3 Types of Warehouse Management Systems
It is essential to accelerate a Warehouse Management System to run any 3PL business which are dealing with physical goods or items that are mostly transported to and from consumers. Time is very crucial and if you do not value time, you may be losing money. If your employees do not have an efficient tool to manage their inventory and warehouse, this is serious because your business is at stake.
For finalising what software system is better for your warehouse operations, this write up will guide you decide. There are many types of WMS (Warehouse management System) to choose from. There are different pros and cons to each type of WMS that are available. Understanding them will help you determine which feature your business may need or what are the features that won’t work for your business.
Here are the four most popular types that are used frequently used by 3PL businesses:
Standalone Warehouse Management Systems
A standalone WMS is the most basic. While the price is low, the system lacks many of the benefits from an integrated WMS solution. They are commonly used for their warehouse management features like- Expiration Date Tracking, Cycle Counting, Barcode Scanning, Put-away, Receiving, Picking, Packing, Slotting, Shipping etc.
These are sold with only most important features of WMS modules and with no extra supply chain functions. However, the basic transportation management tools are also offered often by some of the vendors with their standalone system.
Most of the warehouse management systems are offered as standalone packages that are already installed and integrated with your existing software. This may cause issues like duplicated data entry, delays in information processing, user interface problems, additional customization effort and cost etc. A standalone WMS can be used to manage inventory only. This feature makes a standalone Warehouse Management Systems ideal for a small enterprises or medium business (SMBs/SMEs) without much budget for costly software tools.
Supply Chain Modules
Investing in a good supply chain application can solve your warehouse problems. Supply Chain Management is one of the most important parts of a warehouse management system for 3PL businesses. An SCM (Supply Chain Modules) has various scopes to assist you in managing many aspects of the supply chain and inventory.
Some of the basic and common tasks performed by an SCM are – inventory management, sourcing of materials, product cycles etc. SCM can also help you manage relations with vendors; simplify ongoing business processes and assess possible risk. Utilizing an SCM as your Warehouse Management System enables our 3PL warehouse business the ability to explore many benefits offered by an SCM.
SCM differs from standalone WMS where you are just provided the warehousing features. SCM doesn’t only help in managing inventory, tracking warehouse issues and information but also streamlining entire supply chain.
ERP is considered as the most powerful software to combine several capabilities of many other Warehouse Management Systems or Operation Software. ERP offers the applications which works as core processes in 3PL businesses and help it go smooth. The key tasks it performs may range from supply chain planning, human resources to accounting, customer relationship management, and more.
ERP is the best fit for the businesses that have budget for software solution and who are looking for end to end solutions to their operation and wants to grow their business to a larger scale. ERP is an excellent WMS for your enterprise as it helps you grow in a competitive market and improve your business ROI. These are specialized and offer robust supply chain scalability.
Cloud-based System is basically a web-based WMS which is centralized-computing model. It employs cloud technology using SaaS (Software as a Service). This one is famous for its scalability and deployment. This offers same benefits and features as other integrated WMS does at a very lower cost yet faster implementation. It is safe and has very less IT maintenance as it is hosted on a private server, based on specifications from the vendor. This private server generally leads to higher and important data security protocols. For businesses who want to manage high value inventory, cloud based system is the best option in the market for them.
Final Thought: A lot to be considered before you make your mind on which warehouse management systems can help your business the best possible way. Take your time, consider all your options and take a look at our previous write ups on Warehouse Management Systems that will help you understand WMS in depth, the importance of it in your business and hence, it will help you decide which type of WMS or warehouse management system will best fit your business so you don’t get dragged behind on inventory management, shipment completion and order delivery.
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