-lead form that links with your company's CRM program. Visitors that fill out this form will be added as new leads in your CRM. You'll be alerted by email so you can follow up quickly.
Provide Free Samples to Qualified Leads
You can't just send free samples to everyone who visits your site — you'd go bankrupt! If your company's products are small, you could give free samples to verified potential customers. Displaying this offer prominently on your homepage will encourage visitors to register.
Include fields on your web-to-lead form that capture the lead's industry and/or company size. Your sales team can then target the most appropriate prospects to send samples. Inquire about the products' satisfaction with these leads. A gift with customized service may be the secret to turning leads into customers.
Collaborate with E-Commerce Vendors
Another possibility is for manufacturers to drop ship white-labelled products or sell wholesale to individual drop-shippers. Many enthusiastic drop shippers are looking for things to offer on e-commerce sites. By working with these merchants, you can quickly get your goods to those who wish to sell or buy them.
This is a less traditional “lead generation” strategy that takes advantage of modern e-commerce. The early setup costs may be high for this collaboration, but the potential return on investment for your company is significant.
Lead generation for manufacturers is a vital component of maintaining a healthy sales funnel. While the manufacturing business may face certain unique lead generation challenges, there are still numerous approaches to generating new qualified leads for follow-up.
Using the guidelines outlined above, you should be well on your way to developing a lead generation plan that generates consistent results for your business.
What is B2B lead generation?
B2B lead generation is a technique used by B2B marketers to organically attract new clients to their business. This strategy comprises a variety of inbound marketing methods aimed at increasing exposure, awareness, and interest among prospects within a defined target demographic.
What are the four steps of lead generation?
Lead generation includes four steps: awareness, education, sampling, and conversion. This framework can be used to design the optimal end-to-end lead generation process for every new market, product or service you establish.
What comes first: the opportunity or the lead?
A lead is a sales prospect. An opportunity is a specific sales contract with an estimated financial value. The opportunity record will be linked to the lead or contact record of the potential client.
Article | May 5, 2022
Digital twins appear to be beneficial in cutting expenses for many industries. A growing number of companies in the manufacturing industry, as well as healthcare, oil & gas, and other industries, are using digital twin features to better understand and respond to changing business conditions.
Digital twins can be used to save costs at numerous levels or segments of your business. Their use raises awareness of situations and helps businesses make better decisions. This technology has been applied to:
Change to standard care and conditional support in the railways
Use predictive care to foresee major impacts on the oil and gas industry
Monitor patients in real-time to improve comfort and avoid life-threatening scenarios
So, how do digital twin solutions assist manufacturers in cutting production costs?
Digital twins enable manufacturers to detect early mechanical defects, allowing for faster or cheaper repairs. Companies can save money by adapting to changing circumstances. For example, a corporation may automatically plan repairs to minimize performance impact.
Many companies use digital twins to cut expenses in various operating scenarios. In this article, we will look at situations to help recognize the benefits of digital twins.
Why Use a Digital twin?
The adoption of digital twins provides more effective product research and design. It also generates large amount of data about expected performance or results in the process. This data can provide insights that enable businesses to make necessary product refinements before initiating production.
The use of digital twins can be beneficial even after a new product has been put into production. This can help mirror and monitor production processes to achieve and maintain optimal efficiency throughout the whole manufacturing process.
As far as product lifecycle management is concerned, digital twins can assist manufacturers in determining what to do with products that have reached the end of their expected life and require final processing, whether through recycling or other means. They can figure out which product materials can be gathered with the help of digital twins.
Cost Optimization in Manufacturing using Digital twin
Transportation Cost Optimization
Digital twins are commonly employed in high-value rolling commodities like trains to improve fuel efficiency and competitiveness (i.e., predictable repairs). However, in the case of passenger automobiles, cost savings have been recorded (for example, improving security maintenance at passenger doors and train wheels).
When switching from conventional to state-based prevention in stock care, the rail transport operator claimed an average 10% savings.
Oil and Gas Cost Optimization
Companies frequently utilize digital twins to simulate and analyze functions like oil metals, pipelines, and processing plants. Among the business objectives supported by forecasting adjustments, machine learning, and other analyses are an increase in automated excavation or processing processes, a reduction in off-peak hours (FTE), and downtime, and the extension of the life of high-value assets.
The oil and gas businesses claimed that historical data forecasts for building repairs had been discovered near a substantial portion of their offshore oil production. This gave them time to lead security operations. They saved a week of unplanned unemployment and production expenditures. In less than a year, their digital investment has returned twice as much as before.
Supply Chain Cost Optimization
Businesses are increasing their investment in IoT and supply chain monitoring. Utilizing modern supply chain characteristics such as digital twins can assist businesses in achieving enhanced business results.
Monitoring the location and condition of high-value assets can assist in identifying anomalies that suggest an increased risk of theft. Additionally, this technology can be utilized to determine the location of assets for the purpose of recovery. While digital twins in many of these circumstances are straightforward – simply a location – in others, the supervised data may include natural characteristics such as the temperature inside the frozen container, generator fuel levels, or ways of detecting asset depletion or interruption.
Is a digital twin necessary for your business? Yes, most certainly. By creating a comprehensive virtual picture of a company's processes, digital twins remove the element of uncertainty from decision-making. According to Gartner, 13% of organizations utilizing IoT already have digital twins in place, while 62% are either implementing or planning to do so. Hence, do not hesitate to deploy a digital twin in your organization, as it is worthwhile to invest in a digital twin that will help you lower overall production costs in the long run.
Why is a digital twin necessary?
Digital twins are becoming vital in business. By making a digital copy of the physical assets of a product or service in an industry, digital twins help with data analysis and give people a way to check how things work before they happen. This way, they can develop a solution to any problem before it happens.
What data should be in the digital twin model?
The concept of the digital twin is based on three unique components: the physical product, the digital/virtual product, and the connections between the two.
How much does a digital twin cost?
According to some experts’ estimations, the cost of implementing a digital twin is $50,000 or less. Complex processes will necessitate a substantial investment and a lengthy implementation period to model.
Article | January 21, 2022
3D printing technology and its role in future manufacturing are grabbing the interest of industry experts. In terms of elevating future products, future additive manufacturing has a lot to offer the business. Additive manufacturing is developing and stretching its wings on a daily basis, becoming an integral part of every industry, including manufacturing, healthcare, education, and more.
In this article, we'll shed some light on the 3D printing future trends, which will assist the business in deepening its impact across industries. Furthermore, we will explore whether the additive manufacturing business is worth investing in as well as who the major players are that have already invested in the future of 3D printing.
Future Trends in the Additive Manufacturing Industry
Enhanced Machine Connectivity
Making AM solutions (including software and hardware) easier to integrate and connect to the factory floor is one of the key AM trends we predict to advance in the coming years. It has been a long time since the AM hardware market has been filled with closed, or proprietary, systems. These systems generally function with materials and software given or approved by the machine OEM and are not easily integrated with third-party alternatives.
Closed systems are important for process dependability, but they also restrict collaboration and connectivity. Companies expanding their AM operations will need to connect their machines and software to their production environments. When it comes to additive manufacturing, using siloed solutions is a surefire way to fail. Importantly, we see hardware manufacturers increasingly focusing on solutions that can be integrated with the production floor.
For example, a 3D printing market leader like Stratasys is a good illustration of the trend. In December, the business announced an extension of its previously closed machines' connection.Consumers may now integrate and control their additive production using software programs of their choosing, not just Stratasys' systems. For AM facilities, system connectivity is no longer an option. It's exciting to see the AM industry players recognize and solve this requirement.
AM and AI Continue to Converge
AM growth is incorporating AI and machine learning. AI can help with material development, machine setup, part design, and workflow automation. So, in the future, we anticipate seeing more AI and AM technology integration.
Combined with AM systems, AI will improve process control and accuracy. For example, Inkbit is currently working on an AI-powered polymer vision system. This technology can scan 3D printing layers and anticipate material behavior during printing.
Generative design, already generally recognized as a key digital advance in AM, may tremendously benefit from AI and machine learning.
It has so far been utilized to improve load routes when strength and stiffness are dominant. It can also be utilized to optimize thermal or vibration. AI and machine learning will advance generative design, allowing new concepts to be completely suited to AM.While we may be a few years away from fully developing the capacity to automatically adapt designs to process, we anticipate significant breakthroughs this year that will bring us closer.
AM Will Drive Decentralization
In order to future-proof their supply chains, many manufacturers are following new supply chain models and technology that allow them to cut prices or switch goods more easily. Increasing flexibility and agility will necessitate distributed, localized production, assisted by additive manufacturing.To reduce the number of steps required to manufacture complex metal or polymer structures, shorten lead times, and enable digital inventory management, digital inventory management can be automated. These advantages make it ideal for the distributed manufacturing model. We believe that in the near future, more businesses will actively explore distributed manufacturing with AM.
According to a recent HP survey, 59% of organizations are now considering hybrid models, while 52% are looking into localized digital manufacturing.
3D Printing Future: Major Predictions
In Jabil's 2021 3D printing trends survey of over 300 decision-makers, 62% of participants claim their organization is actively using additive manufacturing for production of their product components, up from 27% in 2017. Many such manufacturers are on the lookout for the latest additive manufacturing trends and forecasts. So let's begin.
Increasing Flexibility and Customization
Customized goods are a popular consumer trend, impacting several sectors. Rather than buying a mass-produced item, customers are increasingly demanding a custom-made item that meets their specific needs.
Additive manufacturing's low-volume production capabilities simply enable personalization and customization.
3D printing allows for more responsive design options, particularly for additive manufacturing. Manufacturers can afford to make smaller batches, allowing designers and engineers to alter product ideas and develop them cost-effectively when inspiration strikes, the public mood is understood, or customer feedback drops in.
Materials Drive the Future of Digital
As the additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, the importance of materials cannot be overstated. Besides high equipment costs, materials and limited additive manufacturing ecosystems have hindered the 3D printing industry's growth. The market is flooded with 3D printing materials, but few are advanced enough to fulfill industry standards.Due to volume constraints in most sectors, suppliers and manufacturers aren't motivated to develop innovative materials for new uses. However, the future of 3D printing is in engineered and application-specific materials.
Various sectors have unique difficulties that demand unique solutions. New designed materials will revolutionize new uses, including highly regulated sectors. Industries will reward those who can promptly introduce 3D printing materials adapted to specific industrial and engineering needs. This will allow more 3D printing applications to be supplied and the whole digital manufacturing flywheel to start spinning.
3D Printing and a Sustainable Future
Finally, additive manufacturing promotes sustainability and conservation. Besides decreasing trash, 3D printing saves energy. The Metal Powder Industries Federation studied the difference between making truck gear using subtractive manufacturing (17 steps) and additive manufacturing (6 steps).
3D printing uses less than half the energy it takes to produce the same product. 3D printing also reduces the need for moving products and materials, reducing the amount of carbon emitted into the environment. So we can see that digital and additive solutions already contribute to a more sustainable future.
Is Investment in the Future of Additive Manufacturing Worth It?
In recent years, there has been an explosion of investment in industrial 3D printing. Hundreds of millions of dollars have flowed into the industry in recent years, assisting new businesses. Desktop Metal ($160 million), Markforged ($82 million), and 3D Hubs ($18 million) have all received significant funding in the past. According to a recent report and data analysis, the global additive manufacturing market will hit USD 26.68 billion by 2027. A rising level of government support for additive manufacturing across regions is driving market demand.
For example, America Makes, the foremost national initiative in the US since 2012 dedicated to additive manufacturing (3D printing future technology), received USD 90 million in support from the government, commercial, and non-profit sectors. Given the industry's expenditures and the expanding need for 3D printing, investing in the additive manufacturing industry or 3D printing is certainly encouraged.
Additive manufacturing is being used in practically every industry, and companies are researching how technology might be used in their specific fields. The numerous advantages and sustainability that 3D printing provides are the major benefits that manufacturers and other industry professionals notice with 3D printing.Future manufacturing will be significantly more accurate and simple to run thanks to 3D printing technologies. Considering the trends and projections listed above, you may have a better understanding of 3D printing's future and make an informed investment decision.
What is the future of 3D printing?
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, has the potential to empower everything from food to coral reefs. 3D printers may soon be seen in homes, companies, disaster zones, and perhaps even outer space.
Why is 3D printing important to society?
3D printing results in waste reduction and so eliminates the need for periodic waste reduction, reuse, and recycling. So it helps society with no carbon footprint.
Why is it known as additive manufacturing?
The term "additive manufacturing" refers to the fact that the building process adds layers rather than removes raw materials.