What is Warehouse Management?
Warehouse management is the management and control of daily operations in a warehouse such as receiving, putaway, picking, packing, shipping, counting. Warehouse management is not the same as stock management. Stock management is a smaller portion of warehouse management in which you control stock levels. Warehouse management represents all the activities in a warehouse including stock management.What does WMS mean?
A WMS means warehouse management software which is the operating system that helps you manage your warehouse and distribution centers effectively.
What is WMS?
A WMS is a system solution that centralizes and controls a warehouse’s data and operations. Consider these basic tasks that happen within a warehouse:
- Incoming goods must be entered into the warehouse record and physically put in the right location
- The location of received goods must be recorded so that workers can retrieve them later when orders come in
- A pick list based on customer orders must be generated each day so that workers know what to pick and pack in time for shipping
With a WMS, all warehouse data exists in one place with a centralized record of how goods move through your warehouse. You can track a good from the moment it:
- Arrives in your warehouse
- Gets placed on a shelf
- Is flagged in the system as part of a pick order (i.e.,a job)
- Gets packed in a box
- Is marked as ready to ship
Types of WMS
While there are several types on the market, all WMS systems share a core purpose - centralizing and controlling a warehouse’s operations. It’s the different variations and features that can make it difficult to select the right one.
Standalone WMS only manage the core functions of the warehouse and do it very well.
In other words, the focus isn’t on providing the best platform for warehouses, but rather the best tools for warehouses.
Core functionalities of a standalone solution include:
- Order fulfillment
- Inventory management
- Warehouse operations management
- Inventory analysis and planning
- Inventory tracking, reporting
- Billing and contract management
Supply Chain Management Systems
Today, the supply chain industry is focused on supply chain integration, which refers to the coordination of different supply chain processes, specifically through enhanced information sharing.
In other words, material providers, manufacturers, distribution centers, fulfillment centers, retailers, and transportation providers all work together.
When the supply chain isn’t integrated, a small upstream problem snowballs into an enormous downstream disaster.
These types of WMS make it easy for warehouses to integrate with different parties in the supply chain like suppliers, carriers, and retailers.
Specifically, additional to standalone systems, this type of system helps business leaders:
- Manage relationships with multiple vendors
- Streamline the processes using EDI and plugin integrations
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system brings together tools from across a business’s various functions.
The advantages of an ERP are that it is an all-in-one solution. All of your systems are integrated, making it possible to share information across different business functions, uncover insights, and make data-driven decisions with a holistic view of your operations.
Written by Erhan Musaoglu
Erhan Musaoglu is the CEO and Co-Founder of Logiwa.