Cross-Docking For Smoother Supply Chain Management

A cross-docking solution is part of WMS software for logistics suppliers. With cross-docking software, the arrived goods are immediately placed as outgoing goods, without any stopgap warehousing. Incoming goods are directly turned around into outgoing goods. This saves on transactions as well as space within the warehouse. Cross-docking is generally helpful when goods are to be delivered to the final destination as soon as possible, e.g. Fresh products for supermarkets. To summarize, cross-docking solutions enable businesses to speed up the shipping process thereby lowering inventory levels, and material handling costs simultaneously. Cross Docking software helps collaborate all, including resources, order management, and logistics partners in real-time.

Cross-docking in the WMS

In the WMS goods in are directly linked to goods out based on an original transport request, or the incoming goods are automatically allocated a specific route or postcode area. This means that upon receipt of the goods the WMS already takes the current sales orders into account.

The gap between unloading and re-distributing the cargo includes unload, process, and reload and so the time for it is kept as minimum as possible. As a result, the shipment spends little to no time at the warehouse resulting in increasing the efficiency as product transit speed is significantly increased. Moreover, the customer gets the product quickly. Apart from this, you save on stock-related costs as the goods are not really stored in the warehouse and are unloaded and straight away reloaded for transport.

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The Role Of A Warehouse Management Software In Facilitating Cross-Docking

As we saw above, all processes need to be synchronized seamlessly for achieving minimal material handling and shipping the items accurately. Right from the unloading/loading staff, the quality assurance team, security, and administrative staff need to follow a tight schedule. It is also necessary to coordinate with the logistics companies to prevent the goods from stalling operations at your warehouse.

A warehouse management software (WMS) takes all of these factors into consideration and coordinates different resources required for the execution. This includes bi-directional data transfer with the order processing system, inventory management module, shipping management module, and accounts software. It also generates the number of human resources required and shares the schedule with the concerned personnel.

The WMS also helps you with the list of material handling equipment required. Thus, it helps you with planning and scheduling while also confirming the progress rate of the execution process. It uses the barcodes/RFID tags and manual inputs to track the progress and generate BI reports later.

Benefits Of Using A Warehouse Management System For Cross-Docking

The advantages of leveraging a WMS solution for executing cross-docking that lead to cost optimization are as follows:

  • A considerable reduction the labor overheads
  • Reduced material handling hazards and time 
  • Reduction in the time required to ship the product to the customers
  • Greater control and visibility over the distribution process
  • Reduced warehousing costs as well as ancillary costs like insurances
  • Overall improvement in warehouse management efficiency 
  • Reduced risk of proliferation
  • Increase in the warehouse facility’s utilization rate
  • Reduction in transport costs as multiple packages with common destinations are shipped together
Which Products Benefit From Cross-Docking Software?

The below type of items benefit the most from cross-docking, but their palettes must be labeled with barcodes or RFID tags along with the stock transfer reports for individual boxes, palettes, and entire shipment: 

  • Time-sensitive products that need a controlled environment like food products and medical items.
  • Products whose quality is guaranteed by the manufacturer.
  • Goods with steady demand outlook.
  • White labeled products.
  • Goods sent under a dropshipping business model.
A Word Of Caution

While there are numerous benefits of implementing cross-docking, one needs to be cautious with it. You will require a SaaS-based warehouse management software to coordinate the processes mentioned above and train your staff accordingly. Any inaccuracy can derail operations on the receiving end significantly, thus posing a big threat to your reputation as well as profitability.

PL Solutions is a leading logistics and operations consulting firm committed to delivering class-leading solutions globally. We have a diverse talent pool of subject matter experts that will devise tailored solutions for implementing cross-docking through your warehouse management software. To get expert insights into cross-docking and technical support required, fill this contact form and our client servicing representatives will get back to you.

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