January 26, 2023

Importance of Warehouse Management Optimization

Armanii Glaspie
Product Marketing Lead - Solutions
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Importance of Warehouse Management Optimization

While warehouse management might not sound exciting, these are the places in a retail supply chain where things must be maximized for the business to succeed.  Ensuring there are no overstocks, understocks, or wrong shipment details, is critical.  These mistakes affect your company’s bottom line and have massive implications for brand loyalty.

Why Does it Matter?

Data from ERPs and other warehouse management systems (WMS) are only as valuable as the insights you can gather from them. Since such a massive amount of data lives on these systems, it’s difficult to use even a fraction of that data to make the decisions your team needs for inventory management and optimization. Right now, it takes a very skilled and technical individual to gather insights for the business user to optimize inventory for their stores or territories. Requiring a technical analyst or engineer to create the reports or clean and find the data leads to bottlenecks for decision-makers on the company's business side. 

For example, let's say that you are an inventory planner for a national shoe retailer, and you want to know how many shoes of a specific size and color are in stock today in a store in California. You start by reaching out to the analyst so can build the dashboard with the data that you need. After waiting almost a week for the data because the company’s single analyst has dozens of other requests,, the first dashboard you get back is missing a metric you realize you need. Now you have to relay that information back to the analyst, setting you back even more.  By the time you finally get the information that you’re looking for, it’d be outdated, and you are making decisions based on old data. The goal of Sigma for retail is to eliminate the back-and-forth that causes data to be stale by the time it gets to the decision-maker.

How US Foods Re-Invented Its Warehouse

US Foods is a national retailer with $24 billion in annual revenue. The company has 300,000 customers with more than 28,000 employees in 70 locations. Their customers range from restaurants and franchises to schools, hotels, retailers, and even the US government. For US Foods, everything depends on optimizing its warehousing process. The company’s food service team needs to understand in real-time which inventory has been met to fulfillment, how much was accepted and shipped, and how they can make the supply chain more efficient. The tool that US Foods was using before Sigma took extra time, steps, and technical resources to analyze millions of rows of transactional data, which meant that the food service team couldn’t clear away service-level problems fast enough. Using Sigma, US Foods data team was able to stop spending 50% of their time pulling data by achieving zero data requests coming into the team, allowing them to move from a reactive to a proactive approach.

Sigma enables organizations of all sizes and industries to ensure the inventory and distribution of products are optimized to maximize revenue and reduce costs. With unlimited scale and speed, Sigma’s unique cloud architecture enables organizations to quickly explore, analyze, and visualize up to billions of rows of live data across the entire warehouse. The spreadsheet-like interface enables all business users, even if not technical, to easily explore and analyze data to quickly answer their own questions. Now anyone across the organization can make accurate, data-driven decisions to optimize the warehouse.