What Is a Warehouse Management System?
Every efficiently running warehouse has a good warehouse management system (WMS) that operates behind the scenes. A WMS records and manages almost all of the activity inside a warehouse, including shipping and receiving, the storage of goods, picking, packing and more. In public facilities, the WMS will also usually monitor the ownership of each item by the customer.
What Does a Warehouse Management System Do?
Types of Warehouse Management System
Standalone: A standalone WMS exists on the premises, where it is deployed on native hardware using the business’ own network. It is also integrated with the rest of the organization’s business management software. This is the most common type of WMS, and they are usually operated by third parties. While standalone systems are the most affordable, they often lack the advanced features available with other types. Further, they can sometimes suffer from duplicate data entry, information delays, customization expenses and interface errors.
ERP modules: ERP modules make up part of an enterprise resource planning system. Operated by an ERP vendor, this type of WMS provides embedded electronic data Interchange, accounting, sales orders, material requirements planning and shipping management in real time. Typically, all of this information is accessed through an easy-to-understand interface.
Cloud Based: Cloud-based warehouse management systems operate via web-based software. Because no physical equipment is maintained onsite, this type of WMS is best in terms of flexibility, scalability, security and disaster recovery. It also offers the benefit of seamless integration and automatic software updates without additional capital expenditures, which ensures the operation is always using the latest technology.