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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Vanderlande to exhibit at Post-Expo 2017

Vanderlande to exhibit at Post-Expo 2017

Vanderlande will present its sorting systems, including loop sorters and line sorters at this year's Post-Expo on 26-28 September at the Palexpo convention centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

Warehouses could be heading for a Christmas crunch thanks to Brexit

Warehouses could be heading for a Christmas crunch thanks to Brexit

Pallet Trucks UK, the manual handling equipment provider, has warned warehouses over the UK that Brexit could lead to a shortage of staff in the period leading up to Christmas.

Warehouse staff shortages make logistics and supply chain automation an imperative

Warehouse staff shortages make logistics and supply chain automation an imperative

Staff shortages are making the role of automation even more important in the logistics and supply chain sectors, a sector expert has claimed.

"The effects of Brexit and the weak pound make it less attractive for overseas workers to seek employment in the UK, creating significant resource gaps in warehouses and distribution centres," said Darren Wildman, Vice-President of Asset Management at Apex Supply Chain Technologies.

Jones Interiors sets designs on Thorworld for safe, efficient loading bay solution

Jones Interiors sets designs on Thorworld for safe, efficient loading bay solution

Jones Interiors has streamlined loading efficiencies at its Nottingham-based warehouse with the addition of a bespoke loading platform, specifically designed and manufactured by Thorworld Industries, and supplied by Thorworld agent, James Corfield of Darmax UK.

7 reasons to have qualified LGV and Lift Truck Instructors in-house

7 reasons to have qualified LGV and Lift Truck Instructors in-house

Many businesses question whether to outsource the training of LGV drivers and material handling equipment (MHE) operators, or have instructors in-house. Laura Nelson of RTITB explains some of the benefits of in-house instructors.

Dematic expands solution set to include Autostore

Dematic expands solution set to include Autostore

Dematic, the global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimise the supply chain, has signed a global agreement with AutoStore.

Warehouse operators urged to consider the whole-life costs of lighting systems

Warehouse operators urged to consider the whole-life costs of lighting systems

When upgrading the lighting technology within a distribution centre or other industrial building, too many companies fail to consider the whole life and installation costs of the luminaires they are specifying and instead opt simply for the cheapest product available.

Expanding cash and carry business snaps up space at Onward’s Castleford warehouse

Expanding cash and carry business snaps up space at Onward’s Castleford warehouse

Euro Cash and Carry has leased space at Onward Holdings Ltd's managed Castleford warehouse to meet growing demand for its range of products in the north west of England.

Evolving WMS keeps Vygon In good health

Evolving WMS keeps Vygon In good health

Medical and surgical consumables supplier Vygon has developed a highly efficient distribution operation by utilising the advanced capabilities of the Empirica warehouse management system from Chess Logistics Technology.

Carlsberg Group orders vision-enabled order fulfilment solution from Cimcorp

Carlsberg Group orders vision-enabled order fulfilment solution from Cimcorp

Logistics automation supplier, Cimcorp, is celebrating an order from Sinebrychoff – a subsidiary of the international brewing and beverage giant, Carlsberg – for a robotic dolly picking system at its facility in Kerava, Finland.

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.