Warehouse Manager
May 2, 2024

Warehouse Managers, Is Your WMS Future-Proofing Your Food Distribution Business?

Published By

Denise Castillo

In the world of food distribution, efficiency, inventory accuracy, and regulatory compliance aren't just goals; they're necessities. With regulations like FSMA 204 on the rise, the need for a warehouse transformation is more evident than ever. That’s why we’re here—to make sure you're not just prepared for what's next, but to show you what “good looks like.”

In this article, we’ll explore what we’ve learned over the years about what makes an excellent WMS and what makes a generic one. If you’re thinking into upgrading your own WMS, or you need your first one, no worries, here are three areas to focus your evaluation on. Because you want one that will work perfectly for your food distribution processes. Why? Because a minute saved here, an error reduced there, can mean the difference between getting by and outpacing your competition.

How Accurate Is Your Inventory?

The cost of inaccuracies is more than numbers on a spreadsheet. It's time lost in fixing errors, it's the brand credibility that erodes with every mispick, and it's the opportunities missed when products can't be located or are out of stock. These inefficiencies are a drain on resources, eating at the thin margins that are all too common in this industry. So, as a warehouse manager, when it comes time to evaluate your WMS, we suggest focusing on how the system helps with inventory management and accuracy.

  • Comprehensive Reporting: Does the WMS provide in-depth reports that offer a panoramic view of your inventory, allowing you to quickly pinpoint and rectify any inaccuracies?
  • Focused Exception Reporting: Is the system equipped to detect and alert you to any irregularities, streamlining your ability to respond rapidly and effectively to inventory exceptions?
  • Adaptable Workflows: Can the WMS be tailored to align with the specific needs of your business, ensuring that your unique operational processes are optimized rather than constrained?
  • Best Practice SOPs: Does the WMS build on solid standard operating procedures that reflect the best practices of the food distribution industry, while also being adaptable enough to evolve with your company's growth?
  • Accuracy at Its Best: Is the WMS known for achieving high inventory accuracy rates, significantly reducing the risk of stock discrepancies that can disrupt operations?
  • Low Error Rates: Does the system contribute to maintaining low error rates in transactions, showcasing its efficiency and the operational proficiency it promotes within your team?

We’ve made sure that our food centric warehouse management system (WMS), excels in the following areas – all central to inventory management and accuracy. In fact, our top performing customers achieve an inventory accuracy rating of 99.9%. It's a benchmark that we're proud of and one that could redefine the standards for your operations as well.

Does Warehouse Leadership Have The Ability to Make Data-Driven Decisions?

Leading a warehouse with assurance means making decisions informed by real-time and actionable data. However, not having actionable insights can lead to delayed decision-making, overlooked inefficiencies, and missed opportunities for improvement. It's like trying to hit a moving target in the dark. Without the right data at your fingertips, maintaining the balance between meeting today's demands and planning for tomorrow's challenges becomes a precarious task.

This is where BFC Software steps in, helping refine the vision of warehouse managers and leadership by equipping them with actionable insights. Here’s how:

  • Real-Time Insights: Utilizing BFC Software’s robust reporting tools, leaders have access to the data they need at their fingertips. This real-time visibility into inventory levels, order statuses, and operational metrics means decisions are based on the current landscape, not yesterday’s picture .
  • Customized Reporting for Unique Operations: Recognizing that no two warehouses are the same, BFC Software’s reports can be tailored to the specific needs and SOPs of each business, ensuring that leaders have the information that's most relevant to their unique challenges .
  • Exception Reporting to Drive Accountability: BFC Software’s exception reporting highlights areas where processes deviate from the norm, allowing leaders to pinpoint issues rapidly and implement corrective measures promptly. This reinforces accountability within the team, ensuring that everyone is aligned with the company's quality standards .
  • Data-Driven Culture: Leaders can foster a data-driven operational culture, where decisions are guided by quality information, which is paramount in food distribution. This approach to management instills a sense of precision and excellence throughout the organization .

This shift to a data-informed strategy enhances every aspect of operations, from on-the-floor activities to strategic planning and compliance.

Is Your WMS Helping You Get Ready For FSMA 204?

Compliance is a pivotal aspect of warehouse management, and with FSMA 204, it’s becoming even more critical. Warehouse leaders are tasked with not only understanding these new regulations but also ensuring their operations are ahead of the curve when they come into effect. The intricacies of FSMA 204 center on the ability to track and trace food items meticulously throughout the supply chain.

As a warehouse manager, you're not only expected to grasp these complexities but to seamlessly integrate them into your daily operations.

Ask yourself:

  • FDA Collaboration: Is your WMS developed in anticipation of FSMA 204, perhaps even in active consultation with the FDA, to ensure that your compliance is not just met, but surpassed?
  • End-to-End Traceability: Does your system track every item's journey through the supply chain with precision, ensuring clear traceability from the moment it enters your warehouse until it reaches the customer?
  • Industry-Specific Features: Is your WMS crafted with the unique challenges of food distribution in mind, such as managing perishable goods and maintaining product integrity?
  • Future-Proof Compliance: Can you rest assured that your WMS is not just compliant now but is also designed to adapt to future changes in regulations?

BFC Software has been ahead of the curve, actively preparing for FSMA 204 by enhancing our software's capabilities in these critical areas.

Evaluate your current system or any new WMS against these criteria to determine if you're just keeping up or if you're poised to lead the way in compliance readiness.