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The Workings Of A Warehouse Management Solution

Warehouse management solutions support the functions of a warehouse. An effective system can help business process work efficiently and effectively and have both advantages and disadvantages which will be outlined below.

Warehouses receive and store goods. A warehouse management solution keeps track of all inventory that comes in, is stored, and leaves the warehouse. It is a complex system that needs to be integrated with the other process a company uses. These can include those that track purchasing, ensuring nothing gets lost as well as those that hold information about the stock, including the time it came in, its weight and dimensions. It will also show what part of the warehouse it is stored in.

warehouse management solution

 

Warehouse management solutions aid the company in many aspects of the business.

  1. Staffing – Connected to whole management system of the company, an effective system will Indicate how many people are needed in the company to perform different tasks within the warehouse.
  2. Organisation – A warehouse management solution will organise everything in a warehouse and is a key factor in supporting the supply chain.
  3. Control – Managing productivity and quality is an important part of any business. Systems can be a key indicator of current and expected labour productivity and in turn can help a business know when they need to hire or fire and in what areas.
  4. Direction –These systems control all the inventory. They manage the numbers; whether it be inventory in or out.
  5. Planning – Warehouse management solutions are crucial in the planning process for any business and can help companies improve their purchasing methods, among other things.

Taking the above points into account, a warehouse management solution has many advantages:

  • Firstly, they reduce inventory costs. From managing the inventory coming in and out, to storing it, this costs money. Warehouse management solutions can make this a more cost-efficient process. They will alert the company when stock falls and needs to be replenished.
  • They also aid the buy and return process for customers. Nowadays, the ability to return a product bought online for free is primary for buying the product in the first place. Any warehouse management solution worth its salt will make sure this is a seamless process, something that can be automated.
  • The warehouse management system solution allows a company to grow. New warehouses or new inventory can be added to these systems with minimum of fuss, allowing a company to expand quickly and with very little cost to the business.

These management systems can also have some disadvantages for a company. They are expensive to customise to a company’s needs. Set-up costs are high and any wrong step in the process will disrupt the whole supply chain. It needs to be perfect.

After set-up, someone needs to be trained on the system so that if something goes wrong it can be fixed quickly, with minimum of time lost. Incorrect processing can cost business hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As a warehouse management solution, deals with purchasing, taking client details, it is essential that the system is completely secure. Hackers, always looking to break into larger company’s databases, are a huge threat to the security of their systems. Databases carry vendor and client details, both financial and personal, so companies need to ensure they have up-to-date protections in place to prevent any threat.

Warehouse management solutions help a business operate. They are expensive to run but are crucial to help a company work as efficiently and effectively as possible. They can save companies millions in the long run and give them that boost they need to maximise processes and increase revenue.

Why you should rebrand your business

Rebranding is an important part of the business cycle whether it is a result of growth, a bad reputation or new management. Regardless of the reason it is important that the rebranding is significant for consumers.

Rebranding comes about as a result of needing to keep up with changing times and cultures in order to stay relevant and meet the needs and desires of a broader customer base. Below are the top 10 reasons to rebrand your business.

  1. Internationalisation

Brand names, slogans or values may not be understood in other cultures and therefore a name change may be necessary. The majority of businesses, 96%, are confident about conducting business abroad and must consider the cultural and language apsects.

  1. Repositioning

Businesses will often reposition themselves to appeal to a new or broader audience or even to adapt to the changing tastes of their current audience.

  1. New management

New CEO’s often impart a breath of fresh air on a business and therefore a rebrand may be necessary to steer the company away from failures. For example, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997 he changed the Apple logo to a sleek metallic one as opposed to the original rainbow colour.

  1. Outdated Image

Changing times, audiences and offerings will often force a company to change its image. A new logo and colour scheme may be necessary to remain in lines with the businesses core values or modern outlook.

  1. Bad reputation

Any business that has earned a bad reputation is in need of a rebrand to boosts its image and start afresh. This may mean offering new products or simply targeting a new audience in order to leave its bad reputation in the past.

  1. Mergers and Acquisitions

When a company undergoes a merger or acquisition from an existing company they need a rebrand so that the change is visible to consumers. Of course there are legal requirements but the change is a signal to consumers that they have a new vision.

  1. Changing markets

Markets evolve over time and that means that your business needs to as well. A company that fails to adapt to the changing market can face extinction. Stimulating growth through an improved brand and highlighting the evolution that your company is going through are key tactics to remain relevant.

  1. Corporate identity development

Many brands have an incomplete and scrappy corporate identity. Companies need to be consistent with the font, colours and photography that they use to portray their brand. All of this needs to align with the company image and values.

  1. Too similar

If your branding is too similar to another company’s then it can have two impacts; a lawsuit from the other company and it can make your brand look unoriginal and cheap.

  1. Development and acquisition of brands

When a business acquires or develops new brands they need to deal with this in a way that includes them in the businesses image. Keeping things consistent across brands is important for any company so a rebrand may be necessary when new products come into the picture.

Why reading should be your new priority

Reading is incredibly good for the mind both from a mental health perspective and from a general learning perspective. Reading helps you to broaden your ideas and become more creative. Reading has multiple benefits.

Finding the time or knowing what the read can be common excuses but there is no shortage of interesting and engaging books.

Reading fiction facilitates a more open and creative mind

A study from the University of Toronto showed that those who read fiction books are more likely to be open-minded and achieve “cognitive closure” when presented with an alternative solution or outcome than those who read non-fiction.

The study said that whilst non-fiction was adequate in helping students to understand the subject matter it didn’t necessarily help them to think about it. Fiction books present things in unknown circumstances and encourage people to think outside the box.

You live longer if you read

A research team at Yale studied a group of people over 50 and found that those who read for at least 30 minutes a day lived a huge 23 months longer compared to those who didn’t read at all or simply read magazines. Reading is said to engage your mind more and develop language, thinking and concentration skills further.

It’s possible to read 50 books in a year

At first this might seem like an incredibly daunting task but with a few changes it is more than possible. Simply switching time on your phone or TV to reading time can allow you to find more time to read. Travelling to and from work, before bed or while waiting for a friend are all times that can be spent reading instead of wasting time on your phone or TV.

Successful people read

It’s no secret that the world’s most successful people, particularly entrepreneurs, have long been dedicated readers. Many of them attribute certain books and even just reading in general to where they are today. Reading helps to open the mind and present a variety of unseen circumstances or motivations.

Men such as Phil Knight, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have produced books of their own by now but they also offer an extensive list of recommended books that helped them to get where they are today through inspiration and challenges.

Some simple tips to help you improve your business in just one day

Business improvement is an ever-sought after goal for all business owners and managers as they seek to find ways to improve profits, productivity and customer experiences. Using the latest software or popular marketing techniques on social media can sometimes be the answer but often we can overlook the simple things.

There are so many small changes that can be made within the businesses operational procedures that can help to improve productivity, profits and customer experiences.

Get a fast start

Reduce the amount of time you take to settle in at the start of your day. Don’t spend any more than 15 minutes getting a coffee, reading or checking emails and messages because you are often at your freshest at the beginning of the day.

Have 2 to-do lists

Having 2 to-do lists helps you to stay on top of tasks. The first list should outline all of the most important tasks that you need to get done in the short, medium and long term. The second should be a list of things that you can realistically get done that day. This should cover all tasks that need to be completed for the day, not just the important ones.

Read

Reading is important and one of the most efficient ways of learning. Whether it is reading about your business, the industry or the economy make use of your reading time to actually learn. Set aside some reading time every day and look forward to it.

Prepare for your next day

Take some time at the end of every day to plan for tomorrow. Planning ahead gives you more time to think about the important things that need to be done and allows you to reflect on what wasn’t completed today. It also improves your efficiency when you arrive to work the next day.

Take breaks

Regular breaks are important to refresh your mind every hour or so. This helps to keep your work to a high standard and reduces the time spent aimlessly searching through the internet and avoiding work. Get out of your chair and have a walk around or get a coffee.

Be innovative

Constantly be thinking of new ways to improve the business and your own work. Are there new ways of doing this? Can we do this in a more efficient way? Am I getting the most out of this?

Work together

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and use your colleagues to bounce ideas off and review your work. This helps to get a broader perspective of ideas and improves the quality of your work.

Motivating your team through intangible experiences

Your team is how you get your work done, not through the miracle work of individuals. When you are leading a team, or even just participating in one, it is important that you find ways to make people want to work for you and strive towards a defined goal.

If everyone is working towards the same goal then it will be achieved with ease and to a high standard. Motivating your team and maintaining a positive and supportive workplace will help your business to achieve its goals.

Provide a pleasant work environment

The work environment is the first thing that any employee sees and feels when they come to work every day. Making this a welcoming and comforting environment is going to encourage them to work harder and actually want to as well.

Provide training

Constantly challenge your employees is a well-known way to keep them motivated. Enable them to develop new skills and better themselves so that they can move up in their career. A highly skilled and challenged team is a motivated team.

Encourage collaboration

If employees don’t feel valued then their motivation levels are going to fall. Regularly encourage feedback and input from all employees so that they feel valued. Understand those who are shyer and seek them out for ideas on improvement and feedback.

Don’t punish failure

Mistakes are at the heart of learning and if you can encourage employees to learn from their mistakes then it is going to be beneficial for the business and for them. Don’t punish them for making a mistake, facilitate ways for them to learn from them.

Set goals

If everyone has a clear goal to strive towards then motivation is a significantly smaller issue. Provide rewards for achieving goals whether it is the whole team or just an individual. A simple congratulation is often enough but team activities can also be a great reward and opportunity to form stronger relationships.

Allow flexibility

No employee likes a boss or colleague who micromanages and in today’s world a flexible working environment is becoming more and more common. Allow employees to work at a café for a few hours or have couches in the office where people can work.

Everyone has different ways of working so it is important to accommodate for these. If employees feel empowered and trusted then they are going to be more motivated to complete their work.

Leaders need to create a culture of learning and innovation

Industry leaders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk lead businesses that foster a culture of innovation and encourage employees to learn every day. Facebook and Tesla have all gained global success in their short lives but to continue to do so these leaders know that they must innovate.

Zuckerberg and Musk have all identified that the best way to facilitate growth and employee commitment is to encourage innovation, employee input and change so that they may stay interested and devoted to the business.

Their success can be narrowed down to four key strategies.

  1. Leading with passion

Mark Zuckerberg is always highlighting his passion for Facebook through regular interviews, news appearances and even through the rather unglamorous day to day work that he partakes in. Through regular Facebook posts Zuckerberg successfully communicates passion and excitement in his work and the upcoming events and features that his company are involved in and introducing, respectively.

This not only sets an example for his employees but it also instils confidence in them and shareholders who believe that he is committed to his business.

  1. Leading by example

A few months ago Elon Musk responded to a safety concern in one of the Tesla plants towards his employees. Typically, a new company policy would be issued in order to deal with that problem and it would never be heard about again.

However, Elon Musk, following a response to the safety issue, went further and asked that all and any safety issues that arise in the future be sent directly to his inbox. He also went to the factory to observe what life is like on the factory floors and gain an understanding of potential safety risks whilst also determining if there were any possibilities to improve procedures.

This highlights that Musk is committed to his employees and the business as a whole, not just his own wellbeing.

  1. Encourage employees to ask questions

Encouraging people to ask questions is what inspires growth and allows companies to develop, change, innovate and adapt to all situations. Challenging the status quo leads to new ideas and potentially revolutionary procedures. Maintaining a strong competitive edge is important and creating a culture of asking questions enables experimentation and innovation to continue to prosper.

  1. Empower employees to learn

Many businesses will say that they encourage their employees to learn but do not actively provide them with the time and resources to do so. Great leaders will give their employees the opportunity to learn through training and other resources. A great example is Google who enable their employees to spend 20% of their working week learning new skills. These new skills learnt are then able to be applied to company processes and innovation.

How to get out of a mental slump and gain from it

It’s no secret that everyone, at various points in time, suffers from a mental slump. These mental slumps can be hard to get out of and a real challenge to continue to push through and complete the tasks that lay ahead.

Being able to identify that you are experiencing a mental slump quickly and having the measures in place to overcome it is crucial. It is often challenging to try and solve the problem right then and there but there are a few things that can help to overcome it.

  1. Recognise there’s a problem

Denying that there is an issue with your mental state is going to cause more issues. Understand that you need to establish that there is a problem and begin to work through it.

  1. Get out of your chair

It is often the case that the mental slump has simply come about as a result of sitting down for too long and working on monotonous tasks. Take the time to get up out of your seat and have a walk around. Get coffee with a friend or at least get some fresh air to reset the mind.

  1. Change your routine

Whilst routine is good as it maintain order and sets out a clear set of tasks that need to be completed, mixing it up every now and then is important to get your mind fresh. It may be little things like getting off the train a bit earlier and walking a few blocks to work or going somewhere new for lunch.

Of course, in some cases it may be that you have been working in the same job for a long time and need a change of role. Whatever it is, changing your routine is a great way to keep your mind fresh and revitalised.

  1. Write out what you need to do

A mental slump can sometimes be the result of an apparent overwhelming list of tasks. Writing it down and realistically working through what can be done today may help to provide a clearer goal and reduce any stress.

  1. Know it will improve

Sometimes your mental slump can simply come about as a result of sustained periods of work or something that you feel just isn’t going your way. Pushing through it that day and sleeping on it will help your mind to reset. Coming in the next day with a positive outlook and fresh mind is likely to reenergise your work.

Goal setting tips to make your year a success

Setting goals can often be a hugely underestimated part of work. Setting goals helps us to strive towards a known target, be it big or small, and feel a sense of achievement once we get there. They help benchmark your own performance and others within the business and provide a clear path to success.

When setting your own personal and divisional goals, you need to consider your own abilities and the abilities of those around you to maximise each and every persons output. There needs to be a level of cohesion within the group in striving towards the same goal and if no one believes it is achievable then this will be a monumental challenge.

Set simple goals that lead to success and where the benefits can be seen. Keep them short and don’t end up with a list of one hundred goals for the year. Below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your goal setting.

Reach out

No single person within an organisation has all the answers and working from the top down and the bottom up will help to gain a broader picture. Ask each team of division to provide collective feedback on potential business goals and what they believe they should be before making a decision.

Identify blind spots

Every organisation has blind spots, elements that have been overlooked in the past or may be leading the business in the wrong direction. Draw on all employees to help identify them so they can be removed and worked on.

There are many questions that should be asked and a review on previous goals, feedback loops and actions that may have impacted on results or outcomes.

Make goals relevant to one another

Every team, division and individual is going to have a range of goals for any given time period. What is important is that these goals are all relevant to the big picture – that is the organisational goals. All of the goals that are set should help to achieve the larger, longer term goals of the business.

Communicate

Once goals have been set and the boundaries outlined it is important that everyone within your team and/or division understands what the goals are so that they can help you and your team members to achieve them. Whilst some may be more personal, there should be plenty of business performance goals outlined and they need to be communicated so that everyone can draw on the help of others.

Engaging customers through your social media strategy

Not long ago having a website was simply enough to be able to reach, and reach effectively, your entire customer base. That notion has changed rapidly with the growth of social media with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram now all vital parts of any businesses marketing and branding campaigns.

Having an effective social media strategy can have immense benefits for your business due to its impressive reach and potential for sharing. Finding the right place to start can be difficult though so here are a few tips.

Use a publishing schedule

Sticking to a schedule is important so as not to miss any posts or end up posting at inefficient times. Google and Facebook are pretty good at providing data that outlines the best timed to post for a given audience. Utilise this to maximise your spending dollars.

Posting at the right times is going to boost customer engagement because they are online and they want to engage with your content. Customers generally want to engage with the content that they follow so make sure you get it up at the right time in order to build retention.

Be consistent

You want all of your social media content to be consistent so that it sounds like it is coming from the one company and isn’t just a rushed post. Voicing a consistent message ensures that your customers know exactly what you are conveying and can be clear of what they are going to get when they engage with the business.

This can be a challenge once you start to outsource your social media marketing across different areas but having clear guidelines and reviewing all posts is important. Clearly outlining who you are as a business and your values will help keep this message consistent.

Show some personality

You want your social media content to be interesting and eye-catching so showing a little bit of what the brand is should be disregarded. Each piece of content should be tailored towards the audience it is targeting and so should align with their values whilst maintaining the company culture.

Content is important

Whilst it is important to be regularly posting, you don’t want to post just for the sake of it. Make sure the content is engaging and relevant to the readers. Something that is going to help them in their personal or professional lives or something relevant to the industry needs to be included so that the content doesn’t appear replaceable or generalised.

Choose your platforms

Not every business needs to be on every social media platform. Depending on your target audience or audiences, select the relevant platforms that they engage with the most. Various platforms may target a different group and thus some content may not be relevant for all platforms either.

Crucial questions to ask a remote employee before hiring them

The hiring process is always a challenging one as it’s difficult to know if people really are right for the role. Hiring a remote employee throws in another variable in the fact that you don’t get to see them in your day to day work making it even harder to judge them in their early days.

A remote employee can be really beneficial for the business as it is proven that they tend to be happier and more productive. However, there are a few challenges associated that include the amount of work they are really doing and how it impacts on company culture.

It’s definitely a financial gain having someone work remotely but there are a few questions that should be asked to gain a better idea as to whether this remote employee is right for your business.

  1. Are you clear of the expectations of this role?

If the job description is vague it can be easy for people to pretend that they are doing a good job and what is asked of them. However, if it is more specific then they are more likely to be completing their tasks to a high standard and you can benchmark them.

Simply asking them will provide both parties with a clear understanding of expectations ultimately leading to success.

  1. What is motivating you?

A remote worker needs to be motivated by something. They are working on their own and do not have many things to deal with. There are so many distractions at home so having a motivated employee is important.

  1. Do you have experience in remote employment?

Those who have worked remotely before and have had success know what they are doing and should instil confidence. Those who haven’t may need to be watched with a greater level of scrutiny. Delve deep to find out if they have done it before and why they left their last job. You need to be certain will someone working remotely.

  1. Do you have a quiet working space?

As mentioned before, there can be so many distractions for those working from home so having a quiet space to work is imperative. It’s harder to work productively and if they have to make calls it sounds amateur if someone is working with lots of noises in the background. It may be necessary to aid the interviewee in affording an office space.

  1. How do you fare working alone?

You need to know that they are able to work alone but also have a strong social network to alleviate the loneliness that can build up. You want to know that they have strategies in place to deal with and reduce the loneliness of working remotely.