What is Warehouse Management? A Guide to WMS

What is Warehouse Management? A Guide to WMS

Warehouse management is the optimizing and controlling of operations in a warehouse from beginning to end. Warehouse management encompasses anything from organizing the space to fulfilling orders. There are many ways to go about warehouse management, from manual work to a warehouse management system.

What are the Benefits of Warehouse Management?

Warehouse management allows for all processes to run smoothly and efficiently. Warehouse management is something that end customers rarely think about, but businesses know all too well. 

With the rise of digital technology, warehouse management has seen an evolution in the way that a warehouse runs effectively. Investing in Warehouse Management Systems and tools allows you to run a  faster and more cost-effective warehouse.

What Is the Core of Warehouse Management?

Understanding the principles of warehouse management can help your warehouse understand where processes can be improved. Here are the 5 principles of warehouse management to guide your warehouse. 

  1. Know Your Customer
  2. Optimize Your Warehouse
  3. Be flexible and adapt
  4. Follow your data
  5. Use technology

Warehouse Management vs Inventory Management

Oftentimes, people confuse inventory management and warehouse management. Although they have some similarities, they both have fundamental differences as well.

Inventory management 
This refers to how much stock you have in the entire business. It helps make forecasts and know which products are selling most/least company-wide.

Warehouse Management 

Warehouse management refers to handling inventory as well as other associated tasks within a warehouse or Distribution Center.

 

What are common Warehousing Challenges?

Some of the most common challenges in a warehouse / Distribution Center are:

  • Ineffective picking process
  • Inaccurate inventory
  • Labor costs
  • Inefficient space utilization
  • Data usability (or lack thereof)
  • Quality control
  • Peak season (how do you deal with it?)

What should you look for when choosing the right Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system is software that can help manage and optimize warehouse operations. Choosing a warehouse management system that is right for you may seem daunting at first, but identifying bottlenecks in your warehouse management will help you identify what is most important for your warehouse. 

Some of the most important aspects to keep in mind when choosing a WMS are:

 

  • What are your requirements?
  • Are the costs clear?
  • Is it an out of the box solution?
  • How much are the add-ons YOU will need?
  • What’s your relationship with the provider?
  • Can you access them easily if needed?
  • Are they  in the same time zone?
  • Is support provided  in the same language?
  • How well does it communicate with any automation (WES) you may have?
  • Keep your busy seasons in mind