What You Need To Know About Warehouse Management Systems

What You Need To Know About Warehouse Management Systems

WMS are administration systems that ensure the proper functioning of a warehouse within a company and help follow an established and overall functional and effective order. This is a type of software design with the purpose of helping logistics companies monitor their storage, distribution, administrative and personnel processes. The system aids also not only ensuring that everyday processes are working correctly but also optimize the way processes operate and enrich them with better alternatives for receiving, processing and storing goods. This is usually highly dependent on factors like the size of the company, the volume of the operation and the amount of traffic being dealt with on a daily basis.

To be successful in the implementation of warehouse management systems, you need a few things first:

Trained Personnel: First of all you need people who are comfortable with the program and with the equipment available to put it in place. Training must be ongoing and your employees must be kept up to date in any possible changes or implementations to the current software being used. These processes take time, so a commitment to the system and an understanding of how it helps the company are very important. Proper operation and uniform practices are instrumental so the system works correctly.

Handheld Devices: Tablets and other electronic devices are necessary to use these systems since they are the tools that give users an interface to interact with the software. These tools are a great investment to help you reach better efficiency and work output because they are portable, light and easy to use. They forego the need for standard workstations by allowing your workers to carry them in their pockets anywhere they go within the warehouse and not having to stay stationary while they operate them. Devices like this allow for you to read QR codes, barcodes, communicate wirelessly and they are built with specifications that allow for rugged work in a warehouse environment.

The investment on portable devices depends a lot on the amount of personnel you have working in the warehouse at a time and then considerations must be taken to ensure proper power supplies, batteries, and coverage of wireless signals.

The Purpose Of Warehouse Management Systems.

One of the basics objectives of the system is to optimize the overall operation of deposits and warehouses while integrating with their enterprise resource planning (ERP). Parting from there, a WMS allows for you to augment things like better management of space, work processes optimization, management of loading and unloading docks and material flow and transportation.

Advantages: A warehouse management system helps companies find ways to maximize the production strategies of goods, enhance job productivity, increase the control of product on hand, improve the accuracy of time, costs and quality of customer service; and most important of all, reduce costs within the warehouse.

Disadvantages: The cost of a warehouse management system is substantial due to the quantity and quality of services that offers. Implementing technological resources needed to operate a warehouse management system is complex and it requires costly devices in order to offer the best possible utilization of the system and the follow up needed to properly adjust how the software and its implementation to the daily workings of the warehouse. Something else to consider is the training of employees, as this is a mandatory investment in order to ensure that the full potential of the WMS is reached and the human factor of its implementation is properly handled. Training can delay the current operation of the supply chain, but it is a necessary step as well as the retrofitting of current systems if they exist and the way current connections or technologies in place can be used instead of discarded in order to give even more support to the upcoming changes.

Image courtesy of Beximco Pharma at Flickr.com

 

Who Can Benefit From This:

Small and large manufacturing and distribution companies are the ones that mainly use these systems to optimize their logistics operations. Large and small companies with complex warehouse operations that move large amounts of products or do so in a fast pace are also highly benefited from it. Companies with low production and sparse movement of goods probably wouldn’t need to implement this type of systems.

Characteristics and Importance of a WMS:

Warehouse management systems provide a real-time management of operations, traceability, and planning of the most important operations that take place in the daily workings of a warehouse. WMS is important because it helps companies comply with safety and quality requirements of the market as well as an automation of goods that enter and exit the system constantly. This allows for these goods to be easily visible within the system, tracked and identified using minimal efforts.

For more great articles about logistics and statistics, check out our publications at David Kiger’s Blog today.

* Featured Image courtesy of Colt Group at Flickr.com

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