What is WMS?
A warehouse management system (WMS) is a software application that was especially designed and dedicated to the Supply Chain area with the role of optimizing all the processes within a warehouse.
The scope of a warehouse management system is to plan, organise and optimise all operations in the warehouse, in order to be able to deliver the requested goods at the right time with the optimal cost and efficiency.
What does a WMS do?
With WMS we are able to create automated processes that facilitate the receipt of products and their handling in the warehouse in a very efficient way. Another role is to control the movement of inventory within the warehouse, also WMS will optimize the activities of receiving, storing, inventory and replenishment activities, packing, picking, loading/unloading and shipping of goods.
Warehouse Management System has the ability to significantly improve the productivities within the warehouse area and to bring added value to the entire logistics chain for any type of business, whether we are talking about producers, traders or dealers, importers or distributors.
Also, WMS assures the logistics management from inventory assignment on the location, multipack creation until products expedition out of the warehouse.
What benefits brings?
The main advantages of using a WMS application integrated into a stable ERP system are the following:
- Improves product identification accuracy, using barcodes, eliminates manual identification errors thus generating stock accuracy; GS1 codes are very useful because these codes are composed of product name, batch series, expiration date, quantities and give important data about the respective product. GS1 standards ensure that the data in these barcodes is unique, comprehensive and descriptive. Having all the information is very easy to keep traceability.
- Increase the productivity of warehouse workers, automating data collection; with the help of a WMS system integrated in the ERP, a record is generated on the activities of the warehouse on each individual, so that the level of loading of each person working in the warehouse can be easily observed and measured. Such reporting is useful to optimize processes and the number of necessary people, according to the current needs of the warehouse and to increase the productivity and accuracy of the warehouse operators.
- Increasing the loading efficiency of goods by using mass picking; the mass picking functionality represents the grouped collection of the entire quantity of goods for a truck according to a predetermined route. In this case the loading manifest contains a consolidated picking list with all the products that has to be loaded in one shipment/ truck.
- Streamline and shortens the time of receipt of the goods and the preparation of a document related to the operating in ERP system. The supply of goods or raw materials can sometimes be hard to do, especially if many procedures are needed to record the information in the management system. Warehouse Management System simplifies things so that the receipt of products is much faster.
- Quickly and accurately creates an inventory; at the time of inventory, scanning barcodes on warehouse goods helps to significantly reduce the time allocated for this activity, while ensuring the accuracy of inventory data. Also facilitates rapid inventory of products without stopping activity.
- Eliminates problems caused by confusing products and deliveries that are not in line with customer request; since all the products are scanned, the error to pick a wrong product is close to zero and regarding the customer request, the system is flexible to set all the contractual requirements (like %of product shelf life, pallet content, etc.
- WMS System leads to resource availability; due to the fact that WMS brings processes and productivities improvements and allows a better warehouse management, on the one hand it supports the growth, without the need for additional resources and on the other hand it releases resources that can be redistributed in other sectors of the business.
- Eliminates paper work; the existence of a WMS eliminates the use of paper and reduces the cost of data entry operations by auxiliary personnel.
All the benefits mentioned, translate into cost reductions, costs that come from the accuracy of the existing stocks, time decrease for products inventory, for packing, for picking and implicit loading and we must mention perhaps the most important thing- customer appreciation.