The system used in effectively managing warehouse business processes and direct warehouse activities is called Warehouse Management System (WMS). Typical processes cover receiving, putaway, picking, shipping, and inventory cycle counts. Oftentimes WMS also includes support of radio frequency communications, allowing real-time data transfer between the system and warehouse personnel.
What are typical WMS core features?
The following are some of the core features typically found in a WMS:
Inventory control allows warehouse managers to monitor inventory levels in real time. This lets managers monitor if their inventory is overstocked or understocked, which can indicate if the business is wasting money on certain products that are not being bought.
Warehouse layout allows users to identify products by weight or size so businesses can stock items in locations that make movement more efficient around the warehouse. If sales data indicates that a particular product is flying off the shelves, the warehouse managers can ensure that the product is stocked at an optimal location for the quickest shipping times.
Fulfillment monitoring features allow users to track, manage, and analyze the fulfillment times of their products. By synching RFID tags that are on each product, users can track and locate each item to see if they reached their final destination on time.
Labor management tools allow warehouse managers to monitor worker performance within the software. The software can help indicate if workers are performing above or below standards.
Warehouse modeling allows users to simulate a warehouse workflow change and provide report card metrics on efficiency. This is a great way to test changes before they’re even implemented. Within the feature, warehouse modeling will even proactively recommend optimizations so warehouse managers know how to shift workflows in order to maximize efficiency
What Types of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) There Are?
Sometimes warehouse management systems can be packaged into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Although it might not have as much functionality as a standalone product, it will definitely provide a wide scope of other business processes. If it’s important to have one system that aligns the warehouse management system with human resources, supply chain management, and manufacturing, then buyers might want to opt for a product that is included in an ERP system.
Standalone warehouse management systems are sold as a specialized product that doesn’t offer any further supply chain functionality. It will focus specifically on inventory management and warehouse operations. This would be an ideal choice for a company that isn’t looking for software that expands beyond the scope of warehouse management.