The concept of the warehouse hasn’t changed in decades. The addition of forklifts did help, but the basic idea—a large building full of products or materials—is the same.
From the outside, it can be hard to tell if a warehouse has moved into the 21st century or not. That’s because many of the biggest changes in warehousing have occurred behind the scenes. Different tools and technologies have brought the warehousing industries to amazing levels of speed and efficiency.
One of the biggest game-changers in recent years has been warehouse management software. With the help of cutting edge software, warehouse managers have been able to save more and more time fulfilling orders and tracking deliveries. Dock scheduling software is now essential for an effective warehouse.
What is Dock Scheduling Software?
Dock scheduling software is a type of inventory management that allows warehouse managers to coordinate the schedule of all of their inbound deliveries. They can use this software to see exactly what shipments are in route, how long they will most likely take, and more.
Some software can even be used to tell exactly where every item on the truck is going right down to which pallet rack it will be stored on.
One of the strongest reasons for using dock scheduling software is that it’s predictive. The program will look at past delivery times and estimate exactly when a shipment will arrive. This allows dock workers to better prepare for the day and can increase the number of deliveries a warehouse can handle.
In most cases, warehouses using dock scheduling can go from handling about four deliveries per dock per day to five or six. It may not seem like a huge increase to those outside the warehousing industry, but it truly is a huge increase.
It’s also much more user-friendly than trying to use a manual system or, even more, using a pen and paper system. Dock scheduling software can allow users to quickly rearrange appointment times and shipments, adding or deleting as necessary without completely reworking the database.
Most software suites have an easy-to-use interface with a thorough help system. Beyond that, most software companies provide tech support so inventory managers don’t waste a lot of time dealing with software issues.
Simplify the Process
Using a dock scheduling program allows warehouse managers to simplify the entire process. A few clicks are all it takes to schedule a shipment. What used to take up to ten minutes now takes a few seconds. It also helps managers look at transport times and create reports that are accurate down to the minute.
Warehouses can look at how efficient carriers are and note those that seem to be perpetually behind schedule. They can also set specific times as unavailable—for example, the software can tell carriers not to deliver during lunch.
The software obviously does more than just handle scheduling. In addition to creating reports and predicting arrival times, most dock scheduling software can help anticipate warehouse capacity levels.
Managers can look at the current capacity of the warehouse overall and see if it looks like overtime will be needed.
Do you use warehouse management software? If so, which one do you use?