23 Sep 2022

Run Your Day-to-Day Operations With Warehouse Management System

Warehouse management encompasses the principles and processes involved in running the day-to-day operations of a warehouse to increase productivity and reduce costs.

Run Your Day-to-Day Operations With Warehouse Management System

What is Warehouse Management System (WMS)?

Today businesses are greatly relying on online retail technology to make their goods available to worldwide customers. Organizations very well know that a winning e-commerce strategy can take their company to the next level for which they first need to manage their inventory well and serve their customers in the best manner. This is where a warehouse management system or WMS will play a significant role, as it will give them everything that they need to manage products, streamline processes, and save money. A warehouse management system is a software solution, which is increasingly used in the manufacturing and retail industries to track goods and materials that come in and go out of the warehouse. In other words, the warehouse management system looks into business inventory and optimizes all warehouse processes. It efficiently manages supply chain fulfilment operations, right from the distribution centre to the shelf of the store. 

Essential Warehouse Management Processes

A warehouse management system is a set of processes used to organize the work of a warehouse or distribution centre can make sure that this facility efficiently operates and fulfils its objectives. Warehouse management includes all the processes that are essential for running the day-to-day operations of a warehouse. It includes receiving and organizing warehouse space, scheduling labour, managing inventory, and fulfilling orders. Effective warehouse management comprises optimization and integration of all the processes to make sure that all aspects of a warehouse operation work together to increase productivity and reduce costs. Warehouse management processes comprise six main processes and every process affects the efficiency of the next process, so every process of warehouse management should be optimized to ensure that warehouse operation run like a well-oiled machine. The six major processes of warehouse management include:

Receiving the right products or items - Businesses should log the incoming items and products and should verify that they are receiving the items in the right quantity, condition, and at the right time.

Move Items - The received items should be moved from the receiving dock to their proper storage space.

Safely and Aptly Store - The products should be safe and aptly store by logically arranging the inventory to ensure quick and accurate picking of items.

Collecting - The needed items should be picked to fulfil the sales order.

Prepare Items for Shipment - The items should be prepared for shipment by safely and properly packaging them along with a precise packing slip.

Ship - Lastly the finalised sales order is shipped through the right vehicle at the right time with the correct documentation to make sure that customers receive their orders on time.

What are the Different Types of Warehouse Management Systems?

A warehouse management system helps businesses manage daily warehouse operations and finding the right WMS for the business can be a difficult task. Thus, a business must know their options and the difference between different types of WMS, as this will help them pick the best one depending upon their requirements. A warehouse management system is vital for every business to efficiently run its warehouse and it ties together all aspects of the supply chain and completely streamlines the entire supply chain process. The most common types of warehouse management systems available to cater to the needs of diverse businesses include:

Standalone System - This type of WMS is ideally suited for smaller warehouse operations or for businesses that are planning to use it with their other supply chain operations and are not looking to integrate a new system. This WMS comes with just warehouse management features and is highly affordable. This type of WMS is ideal for businesses that need to improve their warehouse operations and inventory management of their supply chain which are the two vital things of the warehouse functioning. Businesses use standalone WMS to manage things like packing, shipping, receiving, returns, barcode scanning, and inventory tracking.

ERP Module - Enterprise Resource Planning Module is regarded as the best type of WMS for 3PL businesses that are looking to expand and improve their supply-chain operations. The extensive features of this type of WMS allow businesses to organize their supply chain, HR, accounting, and even customer relationship platforms. It is highly beneficial for large supply chains because it consolidates operations into one platform. It offers solutions for accounting, supply chain operations, customer service, risk management, project management, and purchasing and this type of WMS is ideal and the right fit for highly robust organizations.

Cloud-Based Platform - A cloud-based platform is the best option for quick integration and added convenience of the WMS. The cloud technology used in the warehouse provides innumerable benefits like more security, less IT maintenance, and a lower cost. The integration and management of this type of WMS become cheaper and easier this system runs on a server and system that is outside the organization. The systems that are on-premises need more work while implementing the platform within existing technology and supply chain steps. Businesses will undoubtedly save money while having an outside IT team managing their systems rather than having an in-house team. The other highlighting feature of this type of WMS includes better security, user-friendly, highly flexible, data recovery, competitiveness, and consolidation. This type of WMS is generally preferred by third-party logistics that outsource much of their warehouse operations.

Supply Chain Module - This type of WMS has a broad scope and allows businesses to manage everything from vendor relationships to risk assessment to business processes. This also focuses on material sourcing, automating inventory management, and product cycles. It is ideally suited for 3PL businesses, as it gives them chance to explore the benefits of supply chain management while choosing this type of WMS businesses also need to invest in supply chain planning applications that come with warehousing features. Aligning WMS with other applications ensures better cohesion between different parts of the business and it also supports holistic management of the whole supply chain whereas standalone solutions include only warehousing. Businesses that are using this type of WMS need to minimize the overlaps within the existing software.

What are the Benefits of a Warehouse Management System?

Businesses make use of the warehouse management system to enhance efficiency, profitability, and balance safety. This system also benefits operations by reducing human error, maximizing productivity and efficiency, and has a positive impact on the overall business with automation. Some of the other major benefits of the WMS include:

Operating expenses is reduced - An aptly designed WMS significantly reduces operating expenses by determining the effective use of the labour as well as the space to minimize waste. This system helps a business determine the place to keep certain items, products, and equipment to enhance the warehouse flow.

Better Visibility - The warehouse management system provides better inventory visibility with real-time data on inventory through serial numbers, barcoding, and RFID tagging. Users can use these methods to document every item entering the warehouse, its movement in the warehouse, and while being transported from one location to another.

Improve Management - Another major benefit of WMS is just-in-time inventory management, which is a practice that keeps stock levels low and allows products to be quickly moved through the warehouse. Instead of holding inventory for long periods, the warehouse receives items "just in time" to fill an order.

Strengthen Security - The majority of WMS require employees to make use of individual user accounts for entering transactions that create an audit trail connecting specific employees to certain transactions, improve accountability, and reduce the risk of theft and other issues. Besides, user-based access prevents unauthorized access to some reports and analyses and allows users to see the essential information required for their work. Thus, the company doesn't have to worry about secrets and losing its competitive advantage.

Inbound and Outbound Logistics is optimized - With WMS users do just not optimize the inventory location and equipment but their movement around the warehouse is also perfected. The WMS provides inbound planning tools like scheduling and put away management that allow businesses and their supplier to know the best date and time to receive a shipment based on the availability of labour and equipment.

The Functionality of a WMS

Organizations that are looking to run a profitable and efficient business should understand that warehousing is a significant aspect that helps in achieving this aspiration. It helps in managing inventory while controlling and maintaining items before shipping. The following warehouse management functions solve business challenges as well as give a systematic process to follow.

Storage - It plays a vital role in warehouse management functions, as businesses will probably require more storage during the holiday season or when goods sell at lower rates whereas businesses will need to remove items from storage when demand is high or in case of the increased price. This strategy reduces wastage of the stock and ensures that items are protected and safe.

Reduces Risks - Products or items stored in warehouses are protected from theft, fire, and damage, as warehouses are installed with surveillance systems to capture any illegal activity and save products from theft. Thus, the security of the warehouse is boosted and managers can remotely monitor every ongoing activity in and around the warehouse. Alarm systems or sensors can be installed in the warehouse to monitor and that can automatically send signals in case of break-ins. 

Stabilized Price - Warehouse another major functionality is that it ensures price stability, as warehouses help in managing price fluctuations by storing stock when there is an increase in demand in the market while releasing the goods into the market when the demand is under control. This strategy ensures that there is sufficient inventory to match supply and demand which further leads to price stability.

Value-added Services - Warehouse functions include some significant value-added services like packing, re-packaging, grading, customization, re-branding, bundling, stamping, barcode printing, labelling, invoice printing, order fulfilment, quality checks, goods disposal, and processing for efficient product delivery and optimizing the supply chain.

What are the Features of a Warehouse Management System?

While choosing a warehouse management system, businesses need to consider their functional requirements and make sure that all the vital features that are essential for their businesses are incorporated. This will make sure that the warehouse management system is packed with all the vital features for the most efficient and cost-effective movement of products and also facilitates apt warehouse monitoring, inventory management, packaging of goods, receiving and shipping, and reporting. The following are key features of a good warehouse management system:

Inventory Management - This feature of the warehouse management system track inventory through barcode readers and RFID tags and automatically update information on the WMS software's dashboard ensuring that the latest information is accessible to anybody with permissions. It also ensures that inventory can be easily located when they are required to move.

Packing and Picking - Preparing picking lists is a daunting task that is greatly eased with the picking and packing feature of the warehouse management system. WMS allows businesses to easily sort and print lists either by bin location, order date, or SKU. WMS is equipped with voice systems or mobile devices to direct workers to the inventory's precise location. The ideal route is advised to the workers along with necessary equipment to reduce travel time for picking up any goods. Not only this, but WMS also provides an ideal packing strategy along with the type and quantity of packaging. Several details like price tags, shipping labels, logos, bills, and other documents are provided directly from the system. Manually entering the addresses and retyping tracking numbers is not required.

Order Management - Order optimization is a vital feature of a warehouse management system that helps businesses effectively manage orders by regulating the inventory flow through the warehouse. Some warehouse management system provides connectivity to carrier networks to improve shipping operations and with automation in WMS becoming prevalent, time-consuming manual entry chores are eliminated. WMS is automated through artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning that boost both speed and efficiency, as picking robots can locate and deliver materials without the need for workers.

Analytics - The analytics feature in the warehouse management system allows businesses to benefit from real-time tracking, especially for inventory management. It allows businesses to view their inventory levels in real-time, making sure that they are aware of the situation when they are running out of specific stock or have excessive stock. It facilitates data filtering for KPI analysis, highlights improvement areas and workflow management also keeps a track of warehouse happening and incidents that require further attention.

What is the Future of Warehouse Management?

Warehouse management system operations run on many levels and handling a warehouse and ensuring the correct delivery schedule is not a simple task. Besides, there are uncountable other tasks that need to be carried out daily that make the warehouse management task difficult and complex. Luckily, new technologies and innovations are emerging and beautiful ideas are making their way into the warehouse management system to make things easier. The warehouse management task is difficult and requires ample support, as they are an integral part of inventory management. The future of the warehouse management system will have the following:

Robots for Warehouse Management - Robots in warehouse management are a perfect example of automated systems because they ease the difficult manual tasks to a great extent. These robots are efficient in performing all warehouse tasks, from transporting goods to streamlining warehouse operations; they can do it all, thereby saving a great amount of time and energy for businesses and also eliminating the chance of human error. Robots can quickly do warehouse jobs in a highly organized manner that increases efficiency and productivity. Robots help in picking, packing, and storage and also come with sensors for smooth navigation within the warehouse.  

Drones - Drone technology is effectively being used in wedding and corporate events and the day is not far when this will also be used as a modern world application in warehouses. Drones will prove much faster and more powerful than manual handling of warehouse activities which will allow organizations to save a lot of time and efficiency. The drones can record and scan barcodes on every panel, thereby capturing details, location, and relevant information about the product.

Smartphones - Smartphones used in warehouse management is termed mobile warehouse management system and is a part of technological advancement in the last couple of years. Inventory tracking is evolved over these years, from tracking through pen and paper to using computers and laptops to now using smartphones. Now all types of warehouse management tasks can be done with the help of smartphones, such as right from scanning QR codes, capturing data, tracking inventory, and productivity, every task of warehouse management has been considerably eased with the use of smartphones. With smartphones, a business can track the latest information, receive real-time updates, and have warehouse management operations at their fingertips.

Forklifts and Automated Vehicles - Automated vehicles and smart forklifts will prove a boon for the warehouse, as these vehicles will considerably reduce the need for human resources and manual assistance, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency. These vehicles place the goods on their designated shelves and can also pick up the assigned items from their allotted spaces for deliveries.

How Can Our Modern, Cloud-Based WMS Help Your Business Grow?

Our modern and industry-leading cloud-based WMS prepares businesses today for tomorrow’s supply chain. It aligns supply chains to inventory management and fulfilment services and offers real-time visibility into an entire inventory with access to the internet being the only requirement. In today’s dynamic fulfilment economy, consumers prefer to buy and return anywhere, and to cater to this need of consumers businesses have to quickly respond with the help of warehouse management software that enhances fulfilment capabilities. Implementation of our cloud-based WMS will serve the businesses with the following benefits:

Limitless Scalability - Traditional WMS cannot increase the number of SKUs managed and with continued SKU proliferation, it resulted in severe bottlenecks and delay in fulfilling orders. A cloud-based WMS has limitless scalability, benefiting the best companies and resources.

Enhanced Cybersecurity - Cloud-based WMS requires an unmatched level of cybersecurity, though it may not seem like a vital issue for the modern warehouse but it is critical to guarantee customer support for building brand value. To avoid risks of cyber-attacks, we spend millions on developing advanced cybersecurity measures of which businesses can take advantage without the investment and development cost of implementing cybersecurity measures in their company.

Around the Clock Operation - Both e-commerce and Omni channel benefit by using a cloud-based WMS, as they both operate around the clock, so any disruption, whether it is for an update or repair of a problem adversely affects customer experiences. Besides, cloud-based WMS facilitates scaling of product selection to cater to the demands of e-commerce.

Faster Processing Power - Cloud-based WMS operate in a neutral environment having broad scalability so the WMS provides a faster processing power. Thus, downtime is less likely to affect the customer experience. In the e-commerce business, downtime can make the difference between consumers either shopping with the company or abandoning their purchases.


What is Cloud-based WMS?

A cloud-based WMS is a software application that allows businesses to manage and store their inventory in the cloud. It stores all the information on a remote server and provides businesses access through an active internet connection. The server is maintained by the service provider and businesses are charged depending on the agreement with the vendor and are provided with access to the feature of the program. Cloud-based WMS allows businesses to manage inventory in reduce time and cost, and also makes it easier to find and order products from suppliers. It automates many of the inventory management tasks like ordering and shipping products, tracking inventory levels, and managing returns.

How does the warehouse management system work?

The warehouse management system has its own way of working and it differs from traditional warehouse operations. The most basic action of the WMS is to track the goods entering or exiting the warehouse, as every piece of goods that is received is updated in the system and tracked from their arrival and the location from where it was sent. Even the items shipped from the warehouse are properly recorded in the system. After this, WMS organize and monitor all goods that they possess and once the goods are sold, the inventory is converted to revenue. Another action of WMS is to keep units set up together to form new storage-keeping units. In implementing this WMS carries out order management and fulfilment. The WMS also provides data insights that allow businesses to improve their processes and significantly reduce their overall costs. WMS's thorough reporting feature improves businesses' current processes. Data can be viewed and monitored that is generated in different forms like graphs and charts that allow businesses to make sound decisions on the effective management of the warehouse.

What is the main objective of the warehouse management system?

The objective of a warehouse management system is to offer automated and computerized procedures to improve the efficiency of businesses and minimize their costs. The warehouse management system is used to achieve the following objectives:

  • Accurate inventory counts
  • Reduces human error
  • Sync Platforms and Software
  • Faster Shipping
  • Improved customer experience
  • Improved accountability

How are warehouse services different from third-party logistics?

A third-party logistics warehouse is an outsourced business, which takes care of a company’s supply chain and logistics operations whereas warehouse services offer storage space to businesses in the short or long term with fees that are based on duration and the amount of space required. Warehouse services provide in-house workers and equipment to move items around, manage operations and keep the facility running. 

How Do You Choose the Right Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system allows businesses to efficiently monitor their everyday operations and also helps them work collaboratively. Businesses need to carefully choose a warehouse management system through proper research because the right WMS will facilitate seamless operations, thus increasing the profit margins for the organization.  Businesses while choosing a WMS must keep the following factors in mind:

Understand the significance of WMS for their business

  • Know their ROI and requirements and select a WMS that meets their organization's requirements
  • Businesses should seek vital information related to the WMS like a list of features supported, availability of training services, estimated cost of the WMS, additional configurable features, etc.
  • Select a more dynamic WMS and provide extra functionalities and business must take into consideration the upgraded path of the WMS
  • Select the WMS from the best warehouse management software provider like 3SC offering tried and tested methodologies, and even implementation is as per the requirement, and the system provides optimal solution right from the start.

How warehouse services can improve your business?

The growth of the international trade and retail sector is increasing the significance of warehouse services and it is greatly impacting the supply chain efficiency. Good warehouse services provide substantial benefits to businesses, right from better operational efficiency to better stock and inventory management to better customer experience. With warehouse services, businesses are more in control of their shipping and handling because it increases the value of goods by providing services that make products available in a convenient way. It also reduces the cost and increases the value of customer service and warehouse operations also add value to the logistics of the business.

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