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Supply chain management is a large and complex business that does not go without conflicts. Supply chain and warehouse managers often fall to conflicts when it comes to efficient warehouse management and contribution to the deadlines and results.
Why does this happen and what could be done for bringing the friendship back to the warehouse?
Theoretically, the warehouse manager should be the subordinate of the supply manager. Inventory management is a process under the supply chain and supply chain management is the total process. But in practice, what companies do with their structure is often not in line with academic concepts. Most companies formed their departments and functions over time organically which often creates power struggles between the warehouse and supply managers. Here is the solution - Warehouse management system.
Even though both, warehouse and supply managers should be working in a very coordinated and cooperative way, most of the time it’s the opposite. Both managers put their goals and KPIs in first place and this creates a never-ending conflict.
For a supply manager, the main goal is to get the raw materials on time so that the production wouldn’t stop. From warehouse managers' point of view, the main goal is to unload, store, manage shipments in the most efficient way.
For the most part, warehouse and supply managers exchange information about incoming trucks - arrival times, plate numbers, shipment size, carriers contacts and etc. The supply manager orders trucks and the warehouse manager has to process them. This is where the conflict usually happens.
The supply manager does not always know the capacity and availability of the warehouse. And warehouse manager doesn’t always get information about when trucks are coming in, going out, what are their plate numbers and how fast they need to be loaded. In most cases, warehouse and supply managers send each other this information via emails, messages or give it over phone calls.
When there are dozens of trucks coming to the warehouse each day, this manual communication becomes a bottleneck in the whole process. One missed call or a typo in delivery time can easily create a mess at the warehouse, mislead staff, cause miscommunication and efficiency in human resource planning.
As a result, trucks are stuck in the yard, queue, penalties occur and the warehouse crew must work overtime.
Worst case scenario for supply manager - lost production time due to lack of raw materials, delays of production deadlines and unhappy customers. On how to avoid late supply arrivals read our blog "How can You Ensure Supplies Arrival on Time?"
The solution to the warehouse and supply manager conflict is simple - improve the planning and manual communication process that is causing issues with information exchange. A proven way to do this is to automate warehouse dock scheduling with SaaS solution.
By replacing emails and phone calls with digital Dock scheduling software, warehouse and supply managers will gain full visibility into each other activities in real-time. The supply manager will see when and how many trucks can the warehouse process. And warehouse manager will know when and how many trucks are coming to his warehouse.
The tool eliminates calls, emails, and miscommunication as the dock occupancy is visible in one timesheet. The documentation of the shipments is available online, truck details, the capacity, and valuable information is also there on your tablet or computer screen.
There are huge companies that have screens in the warehouse with the Dock Scheduling tool for all the staff to be on the same page of docks occupancy and demand. If you are considering Dock scheduling tool, read our blog "How to Choose a Right Dock Scheduling Platform?"
Give us a call and we will help you to solve the warehouse and supply manager conflict with a Dock scheduling platform!