A software program that aids in controlling and administering day-to-day warehouse operations is known as a Warehouse Management System. WMS software directs inventory receipt and storage, optimises order picking and shipping, and assists in inventory replenishment. A Warehouse Management System can be used as a standalone program or as a component of an Enterprise Resource Planning system.
What functions does a warehouse management system have?
Initially, WMS could provide basic services, primarily storage location information. WMS capabilities may range from fundamental best practices in pick, pack, and ship functionality to sophisticated programs coordinating complex interactions with material-handling equipment and yard management. A WMS can help to decrease the possibility of mistakes occurring when a product is transported. The technology may also help a firm fulfil orders more quickly and track requested items inside the warehouse in real-time. Finally, the main objective of WMS software is to establish a paperless environment that automatically instructs your staff on the ideal picking, putting away and shipping of your items.
Warehouse management system types
There are several types of WMS, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The following are the most common types:
- Standalone system
- Modules for ERP
- Cloud Computing
Standalone warehouse management system:
A standalone WMS is a conventional on-premises solution installed on the company’s native hardware and network. Many WMS systems are third-party, standalone programs that must be connected with your other company management software (such as ERP). While it is possible to integrate external applications, the process is frequently riddled with difficulties such as information delays and silos, redundant data entry, interface concerns, and customisation costs. These systems are frequently the least expensive in the long run, but they lack the advantages of a fully comprehensive WMS solution.
Warehouse Management System on the Cloud:
A cloud warehouse management system (CWMS) is a web-based software as a service approach that takes advantage of business cloud technologies. Cloud-based WMS software provides security, scalability, more flexibility, and disaster recovery. Cloud computing also allows customers to obtain automatic software upgrades without incurring additional capital costs, improving technological competitiveness.
Modules for ERP:
Some ERP providers, such as IQMS, include a WMS in their ERP package. This sort of system offers sales orders, accounting, incorporated EDI, MRP, and shipment management without the need for cumbersome non-real-time interfaces.
Warehouse management system characteristics
WMS software products share several characteristics. Among them are the following:
- Warehouse design allows companies to modify workflow and ensure that the warehouse is optimal for inventory allocation. The WMS sets bin slotting to maximise storage space and adjust for seasonal inventory variations.
- Inventory tracking allows for the use of sophisticated tracking and automated identification and data capture technologies, such as barcode scanners, to ensure that items can be quickly found when they need to move.
- Zone picking, batch picking and wave picking are all methods of picking and packaging items. Task interleaving and lot zoning functions can also be used by warehouse personnel to direct pick-and-pack activities most effectively.
- Labour management assists warehouse managers in monitoring workers’ performance by utilising key performance indicators that identify workers who perform above or below expectations.
- Dock and yard management aid truck drivers arriving at a warehouse in locating the appropriate loading docks. Cross-docking and other incoming and outbound logistics activities are enabled by a more comprehensive dock and yard management usage.
Now that you’re well-versed in warehouse management systems, it’s time to assess what your warehouse requires. Begin by determining the frequency with which your incoming and outgoing goods are used. Warehouses that only ship a few times each day will have unique Warehouse Management System needs than a manufacturer that fills orders every four minutes. Don’t get stuck thinking about what the company needs now; instead, consider where your organization needs to go in five years and select a WMS service that can bring you there and well beyond.