Warehouse management imposes order on warehouse processes
Logistics service providers use warehouse management systems (WMSs) to assign each bin, rack and storage location. WMSs manage the processes in the warehouse and control storage and distribution systems. Without this software, it would be almost impossible for warehouse employees to keep up with demand in the e-commerce era with fast-moving inventory and complex intralogistics processes. This would not make sense, either, since warehouse logistics is deeply integrated in the supply chain between goods receipt and goods issue and there is a clear tendency toward controlling the complete supply chain. WMSs let you track the flow of goods from A to Z. They can also be integrated into a company's entire logistics chain over a digital interface. They cover the following steps:
- Goods receipt – with quality inspection, data entry, putaway, inventory confirmation, returns management
- Warehouse management – with master data management, inventory management, stock relocation, transfer posting, stocktaking
- Goods issue – with order management, packaging, picking, shipping, delivery confirmation
- Additional customer-specific functions – including batch and serial number management, energy management
How do warehouse management systems benefit users?
Digital monitoring and inventory optimisation cut costs by reducing capital tied up in optimised stored goods. This can be implemented by following various warehousing methods such as FIFO, LIFO and HIFO. Optimum inventory levels that reflect current demand help prevent supply bottlenecks. Warehouses are fertile ground for the kind of automation that can minimise workloads and thus save time. This includes automatic processes for taking inventory, entering data or picking goods. Warehouse management systems provide a high-level view of data in real time. That allows users to identify problems in the warehouse early on and avoid shortfalls. Good data records also make it possible to spot trends and developments in the warehouse early on.