What is Warehouse Management System?--BY Skuvault

 

WHAT IS A WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (WMS)?

 

aerial view of a warehouse showing boxes and forklifts representing warehouse management system

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: DEFINED

SO, WHAT IS A WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

warehouse management system (WMS) is a type of software used to manange operations in a warehouse including inventory management, picking processes, and auditing.

A WMS is an instrumental part of the supply chain, the primary goal of which is to track and control the movement and storage of 
product or materials within a warehouse, and process the associated inventory actions, including: receiving, adding, picking, quality 
control, shipping, reporting, and forecasting, with the addition of listing and channel management, should the company be involved in eCommerce. A warehouse management system streamlines and facilitates processes and a product's journey throughout the warehouse; for example, such systems will direct and optimize picking by utilizing real-time inventory data to determine the proper warehouse location to retrieve the product from.

"A warehouse management system streamlines and facilitates processes and a product's journey throughout the warehouse"

 

More precisely, warehouse management involves the receipt, storage,and movement of goods, (normally finished goods, but kits may also be managed by a sophisticated WMS), to intermediate storage locations or to a final customer. Note that a warehouse management system can manage multiple warehouses simultaneously; an example of such an arrangement might be a central warehouse, a regional warehouse (serviced by the central warehouse) and retail warehouses (serviced by the regional warehouses).

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WHY A WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

The objective of a warehouse management system is to provide a set of computer automated procedures for management and monitoring of warehouse inventory with the goal of minimizing cost and fulfillment times and streamlining warehouses processes.

FEATURES OF A WMS:

  • Receiving and Returns: The receipt of stock and returns into a warehouse facility. An efficient warehouse management system helps companies cut expenses by minimizing the amount of unnecessary parts and products in storage (not too much in stock). Similarly, a WMS assists in preventing out of stocks (aka OOS, stockouts, oversells, etc.) by maintaining accurate real-time quantities (not too little in stock). A warehouse management system's primary purpose is to maintain the proper balance of inventory.
  • Warehouse Logistics: Modeling and managing the logical representation of the physical storage facilities (e.g. racking, etc.). For example, if certain products are often sold together or are more popular than others, those products can be grouped together or placed near the delivery area to speed up the process of picking, packing and shipping to customers.
  • Integrations: Enabling a seamless link to order processing and logistics management in order to pick, pack, and ship product out of the facility. Why is this important? If the system is managing an eCommerce company's inventory, integration with a channel management software might be necessary in order to track sales from the seller's various online marketplaces.
  • Reporting & Forecasting: Tracking product locations, suppliers, and storage duration allows companies to control inventory levels and maximize the use of warehouse space. This practice of analysis better prepares businesses for the demands of the market, especially during unique circumstances such as a peak season, holidays, or during daily deals. Via the reports generated by the inventory management system, much can be discerned, such as best-selling SKUs, target price range, fastest moving SKUs, SKU history, etc.
    Skuvault-features-channel-sync.jpg Skuvault-features-percise-inventory.jpg Skuvault-features-data.jpg

     Receiving & Returns

    A good WMS will keep track of your inventory. A great WMS can tell you if it's enroute to Amazon, customers, between warehouses, etc. We have the fastest sync in the business so you always have real-time quantities and never oversell.

    Integrations 

    Only costly ERP's will give you everything you need to operate every face of your business. Don't be fooled by a WMS that says they do it all- instead opt for one with an open API that integrates with other specialized software.

     Advanced Reporting

    Not every WMS is created equal. Look for a WMS that goes the extra mile and can aggregate your data into actionable information. Advanced reporting features give you the most  out of your warehouse, products, and employees. 

TYPES OF WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

There are many kinds of warehouse management systems; they can be standalone systems, or modules of an ERP system or supply chain execution suite. Dependent upon the size and sophistication of the organization, the system can be as simple as a series of handwritten lists that are updated when required, spreadsheets using software such as Microsoft Excel or Access, or a more growth-oriented, purpose-built software program.

This article is primarily geared toward exploring the nature of a software program due to its automated processes and focus on streamlining and efficiency. It is useful to delineate warehouse management systems based upon their intended purpose:

ECOMMERCE WMS

Warehouse Management Systems streamline processes involved in selling on online marketplaces. A WMS built for eCommerce has needs beyond that of a typical system. In addition to all of the typical features a wms has such as receiving, picking, shipping, etc, an eCommerce WMS needs to account for other needs, the foremost of which is retrieving and pushing quantities to the various online marketplaces (such as Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, the seller's website, etc.). This is important to prevent oversells; the true available  quantity of any specific product needs to be readily available in real-time. The only way that this can happen is if a warehouse management system is either equipped with a channel management system or integrates with one. Another way that a WMS can automate eCommerce processes is by speeding up the task of listing products on various marketplaces. The WMS also needs to be able to pull orders for fulfillment from online channels, either directly from the marketplaces, via a channel management integration, or via a shipping platform integration.

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RETAIL WMS

Within retail there are vastly different needs (for example, a grocery store would have needs far removed from that of a specialty sports equipment shop), but similar among them is the need for a POS, also known as a point of sale, wherein a customer makes a payment to a merchant in exchange for goods or services. A merchant typically acquires the information necessary in order to charge the customer, and issue a receipt as proof of the transaction. The inclusion of a POS minimizes errors and speeds up the transaction process; a retail WMS will include or integrate with one.

SO WHO BENEFITS FROM A WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM?

Admittedly, this is kind of a loaded question. In all honesty, all warehouses can benefit from the implementation of a WMS. And inside
 those warehouses, a WMS benefits individuals. SkuVault is a cloud-based WMS, which means IT isn't tied up with complicated 
hardware or installations
Our customer service is responsive and helpful which means you don't have to tie up your resources with troubleshooting. Operation managers benefit from advanced reporting and processing which means fewer mistakes and more orders out the door. So what does this mean for you business owners? Reduced costs and more free time to focus on where your business actually needs you. Click below to find out more about how SkuVault can help you.
                                             
                                                                 From
Hencodes 's Partners ---SKUVALUT