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Tuesday, 21 May 2019


What is a Warehouse Management System for Small Businesses ?

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application designed to manage and support warehouse functionality and distribution center management.

It supports warehouse managers with their day-to-day operational tasks, including planning, organizing, staffing, directing employees or the movement and storage of inventory into, within, and out of a warehouse.

There are many advantages to using a WMS, including:

  1. Productivity
    1. A WMS not only keeps track of where your inventory is within a warehouse but also optimizes the product journey from shelf to the doorstep. For example, consider warehouse pickers. They often walk many miles a day within a warehouse picking items to fulfill orders. A WMS uses wave/batch picking algorithms to cut down the walking distance. This means less walking for them and a faster packing and shipping rate for you.
  2. Cutting Expenses
    1. Running a business is expensive, but it’s even more costly when you have to constantly update your product tracking technology or call every time a product does not arrive on time. Cloud-based WMS systems are a great way to cut costs because there is no need to constantly update your tech, and you can track your inventory in real-time. The system also manages receiving orders and returns, so that businesses can prevent stock overflow or out of stock situations.
  3. Real-Time Awareness
    1. With a WMS, you are in control because you can check your inventory at all times. You can see when a stock is too low or high, and even check the selling or returning frequency of a specific item. By having your warehouse data and knowledge at your fingertips, making a sale is no longer a guessing game.
Warehouse Management Software
Warehouse Management Software

A WMS helps you keep track important warehouse elements and details, which may include:
  • Stock Keeping Units (SKUs)
  • Warehouse Storage Locations:
    • Individual location number, picking sequence, type of use (picking, reserve storage), type of storage (each, case, pallet), location size, storage restriction, and more
  • Dock doors
  • Expected labor productivity rates by function or activity
Warehouse Management Software
Warehouse Management System

In addition to tracking warehouse data, a WMS is also helpful for daily warehouse operations management:
  • Planning - finalizing the daily plan for receiving dock activity, selecting workload or orders to be processed, calculating labor or vehicle estimates, notify carriers of loads
  • Organizing - sequencing the orders to be picked
  • Staffing - assign staff to work functions and areas
  • Directing - ensuring documented processes are configured in the WMS
  • Controlling - providing milestones for management to monitor daily progress and to report data for performance analysis

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