What is a Warehouse Management System?
Warehouse Management System (WMS) is an application which aims at monitoring and controlling the daily warehouse activities of your business. It handles many functions right from auditing and tracking of materials until they reach the end customer. Warehouse management software enables users to centralise the different warehouse management tasks using a unified material handling equipment. This will ensure the ease of usage and increase the operational efficiency for complex supply chains. In addition, it features different tools that will increase visibility.
What are the essential warehouse management operations?
An efficient distribution centre network is the backbone of any business in transforming materials into products and delivering products to customers. The system of bringing materials to your warehouse and delivering them to your customers as finished products involves a lot of processes. These processes are known as “inbound logistics” and “outbound logistics”. Understanding the difference between them is key in achieving a full-fledged view into your entire WMS logistics network and improving your supply chain visibility.
Inbound Logistics Operations
Inbound logistics provides services that are required for your supply chain operations to produce the end product. It includes transportation, storage and delivery of materials to your business. Let’s take a look at how inbound mechanism works:
- Purchasing goods or materials- this is the first and foremost step in manufacturing of goods. You should know which raw materials are required in what quantity and should find suitable suppliers. WMS stores the vendor details of goods at a single location during the time of purchase and then synchronizes them to real inventory control levels in order to handle procurement by using its advanced features. The item will be automatically added to the list just by scanning the barcode.
- Receiving- the receipts are scanned and optimized upon arrival at the warehouse and the warehouse staff are instructed to put the items at the right place. The system also recommends multiple techniques to ensure efficient and maximum storage space utilization.
- Reverse logistics- A WMS informs the warehouse managers about stock availability and updates whenever restocking is required. This is to avoid stockout situations at the last moment.
Outbound Logistics Operations
Outbound logistics operations using a WMS include storage, transportation and delivery of finished products to their ultimate destination. The outbound logistics mechanism involves the following steps:
1. Order picking- an efficient warehouse management software ensures that the products in good condition are chosen for delivery. It makes use of Barcode scanners or RFID scanners in order to check the surety of getting the right WMS products.
2. Product packaging- logos, shipping labels and price tags and other documentations are printed directly from the machine, thus eliminating the need of human aid for address input and retyping tracking numbers.
3. Delivering finished products- the system ensures timely delivery of products to the right customers and also updates them about the same.
Thus, you can deliver ultimate customer satisfaction and fulfilment of orders using an efficient WMS. If you are focused towards growing your business, it is the best choice to partner with trustworthy logistics service providers like Ramco systems who can help you with all-things logistics, right from receiving raw materials to shipping finished products.