A warehouse management system or WMS is the process of sorting and organizing processes and systems inside a warehouse to ensure a steady flow of goods In and Out. A warehouse is a place that acts as a storage space for items that come from a certain seller and will stay at the warehouse unless a buyer demands for it.
Since there can be multiple sellers and multiple buyers at the same time. How do you ensure a proper system to make the process happen at a steady pace? That’s where a warehouse management system comes in place.
A warehouse needs to have a system in place to ensure there is a track of everything that comes in and also there is no confusion among the entities working inside the warehouse. Such a process can either happen manually but a step further is where WMS software comes in which allows you better control, more visibility, and transparency in the functioning of a warehouse.
A brief of activities covered inside WMS are:
When it comes to having a WMS, it is adopted by most E-Com companies these days as they have to deal with a ton of warehouses that cater to millions of customers across a certain geographic area. WMS are not just restricted to E-Coms but there are multiple brands that have products from multiple categories and all of them need to maintain an efficient warehouse for the proper functioning of the business.
Some Stats on the current industry of Warehouses
The warehouse can come in multiple shapes and sizes. It is made keeping in mind the place where a retailer can have complete control over what’s coming inside and what’s going out. A small mistake can convert an efficient warehouse into a liability. Let’s look at certain features of an efficient WMS:
ERP refers to Enterprise Resource Planning and it means allowing an organization to make use of systems and processes that can heavily automate the many functional blocks of a business related to human resources and technology. When a certain WMS is in tune with your business ERP then it can improve the efficiency of your process.
The reason this happens is that now there is a sync between your business and the real management system that happens on ground zero. In case your sales team isn’t performing up to the mark then without an ERP, you’re not going to have clarity of your workforce and desired output. isourse has gone a step further and provides an end-to-end solution for companies so even if you don’t have an ERP, there will be a seamless integration in the entire process.
As an authority, you want complete control over the activities happening in your business. And with the rise in the flexibility of the workforce across the globe along with improvements in technology. Now you can access even a tiny bit of information with your mobile phones using apps. Any ideal warehouse management system like isopronto has a mobile-friendly interface where the administration or any senior authority will be able to get full clarity of everything from the products inside a warehouse to the work hours of your human resource.
With a single update and in many cases real-time updates, you will have a web-enabled and mobile-friendly WMS. What this allows is transparency across different sectors inside a company.
Many companies and business owners often complain about a lack of clarity when it comes to measuring the output of human resources and the efficiency of their current process. Ideally, you have full right to know about the lacks and issues that may be stopping your management from further improving the state of your business.
With a WMS like ISOPronto, all of this becomes a breeze. With just the first installment, you will know what part and process in your warehouse are consuming more time and resources and you will immediately be able to rectify it with a more efficient process. ISOpronto is going to give you a complete picture of your warehouse that includes the number of orders received, stuck, in process, return order and much more. The reports generated have everything about each product or a lot.
The WMS gets rid of any in-efficient staff that may be causing a delay and some advanced WMS systems like ISOpronto can even predict the load and thus giving you the time to deploy your resources for maximum output.
The basic yet the most important part of any warehouse is how a product comes in and goes out. However simple this may sound, there are huge challenges with the inbound and outbound flow of inventory. In an efficient WMS, any product or a lot of goods is received with a receipt that essentially has a barcode.
This barcode is the heart of that entity until its lifecycle inside the warehouse. Scanning it will tell you every tiny detail like when was the product received, what time was it stuck at, what time did it go for packing and what was it dispatched. In the WMS made by isourse, there is a report generated at every timestamp allowing a total up to date knowhow of a particular entity.
Few more ISOPronto’s benefits:
With the progress of WMS and other processes inside a warehouse. WMS enables you to have a paperless process which means everything important is tracked and kept as a record electronically on the cloud. This opens a scope of benefits like anyone in authority can have visibility of what’s going on in the warehouse. ISOpronto as an instance doesn’t require you to have any paper for any process inside the warehouse.
Once an inbound good is at the warehouse. All you need is a scanner or even a phone with a camera. A simple click and there will be a record created for that good, so now you will know at exactly what timestamp the product came and stayed and went out.
In a physical warehouse. Things work as per a set process where there is a lot of dependency on human and paper records. It all starts with the seller sending a huge lot of products or a lot of items.
The process is the same for return where you simply go opposite from Step 6 towards Step 2.
Now, let’s see how an efficient WMS software works. Here, you will find the system is much smoother and you have a lot of visibility and control over each process.
Cost factor: As we said earlier, a single mistake in a warehouse can convert it into a liability from an asset. Time is money here. If you can control the process and get to know which phases take the maximum time, you can easily find a fix and do so instantly without needing any proof since there is every record of an item’s lifecycle from Inbound to outbound.
Human factor: Humans are not machines and thus there will always be an error margin but with an advanced WMS software like isopronto, you will have complete visibility of which Human resource is redundant and which human resource is performing up to the mark. So you can fix if there is ever an accountability issue. This is a great way since you will easily be able to do human resource forecasting and even manpower budgeting.
A good WMS software plays a very important role in ensuring the proper functioning of your warehouse. There are a few things which you should see when picking WMS software. Apart from having a core focus on automation, you should look at factors like:
Here are the major factors when deciding which WMS software to go for:
End-to-End Solution: A WMS software should be able to handle everything from inbound to outbound and that also includes the organization inside the warehouse-like the machines, humans, maintenance and visibility of everything in a user interface easy enough to understand.
Accountability and tracking: A good WMS software will always focus on ensuring there is no redundant task inside a warehouse and if so, the best way to get rid of it. A WMS software like ISOpronto also keeps a track of every record inside the warehouse which plays an important role in understanding which phase inside the process can be improved.
Easy to use systems: The whole WMS software should be very easy to use. The entire user interface and user experience should be focused on transparency and visibility of how the whole system functions.An app, a web interface, everything should be there such that someone miles away can have visibility over the functioning of the warehouse.
Add-on integration: Every warehouse is going to different as per the products, goods and the entire ecosystem. Any WMS software should be flexible enough to adapt to certain changes without compromising on the core reasons like accountability and transparency. It should be able to have proper integrations with 3rd party and anything else outside the inbound and outbound flow of process.
Barcode Operations: Barcode play an important role in any WMS software. It is what helps store the data and know the timestamp of a particular instance of any item inside the warehouse. It is essential for any warehouse management software to have barcode-based operations in place. It helps in accuracy, picking, packing and optimizing the entire warehouse operations.
Warehouse Organization: A warehouse organization refers to the whole manpower and resources associated with a particular warehouse as it depends heavily on things like the best walking route, best working hours. In General, a better warehouse will only help the WMS software identify ways to improve the process further. Isourse’s in-house WMS software ISOpronto goes a step further by integrating AI-based analysis of the whole functioning of a warehouse.
1. How many team members does it take to run warehouse management software?
It depends on the levels of the warehouse and the magnitude of the warehouse. Generally if its a simple ground-floor warehouse then a maximum of 5 people may be required which can be optimized as per the load.
2. What is more economical? A WMS Software or a manual WMS
Generally a warehouse is huge and caters to multiple buyers and sellers, all of which may even happen simultaneously. If its a large space then it’s a no brainer to get a WMS software. Else you can consult a WMS expert and get a professional make a custom plan for you. CTA
3.What is the skill set required to operate the WMS software?
Anyone who will be operating the WMS need not know any complex coding or operations. Anyone who can operate a smartphone is skilled enough to have control over the working of the WMS software.
Now, you have complete clarity of the tiny details of the working and structure of warehouse management software. Getting the best WMS software can play an important role in your retail success or failure. You should do your due diligence and only then go ahead with your step of going with a WMS software. Better ask for a free demo and also see if your WMS software company has a past track record of working in a similar niche as yours. Especially at Isourse, we cater to some of the biggest brands across the globe across a variety of industries.