Warehouse Management Software, WMS, Warehousing Software, Warehouse Systems

A critical element within the wider supply chain, a warehouse management system (WMS) helps to manage the storage and distribution of goods within a warehouse or distribution centre (DC). The software stores and provides information on goods transactions such as receiving, putaway and picking and shipping, often based on real-time information related to bin utilisation. A WMS system also often incorporates the use of Auto Identification & Data Capture (AIDC) devices or systems – including barcode scanners, mobile computers, wireless LANs or Radio-frequency identification (RFID) – to help to optimise the efficient stocking and distribution of goods.

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10 ways to make your warehouse more efficient

10 ways to make your warehouse more efficient

An infographic by Peoplevox.

By analysing the orders you receive throughout the course of a year, you can identify trends that will help you to position your stock more effectively.

Jungheinrich celebrates fifty years of production in Norderstedt

Jungheinrich celebrates fifty years of production in Norderstedt

Jungheinrich recently celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its plant in Norderstedt, Schleswig-Holstein.

XPO Logistics awarded chilled warehousing contract for BrewDog Craft Beer

XPO Logistics awarded chilled warehousing contract for BrewDog Craft Beer

XPO Logistics, the global provider of transport and logistics solutions, has signed a contract with craft beer pioneer BrewDog, the UK-based food and drinks company.

UKWA opens its doors to retailers and manufacturers

UKWA opens its doors to retailers and manufacturers

John Lewis, Homebase and Claire's Accessories are among the first retail companies to sign up to the United Kingdom Warehousing Association's (UKWA's) new membership category that allows retailers and manufacturers who manage their logistics and supply chain operations 'in house' to become part of the association.

Emmi achieves cross-site warehouse and network control with inconso Solutions

Emmi achieves cross-site warehouse and network control with inconso Solutions

In order to keep an eye on all stocks in the widely ramified logistics network, the largest Swiss milk processor relies on a uniform system landscape for cross-site network and warehouse control.

Vanderlande acquires Canadian software company Optosecurity

Vanderlande acquires Canadian software company Optosecurity

After working closely together for several years, Vanderlande has acquired the Canadian software company Optosecurity.

Smart new door keeps pump manufacturer's factory secure and efficient

Smart new door keeps pump manufacturer's factory secure and efficient

One of Britain's leading specialist pump manufacturers has replaced a roller door at its goods in/out area after 20 years of reliable service with a new high speed roller shutter security door from the same company - sara LBS.

The benefits of Voice-directed technology for maintenance & inspection tasks

The benefits of Voice-directed technology for maintenance & inspection tasks

By John Bradshaw, business development manager for Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions.

Maintenance and inspection (M&I) tasks undertaken for plant and equipment within a diverse range of sectors have developed a series of well-established steps over the years with the aim of improving the process by which engineers and technicians capture and share information.

New prime logistics warehouse to bring up to 150 jobs to the Lutterworth area

New prime logistics warehouse to bring up to 150 jobs to the Lutterworth area

Clugston Construction, based in Bromsgrove and part of the privately owned Clugston Group, has been appointed to deliver a £5.7m new build, 'best-in-class' logistics facility for Tungsten Properties Ltd on land adjacent to J20 of the M1 at Lutterworth Road, Lutterworth.

LondonMetric Property acquires three urban logistics warehouses for £24 million

LondonMetric Property acquires three urban logistics warehouses for £24 million

LondonMetric Property Plc ('LondonMetric') announces the acquisition of three separate urban logistic warehouses in Crawley, Coventry and Huyton for £23.9 million.

Warehouse Management System

A warehouse is a commercial building used for the storage of goods and are usually cited in industrial areas. Warehouses are used by manufacturers, logistics companies, distributors, transport, freight forwarders, importers, exporters, wholesalers, etc. Warehouses usually have loading bays and docks and serve as a distribution centre for the loading and unloading of goods from trucks. Sometimes warehouses are designed for storage and despatch of goods directly from railways, airports or seaports.

A warehouse management system, or WMS, is a key part of the supply chain and primarily aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and then organise and process all of the associated transactions such as shipping, receiving, put-away and picking. The systems also direct and optimise stock put-away based on real-time information about the status of bin utilisation. A WMS can be used by manufacturers in their own warehousing facilities or a logistics company (3Pl /4Pl) operating contracts for a number of clients and retailers.

Warehouses are an integral link in the modern supply chain, ensuring that the correct product is stored efficiently ,delivered in the right quantity, in good condition, at the required time, and at minimal cost. It performs an integral role in managing goods movement and information exchange between manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

A good Warehouse Management System (WMS) manages all types of warehouse operations efficiently and effectively. It also enhances inventory management by increasing accuracy, improving order fulfilment and reducing order cycle time. Receiving and shipping are streamlined as well to facilitate cross-docking and expedite back-ordered products.

A WMS can automate picking, packing and shipping and it will minimise the number of moves per order. The WMS can improve the accuracy of every order, reduce safety stock, manage tasks and improve processes. An efficient WMS can consolidate orders to reduce transportation and shipping costs.   Data is collected within the warehouse environment by data-capture technology such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, wireless LANs and Radio-frequency identification (RFID). This information is then fed into a central WMS database to provide a real-time update on the overall inventory and specific SKU levels in the warehouse (stock keeping units). This information is then used to replenish the stock levels to ensure that there is sufficient flow of products. Once data has been collected, there is either a batch synchronization with, or a real-time wireless transmission to a central database. The database can then provide useful reports about the status of goods in the warehouse.

Bonded warehouses are specifically used as a secure holding or storage facility before duty is paid. Upon entry of goods into the warehouse, the importer and warehouse owner incur liability under a bond. Goods can be stored and held in a secure environment for a number of years before either being shipped on or released for distribution when the duty must then be paid.