What is a WHS and what does it do?
A WHS, short for Warehouse Management Software, is a software application. It is created specifically to control and optimize daily operations at a warehouse. And, it can be used as a part of a more extensive Enterprise Resource Planning system or by itself as an independent software. The software is capable of guiding the entire inventory of a warehouse. It can optimize sorting and shipping of orders, track inventory stock levels and suggest replenishment when needed, and also control the receiving and put-away of inventory.
The warehouse management system comes from humble beginnings. It initially was created to maintain a stock of the inventory and serve the fundamental needs of tracking storage location information. But with the years, the software has evolved and the scope of functions it can fulfil are quite vast. The end goal of the software is to achieve error-free productivity that helps employees to maintain optimised receiving, picking, put-away and shipping of products.
As a part of the operations, the software is capable of controlling quite a few aspects of warehousing. Let’s take a look at some of the more crucial ones:
How does one implement a basic WMS
The key thing is to manage expectations when implementing a basic WMS. You cannot expect a WMS to be a one-stop solution for all your warehousing needs. A good WMS implementation will ensure the execution of best practices for the execution of essential warehouse functions. So you should look for a WMS to facilitate the smooth tracking of products through transport and cycle counts when they are in the warehouse and then the picking and sending of the products to the shipping system.
What are the various types of WMS?
Some of the more popular types of WMS are as follows:
The current trend of using cloud-based computing has filtered to the world of WMS software as well. A cloud-based WMS is a web-based software that provides a host of features at competitive pricing because it allows for software updates without the need for additional capital expenditure. Some of its strengths are scalability, flexibility and disaster recovery.
The most common type of WMs is the standalone one. The way it is deployed is through the warehouse hardware and accompanying network. While standalone WMS’ are the cheapest cost option for warehouses, they come with a lot of operational challenges like data duplication and customization costs. They are best utilized with a more integrated WMS.
The smoothest functioning WMS route is the one where the WMS is integrated with the Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP module. This allows for WMS to be baked into the ERP module and it has access to the interface at all time, with tracking of sales orders, shipping management, accounting and more features pre-packaged into the system.