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WMS: Everything You Need to Know

A WMS is the backbone of any distribution and fulfillment operation. Is your WMS a strategic asset or an outdated relic?

The backbone of every warehouse operations is the warehouse management system or WMS.

Your WMS should reflect the current realities of your operations and prepare your business for the future. Perhaps your shifting to a more significant portion of e-commerce sales. Or you're growing through mergers and acquisitions and have to integrate operations across multiple companies.

Each strategy carries its own requirements.  For example, a higher level of direct-to-consumer shipping requires warehouse software that can handle large numbers of individual shipments as well as pallet-in and pallet-out operations. For integrating companies, your inventory system must be able to view items no matter where they're located and how they may be sold. 

Perhaps still running your warehouse without a WMS, using an array of spreadsheets with manually managed data and reporting. Maybe you have a locally based legacy system, and you've become accustomed to your system's limitations. 

Transitioning to a SaaS WMS will help you support sales growth and improve warehouse performance. At Logiwa, we've seen shippers double their shipping efficiency with 100% inventory accuracy by using our cloud-based WMS

If you don't have an existing WMS already, you may actually be in a better position than if you're using a legacy system. You can transition to a WMS cleanly without having to deal with existing databases and business rules.

A WMS manages inventory and its movements through your warehouse, and the labor required for your operations. The database includes information on individual SKUs, such as dimensions and packaging information, as well as warehouse storage locations and any storage restriction information. You need a WMS that's customizable to your warehouse configuration, such and the number and location of dock doors and storage racks. A sophisticated system will also generate predictions for labor productivity, such as cases picked per employee-hour.

Third-party logistics providers need a comprehensive 3PL WMS solution to serve the needs of their customers as well. Customization and flexibility are essential to maintain an accurate view of customers' inventory and provide a seamless experience.

You can use a WMS to plan operations on a shift or daily basis and calculate the resources such as labor and vehicles required to accomplish the plan. You can communicate those plans to carriers for deliveries and pick-ups.

Use your WMS to plan and sequence orders for picking using common strategies such as wave picking. Your WMS should support business rules for assigning work based on the configuration of your warehouse.

Your WMS should integrate with your existing systems such as accounting and ERPs, transportation planning, e-commerce platforms, parcel carriers, and others. It should also connect with a variety of warehouse technologies, such as RFID, barcodes, mobile devices, and automated material handling and storage equipment.

Using a modern WMS provides data for managers to monitor and improve operations in a timely way. With real-time information, you can see if daily goals will be met and put plans in place to avoid failure.

Are you ready to change your WMS game? Get in touch with Logiwa, and we'll set up a WMS demo today.

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