Warehouses operate at the center of any fulfillment or logistics operation. When a warehouse functions like a well-oiled machine, goods can be manufactured in a timely manner and distributed anywhere throughout the world. But in order to make a warehouse run at its maximum efficiency, key systems must be in place to manage and maintain inventory, distribution, and fulfillment.
Warehouse management software (WMS) makes it easy to do just that by offering a comprehensive suite of capabilities built specifically for warehousing operations to make the complex task of warehouse management significantly more manageable.
This guide will provide you with information on the following topics:
Warehouse management software makes it possible to manage and coordinate inventory and actions throughout a warehouse or distribution center. In order to oversee warehouse operations, WMS software gives warehouse managers powerful tools to design a warehouse’s workflow, control stock, generate bills and reports, and manage yards, docks, and labor.
On the warehouse floor, WMS software makes it possible for warehouse managers and laborers to track inventory. Items can be logged, received, put away, picked-and-packed, shipped, and reported upon. Not only does WMS software make the complex task of warehouse management more manageable, but it also helps control costs by ensuring items get to the correct place at the lowest possible price. With the right WMS software, a warehouse can improve overall customer satisfaction and delivery times through improved operational efficiency.
The best WMS software makes it possible for a warehouse to operate at its maximum efficiency. If you’re determining the best software solution for your warehouse, be on the lookout for some key benefits offered by most top WMS software suites:
|Higher accuracy of order fulfillment||For an optimized omnichannel experience, WMS software makes it possible to manage orders through any sales channel. Thorough tracking of warehouse inventory and labor makes it possible to carry out fulfillment tasks with greater speed and precision. The result is a solution that makes it easier and faster for customers to receive your goods, ensuring fewer missed shipments and customer chargebacks.|
|Optimized picking and shipping||WMS software’s picking functionality doesn’t simply identify what needs to be provisioned and where it’s located. Comprehensive picking tools can define steps for preparing, packaging, and provisioning goods. Specific instructions can be set to optimize moves and transfers to help ensure efficiency.|
|Faster delivery times||Streamlined warehouse operations and increased transparency makes it possible to speed up delivery. As soon as inventory has been packed, invoices and packing lists can be automatically generated, and WMS software can inform other locations about pending deliveries through advanced shipment notifications.|
|Efficient labor management||Labor management tools make it possible to measure the efficiency of warehouse employees through key performance indicators, ensuring tasks are being carried out at the speed of business. Combined with lot zoning and task allocation, employee workflows can be streamlined in order to clearly define and carry out their work. WMS software can also track labor expenses and minimize employee theft.|
|Increased visibility of an order’s status||With WMS software, inventory and order status can be tracked at nearly 100 percent accuracy. Thanks to automated data collection through barcoding or RFID scanning, users can follow the status of their orders, providing peace-of-mind throughout the process.|
|Optimized storage space||WMS software makes it possible to design a warehouse’s workflow, picking logic, and bin slotting. This ensures space is being used properly and can account for variances like seasonality.|
|Minimized inventory movement||Because of the sheer scale of a warehouse operation, properly managing inventory is a crucial aspect of WMS software. Though increased warehouse visibility and accuracy, inventory can be tracked and placed in its proper location, ensuring goods are where they need to be when they’re needed. Minimizing the movement of inventory can help cut costs and enable warehouse workers to quickly carry out their work.|
Choosing the right WMS software for your warehouse depends on the size and structure of your warehouse operations. It’s important to fully understand your warehousing needs in order to determine the correct solution:
Because every warehousing operation is different, it’s important to evaluate the features of different WMS software platforms to determine the solution that best meets your needs. To give you a small idea of what to expect from a WMS software package, here are a few of today’s popular solutions:
Warehouses managers choose WMS software to alleviate many common warehouse pain points.
Integration with an existing logistics operation. Depending on the scale of the operation, an improved WMS software package may need to work well with transportation management systems or order fulfillment applications already in use. Ease of use. Because WMS software can offer complex functionality, it’s important that solutions offer users clear interfaces that are easy to understand. Solutions that workers can quickly adapt to are crucial to maximizing overall efficiency.
The development of WMS software keeps up with evolving market trends to ensure warehouses have the capabilities its users demand:
Warehouse management systems are data intensive software suites. In a live environment, data moves in and out of the WMS software. Order entry software passes information on what goods need to be sent to which customer. The warehouse communicates with the purchasing department. Delivery instructions may need to be sent to logistics or SCM software. Because of the cross-functional movement of data, many ERP providers offer warehouse management software as a component of the system. Still, stand-alone WMS systems are very popular as well. Not every company can switch their ERP system to one that includes WMS functionality. Also, in many cases unique functional requirements may be better-served by a particular stand-alone WMS.
Whichever type of WMS system you are interested in, Software Connect can help return a number of WMS options relevant to your specific needs for you to consider.