Warehouse management systems (WMS) are software and processes that give you control over warehouse operations from the time items enter a warehouse until they move out due to being sold or relocated.
As your operation grows and expectations for fast shipping continue to rise, you need a comprehensive WMS for inventory management, picking processes and auditing. If you're using an outdated legacy system, or still relying on spreadsheets and manual handling, a state-of-the-art warehouse management system will be an eye-opener. With a comprehensive WMS, you can have visibility into your organization's inventory at any time and location, whether it's in a facility or in transit. You can manage the entire supply chain from a manufacturer or wholesaler to the warehouse, then onto a retailer or another distribution center.
Warehouse Management Systems
The optimal solution will vary by size and complexity of your operations. There are three basic types of deployment options available to you. Again, the best choice will vary on your ability to invest in it and support it, and the functionality you desire.
On-premise. This option is locally hosted on your server and usually requires a complex installation and possibly customized IT development to integrate with other business tools and equipment. While these systems can be powerful, they are not a quick-fix solution.
Module. This option is part of another tool such as an ERP system. It may be less customizable because it must co-exist with the other systems.
Cloud-hosted. This system, also known as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), is used through a web interface that is accessible anywhere at any time. Data is easily accessed through most mobile and desktop devices. These systems are usually flexible and scalable because as your company grows, you can easily add locations and functionality.
With a cloud-based solution like Logiwa, you can have the best of all worlds. The solution will scale with your company as it grows. And, Logiwa offers integrations with more than 70 of the most-used tools such as e-commerce platforms, parcel carriers, accounting and ERP systems and other solutions. All your systems can communicate using a single database, so information is accurate and easily accessible. Inventory accuracy will increase dramatically, often approaching 100 percent, to ensure your warehouse operates as efficiently as possible.
3PL Warehouse Management Systems
To serve their customers, many 3PLs are looking for tools to better support e-commerce channels and ideally provide an omnichannel view of inventory and fulfillment. Many existing distribution systems were designed to manage pallet-load shipments, not high-volume e-commerce. In some cases, companies are operating two separate systems, one for wholesale orders and store fulfillment, and another for e-commerce orders. Many legacy 3PL software solutions can't handle the transition.
Your 3PL software should be built on an omnichannel approach that removes barriers between retail and e-commerce logistics, reducing inventory costs and improving the customer experience. Improving order accuracy enhances customer service and lowers return costs by getting the order right the first time. Of course, customers expect full visibility into the location and predicted delivery window.
Your 3PL software should include features such as asset tracking, lot control, barcoding and kitting. You can spend less time on manual processes by setting up custom configurations specific to your workflow.
To find out more about how Logiwa can help you take charge of your warehouse management systems, contact us for a demo today.