WMS stands for «Warehouse Management System», an innovative solution supported by technology focused on the operational management of a warehouse. It is a tool that accompanies us in the daily life of a company, facilitating the efficiency of inventory control and allowing us a broad perspective on the resources that become our primary need.
Within a good management of any business or company, it is essential to know the stock values of the products that make possible the correct operation in general. Thus, a warehouse management system or WMS allows us to keep these essential controls up to date, but to achieve this effectively, it must be integrated into each of the activities, sectors or movements of a company so that the system has a direct relationship with what we could call «raw material». By achieving this operation, we will have a traceability of each product from its reception, whereabouts, and even; distribution or the way in which it has been used.
What is a WMS and what are its characteristics?
A WMS is a tool that allows us to identify or focus on the crises or opportunities present in the market, even making it possible for us to prevent any scenario. It must be remembered that anticipating needs and solving extraordinary problems will always be necessary characteristics for the survival of a company. The WMS functions as an accelerator of operation tasks, an innovation The company will also have tools that will facilitate the invoicing process, help us to select the most appropriate method for the processes we use in the mobility of the product, and will improve the relationship that the company maintains with its customers and respective suppliers.
A WMS system is an intuitive tool, since with it we are able to automate activities, since this software will be in charge of performing the calculation that will allow us to determine in real time the flow that the inventory is having. In addition, we will be able to schedule tasks in order to obtain an agile and optimized control process.
How to choose the right WMS for my business?
To answer this essential question, we must first clarify another issue: what types of WMS exist? The answer is simple; we can summarize them in three.
Cloud-based WMSs operate primarily via the network; they are online, and they arise from a SaaS model or «software as a service». They will have the capacity to adapt to companies of any size, since the modules offered are eligible according to the need and will be able to cover even the passage of time. Cloud-based WMSs are hosted in the manufacturer’s cloud, so there is no need to purchase specific hardware or use certain servers, and the system is easy to use and access. In addition, the fact that the system is hosted in the manufacturer’s cloud makes it possible to reduce infrastructure costs, automating updates and facilitating its use in different devices.
Supply chain modules
This WMS system seeks to focus on the need of the supply chain, so it will be evident to mention that its modules will serve for the contribution of innovation and automation of various sectors, in addition to being able to track in real time the inventory cycle. This tool will be able to analyze potential risks, even associating them with the responsible suppliers.
Supply chain modules are also ideal for all types of companies, being essential if you are looking to avoid delays in the delivery schedule or a shortage of materials at critical moments.
Automation reduces human error, making this system an attractive opportunity to optimize inventory control.
WMS with integrated ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning, also known by its acronym ERP, is a program focused on the correct management of the resources of a business, enterprise or company, being able to cover sectors such as: human resources, finance, accounting or sales. The program is specific in adapting to the needs of the operation.
Being a WMS with integrated ERP, we have the benefits mentioned above with respect to the management of a warehouse, optimizing tasks and centralizing them in the unit of a database, being accessible from multiple devices.
As we have mentioned from the beginning, the knowledge of our needs will be fundamental to take our business to the desired level of management; thus, data are essential for decision making. From the data or analytics that has been yielding the operation of your organization you can and should understand the problems that you intend to solve with a WMS, in addition to the scope that you will request from the system.
And what problems can we solve with a WMS? In reality, the problem will be any area of opportunity or opportunity for improvement that you identify in the operation of your inventory or warehouse. The inefficiencies of the management you currently have in your business will manifest themselves in the operation itself, hindering the flow of day-to-day activities. If the staff has needed to incur immediate, emergency resolutions or additional measures for a task; that will be the alert focus that should draw your attention.
You will be able to choose your ideal WMS as long as you know your business, since, when the relevant suppliers of such systems demand information from it, the detail of the nature of the operation, the characteristics of this, the demand within certain periods of time, the problems that you have been able to identify, among others, will be of vital importance for the supplier to meet the needs of your warehouse with satisfaction.
The most important part of selecting a WMS will be your ability to communicate the expectations you have following your purchase. Look for innovation and bring it to your business, the results will be more rewarding than what we could detail here.