Warehouse Management System (WMS) Benefits & Importance to Shipping
Definition of a Warehouse Management System (WMS)
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is essential to operating a warehouse and distribution center because of the efficiency and accuracy it brings to a shipper's supply chain.
The Focus and Functionality of a WMS Application
- Order Picking, Packing & Shipping
- Value-Added Services, such as Packaging & Kitting
- Inventory Management
- Returns Processing
- Pick and Slotting Optimization
- Labor Management
- Yard & Dock Management
Warehouse Management Systems have evolved from an inventory management system to a must have because of the information, functionality, efficiencies and ability to plug in additional warehousing technologies that allow a company to vastly improve its capabilities.
Benefits of a Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) Software
- Reduces Opportunity for Human Error
- Greater Utilization of DC Space
- Increase DC Throughput
- Reduce Shipment Fulfillment Time
- Increases Labor Efficiency
- Increases Customer Satisfaction
- Decreases Expenses for Materials
- Improves Visibility of Order Fulfillment & Shipping Processes
- Increases Security and Safety
- Easily Integrates into a Company's ERP and TMS for 100% Transparency
- Improves Inventory Accuracy
- Improves Order Fill Rates on an Order, Line and Unit Basis
- Improves Order Quality & Accuracy
- Reduces Freight Costs
- Improves Order-to-Cash Cycle
Much like other software solutions, a WMS can come in the form of a stand-alone internally supported system, a SaaS cloud system and through an ERP.
Having operated several DC's in our time, our preference is either to operate a stand-alone or cloud-based system. The ERP variety systems often try to be all things to all people and miss the revolutionary functionality that a tier one WMS can bring to a company at a very low cost through a cloud-based WMS package.
The last part of the discussion on a WMS system is it often makes a great deal of sense to upgrade the transportation management system at the same time. The reason being is the combination of both systems will bring even greater transparency, efficiency and savings to a company's logistics and supply chain.
With as closely as both systems are required to operate and there will be a need to build a new interface when the new WMS is implemented that it makes for no better time than the presence to take the initiative.
For more on Transportation Management Software (TMS) and how it relates to a WMS, check out these articles:
- 2019 Best Transportation Management Software Systems
- Transportation Management System - Functionality, Benefits & Implementation
- A Complete Guide to TMS Freight Software: Market, Capabilities and Solutions for Shippers
- Transportation Management Software RFP Template