Warehouse management systems (WMS) help businesses monitor, optimize, and scale their warehouse or distribution center’s day-to-day functions. This technology provides real-time visibility into inventory status from the time it arrives at the warehouse to the time it’s shipped and delivered.
As businesses today manage more SKUs, longer shipping distances, and bigger warehouses, warehouse management systems are becoming an increasingly attractive (and cost-effective) resource to improve their supply chain management—and there’s data to back it up.
According to Westernacher Consulting, most companies that switch from a paper-based system to an automated WMS software see a 25% gain in productivity, a 10-20% improvement in space utilization, and a 15-30% reduction in safety stock.
Considering the potential of WMS systems to improve warehouse operations, it’s crucial to understand how this software works and what you can expect if you decide to implement it.
What is a warehouse management system?
A warehouse management system is a software application that puts inventory management tasks and warehouse processes on autopilot. Organizations typically implement a WMS to keep up with consumer demands or improve performance when their workload can no longer be handled manually with paper or spreadsheets.
In the past, warehouse management systems only offered basic functions such as storage location information. Today, however, WMS functionality has expanded to include everything from pick and pack functionality to advanced integrations with advanced tracking systems, like radio-frequency identification (RFID) and barcode scanners.