Read out the article to get information about the warehouse management system and its advantages. This article gives details about 4 types of WMS.
A warehouse management system (WMS) is an integrated set of system functions designed to manage the locating, putaway, movement, picking, and cycle count/inventory verification activities of a warehouse or distribution center.
It normally receives purchase, sales, and interplant order data from a base ERP system that serves as the authorization to initiate activities.
Warehouse locations are described in terms of their weight and volume capacities to enable proper direction when moving or stocking material.
Inventory and order status data, collected in real-time often through the use of data collection devices, are normally uploaded to the base ERP system on a batch basis.
Types of warehouse management system
Following are the most common and popular types of the warehouse management system
- Standalone system: This system is an on-premises type system that is deployed on the local hardware and network. This is the lowest price warehouse management system. Features of the standalone system are inventory management, warehouse operations, barcode scanning, slotting, put-away, picking, packing, shipping, validity date tracking. This system suits small businesses.
- Cloud-based: This system is a typical web-based system such as SaaS. It provides faster implementation and helps to reduce IT maintenance as it is hosted on a separate server, depending on the vendor’s specifications. This system allows users to get software updation automatically without extra expense.
- ERP Modules: Many vendors provide WMS integrated with their ERP solutions. This system is known as one of the best warehouse management systems. It offers core applications like supply chain planning, CRM, accounting, human resource management, etc. This system helps to reduce the labor cost, to increase warehouse productivity, and to increase the accuracy of inventory.
- Supply chain execution modules: This system is a subcategory of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) system. It helps the entire supply chain process to go in streamline.
Features of WMS
Following are the features of the warehouse management system.
- Warehouse infrastructure: This system allows the organization to design the warehouse in such a way that it has sufficient space for seasonal inventories.
- Monitoring of inventory: The system allows to track, monitor, and move the inventories easily with the help of a barcode scanner.
- Incoming and outgoing inventories: With the help of pick-to-light and pick-to-voice technology, this system optimizes the incoming and outgoing inventory process.
- Picking and packing of finished products: The system includes efficient picking systems like zone picking, wave picking, and batch picking that help the worker to pick the goods efficiently.
- Shipping: The system allows you to create invoices and packing lists for shipping and also sends shipping notifications to the customer in advance.
- Employee management: The system allows the warehouse managers to manage the employees and monitor their performance with the help of key performance indicators (KPI).
- Dock management: It directs the drives to find the proper ducks to load and unload the inventories.
- Documentation: The system generates all the reports that help the managers to analyze the warehouse process.
Workflow of warehouse
Workflow process in warehouse includes
- Receiving the goods
Your warehouse management should have the capability to manage the workflow within the warehouse.
- Receiving: The warehouse management system must have a hold over the delivery of goods to the warehouse of the exact quantity of wanted product of good quality at the correct time. This process contains the following works
- Make space for the receiving goods
- Unloading the goods
- Verification of the received goods
- Updating in the database
- Storage: It is one of the important responsibilities of the WMS. Move the received goods to their specified place in the warehouse, that is SKU ( stock keeping unit). Check out the safety measures for both goods and employees.
- Picking: Picking of the products from the storage area takes place as per the customer order. To reduce time consumption and error adopt suitable picking methods like zone picking, wave picking, and cluster picking, etc.
- Packing: In this process, checking of quality and quantity of the product and make them ready for shipping takes place.
- Delivery: Ensure the safe delivery of the goods to the customer’s place and on time. In this stage, WMS should take care of scheduling, tracking, and labor management.
- Returns: In rare cases, there will be a chance of returning the products due to some reasons. So this situation should be handled with special attention. Proper identification of the product, placing them back on the specified shelf, and sending them for repair will happen in this stage.
Advantages of Warehouse Management System
Decreases the operating cost: The warehouse management system decreases the operating cost by finding a good place to store products, materials, and equipment.
Controls warehouse activities: It controls all the activities of the warehouse by reducing inventory levels, improving order fulfillment, and reducing order cycle time.
It helps the organization to respond quickly to customer demand by providing accurate and immediate feedback. It helps to manage the inventory easily and efficiently.
Improves inventory visibility: It provides accurate and real-time inventory levels so that the organization estimates the supply and satisfies the customer.
Assigns work: This system assigns the work to the suitable person at the right time depending on the skill levels of the person.
It helps to design the schedule efficiently for day-to-day activities that improve labor efficiency.
It scans the items while entering the warehouse and keeps track of that item’s movement. Hence saves time by avoiding double-checking.
Helps to trace the materials: We can easily trace the materials with the help of WMS using lot/batch and serial numbers.
Lot/Batch shows the group in which materials are made and the serial number indicates the specific item.
In this way, it helps to compare the incoming receipt and dispatch receipt with the item. Hence it improves the tracing ability.
Simplifies the process by automation: WMS provides basic elements like sensors, bar codes to record, capture and communicate activity.
Improves customer service: WMS helps to organize and track the shipments and improves the picking accuracy in the warehouse.
With WMS we can easily plan the incoming items and outgoing products. It improves the supply chain process and customer service.
Increases productivity: This system helps to move the products with speed in the warehouse and allows the worker to do more work with less time by providing them what they want at right time.
This helps to increase the productivity of the company.
Best WMS vendors
Many WMS vendors are there. Following vendors provides WMS software as standalone products.
Get more definitions about warehouse management systems (WMS) and other ERP related terms here.