Functions of a Warehouse Management System – All You Need to Know
Technological advancements and digitally disruptive platforms are paving their way into most of the industries and redefining their functional aspects.
The transportation and logistics management industry are no exception as it has witnessed a significant shift in terms of day-to-day operations. One of the key innovations that have transformed the logistics industry is the launch of warehouse management systems.
Considering the growth perspective and global scalability, businesses are increasingly realizing the importance of warehouse management systems and devising an actionable plan of action to unleash its ultimate potential.
Warehouse management has been one of the core pillars of the transportation and logistics sector, and businesses have always focused extensively on the effective functioning of this business unit. With the introduction of new tools, techniques and platforms, the logistics space has massively benefitted from a range of WMS solutions, be it on-premise or cloud-based.
So, what is a warehouse management system?
Warehouse management system is essentially a software application that aims at monitoring and controlling warehouse operations on a day-to-day basis.
It essentially includes a broader spectrum of actions that initiate from auditing and tracking the materials since it is received into the respective warehouse to the moment it was being stored and finally reaching the end-customer as the final step of the supply chain process.
With the assurance of inventory-related data transparency, a WMS reduces manual errors and also looks after the stock control management as well. A WMS application allows the users to have a centralized system where different warehouse management tasks are managed through a unified interface that in turn ensures the ease of usage and efficiency of warehouse operations.
Functions of a warehouse management system
Despite the wide-scale adoption and popularity of warehouse management systems, businesses might still be hesitant regarding its applicability and alignment to their core business objective.
To effectively understand the suitability of a WMS, businesses must understand the myriad of functional aspects, use case scenarios of a WMS.
Here, we have elaborated on some of the key functions of a warehouse management system.
Keeping the track of stock inflows into the warehouse is one of the primary functions of warehouse management systems. It enables the warehouse managers with the perfect insights to understand the availability of stock, stock processing and stock replenishment needs.
A WMS enables the warehouse managers to gauge the demand vs supply of their goods so that they can replenish the stock in the right amount at the right time.
The conventional challenges of over or under stocking can be effectively eliminated with a robust WMS in place. Besides, it plays a pivotal role in warehouse space optimization. A WMS ensures that stocks are well distributed to ensure smooth warehouse management.
Picking & Shipping Inventory
Picking inventory and shipping them respectively to the intended customer base is the second most important function of a WMS.
Conventional warehouse systems had several challenges such as missing data and inefficient inventory tracking that led to inefficient and erroneous inventory shipping.
However, an efficient WMS ensures that the right product is picked based on your business rules such as Last In First Out (LIFO) or First In First Out (FIFO). This will indeed prove to be a seamless, robust and cost-effective solution. There are no more incurring costs on the wrong stocking up of order and shipping to its mismatching customers.
Efficient Inventory Management
As a business scale, the product portfolio expands resultantly and similarly the need for more space in the warehouses for storing the inventory.
At such juncture, efficient space management in the warehouse is highly critical for businesses and is often the topmost priority of the warehouse managers. While acquiring this efficiency manually may seem daunting, an automated WMS solution is an absolute choice to combat these challenges.
A robust Warehouse Management System enables the warehouse personnel to store the inventory in the warehouse depending on the current demand and product weight.
By keeping heavier products or products that have a faster turnaround rate closer to the door ensures effective inventory management and saves the workforce personnel unnecessary usage of time and resources.
Tracking & Visibility
Inventory tracking is one of the crucial functions of a warehouse management system.
A WMS enables easy and efficient tracking of inventory and order related information such as lot details, expiry dates, serial numbers and UPC. This helps in quickly solving the inventory movement challenges, reducing additional costs and also improving customer experience with efficient order tracking and management.
A WMS allows businesses to do periodic cycle counts without interfering with day to day operations. This entails greater labor visibility and optimization.
Paper-less Inventory Documentation
Gone are the days of paper-heavy inventory documentation. Warehouse management systems enabled by automated processing eliminates the need for paper-based documentation.
A WMS offers a single-window view of the entire inventory processes. With anytime anywhere accessibility feature, WMS enable the warehouse personnel with the requisite data and information at their fingertips needed to do their job.
Robust Customer Service
Customer satisfaction has been the ultimate objective of businesses. Thus, businesses are striving to deliver seamless, custom and personalized experiences to their customers by optimizing their processes.
In the logistics and supply chain management space, customer service is of utmost importance. A WMS ensures that the right products are delivered to the right customers at the right time.
WMS play a pivotal role in ensuring customer satisfaction for the existing customers while attracting new prospects and converting them to loyal customers.
Reporting & Analytics
Data-driven and actionable insight is the backbone of a business’s strategic decision-making process.
A WMS offers robust, accurate, actionable insights on inventory-related operations, helps keep track of inflow and outflow of inventory in an efficient manner and the KPIs allow the warehouse-management team to plan their future course of action effectively.
Now that you have understood the myriad of functionalities of a WMS, take the next step by choosing to leverage the right WMS for your business. Request a demo or connect with the experts to learn more about Vinculum’s Vin eRetail WMS NOW!
Subscribe to our blog and stay updated!