● What is WMS ?
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are best described as the advanced technology and operating processes that optimize all warehousing functions. These functions typically begin with receipts from suppliers and end with shipments to customers, and include all inventory movements and information flows in between.
Warehouse management systems have typically been associated with larger, more complex distribution operations. Small, non-complex distribution facilities have historically not been viewed as candidates to significantly streamline operations and reduce costs.
However, even smaller and midsize companies are increasingly recognizing the significance of warehouse management systems in today's environment of integrated logistics, just-in-time delivery, and e-commerce fulfillment.
In practice, successful WMS solutions are generally designed to merge computer hardware, software, and peripheral equipment with improved operating practices for managing inventory, space, labor, and capital equipment in warehouses and distribution centers.
Implementation of a WMS allows a company to increase its competitive advantage by reducing labor costs, improving customer service, increasing inventory accuracy, and improving flexibility and responsiveness. A WMS enables a company to manage inventory in real time, with information as current as the most recent order, shipment, or receipt and any movement in between.
● Why invest in a WMS ?
The most common reasons distributors invest in a WMS are to improve customer service and/or to improve resource utilization i.e. inventory, buildings,and people. A WMS helps improve customer service and resource utilization by eliminating errors. The result of eliminating errors can be measured by
● Inventory accuracy at the item and bin level.
● Zero returns due to warehouse errors.
● Checking operations are eliminated.
● Improved order shipment completion.
● Shortened order lead time and improved on-time delivery performance.