Utilizing a database management system such as Microsoft Access helps you maximize valuable WMS data.
You have countless tables of raw data from your WMS (Warehouse Management System
) but aren’t quite sure what to do with it.
While some WMS’s allow you to handle raw data better than others, every warehouse can benefit from the use of a Database Management System (DBMS). There are numerous DBMS’s on the market, but my personal favorite is Microsoft Access. Below are just a few of the many ways that you can use Microsoft Access
to optimize your warehouse processes.
1. Data Mining
Data mining is one of the most basic, yet powerful attributes of Microsoft Access.
- Create Powerful Connections
- Trend Visibility
- Proactive Problem Identification
Using Microsoft Access for data mining provides endless possibilities. It allows you to create powerful connections to better analyze the ebb and flow of your warehouse operations. It allows you to see trends, both long and short term. It also allows you to be proactive in identifying problems in your warehouse, which can help thwart those problems before they grow too big or even before they occur.
2. Deciphering Information
Helping to decipher and identify information quickly is a great attribute of Microsoft Access.
Microsoft Access can be great to use when you have information that is hard to read or quickly interpret. It allows you to combine multiple pieces of information into one easy display for quick recognition when sorting. It also allows you to combine multiple lines of data to count an occurrence instead of counting manually, such as when counting during a damaging out process.
3. Manual Tracking Systems
Allowing the user to create a manual tracking system is a useful tool that Microsoft Access can provide.
- Simple Interfaces
- Simple Data Entry
- Track the Un-Trackable
Microsoft Access is a great tool to create a manual tracking system inside your warehouse. It allows you to create simple interfaces that are easy to interact with. It allows you to create forms for simple, manual data entry. Combining these two, Microsoft Access can be used to track the “un-trackable” occurrences in a warehouse. For example, you can develop a database to inventory the “extra” totes in a batch picking process that did not divert to the appropriate down-lane. Now, instead of re-picking the “missing” pieces from that batch, you can simply re-locate the appropriate missing tote in the “extra” totes database which can help to save both time and prevent additional shorts in inventory.
4. Manual Pick/Pack Operations
The ability to create a manual pick/pack operation is another useful tool that Microsoft Access provides.
- Identify Shorts/Surplus
- Visual Product Identification
- Put Assist
Microsoft Access can be a great way to create a manual pick/pack operation in your warehouse. This can be beneficial where information is present
in the WMS tables, but is not readily available
to resolve shorts/surpluses quickly and efficiently. After identifying the needs of a package, Microsoft Access can be utilized to provide a picture of the product(s) that is missing to provide an easier pick. It can also assist in other ways such as when locating a package to put a picked product to.
5. Manage Datasets
Managing different datasets and tables is a simple and very beneficial optimization tool.
- Clean Data
- Increased Control
- Front End/Back End Databases
Using Microsoft Access to manage datasets is one of the reasons why DBMS’s were originally created. It can be used to clean data to remove “bad” data such as duplicate values. It can be used to increase the control for data entry, such as data entry validation formats. It can also be used to create both Front End and Back End Databases, which allows instant visibility to the same database across all workstations.
These five ways to optimize your warehouse processes are not the only ways you can use Microsoft Access, but they are a great start when looking to gain the most out of the processes you have. If you learn to become efficient in simple database creation in Microsoft Access, your possibilities to optimize your warehouse processes are endless. If you want even more ways to optimize your warehouse, please read my blog A 3-Step Method to Warehouse Optimization
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