Warehouse Management is an operation that is frequently mistaken for “warehouse inventory management” which can be considered as the sub-heading of the WM.
While “warehouse inventory management” deals with processes like the accuracy of the products and their shipment; “warehouse management” handles the storage and the layout of the products in the warehouse.
Warehouses require precise, elaborated, and practical management to save time and money. Managing a warehouse can be a mess if you do not have an accurately placed system and if you are not keeping up with the new technology, you can fall behind in the competitive market. Warehouse Management Systems are developed to help you organize the process of warehousing and sometimes your other management requirements too.
Why is Warehouse Management So Important for Businesses?
When the items are ready for shipment, in a well-organized warehouse, all the process becomes easier and faster. Accomplishing a smooth operation is unimaginable without a warehouse management plan.
To have a warehouse management plan, first of all, one must identify the problems. The most common problems in the warehouse are usually:
Picking and shipping the wrong products = Which can cause wasting time by trying to fix the problem.
The wrong layout = If the products are not in the correct order in size, priority, or similarities, the storage and shipping process can be interrupted.
Stock and capacity = Knowing the stock of the products and the capacity of the warehouse is a vital part of the warehouse management plan. If the information about the stocks is deficient, issues like stockout and oversell can occur.
After identifying the problems, the only thing left to do is to find solutions. However, planning a way out of these problems can be challenging, as these problems are likely due to other underlying problems. To solve this confusion and to improve warehouse management, a very detailed and practical system is a need.
With the new technologies, creating a system is not that challenging as it used to be. Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are developed to save time from all that paperwork, to improve the quality, and to avoid losing money.
Types of Warehouse Management Systems
Even though there are several types of WMS, four of them stand out. You will see the pros and cons of each type and it is up to you to decide what suits your warehouse’s needs.
1- Standalone systems
2- Supply chain module
3- Cloud-based systems
4- ERP modules
Standalone warehouse management systems are often low-priced, on-premise systems that are only preferred because of their warehouse management features. Although these systems can be seen as beneficial (they are in a way), the biggest problem with them is their lack of integration with other supply chain functions. Also, it takes so much time to implement.
Supply Chain Module
Supply Chain Management has a broader scope since these other types are the subcategories of it. It offers a great range of management experience. Unlike Standalone Systems, SCM does not only cover warehousing.
Besides its primary features like inventory management, sourcing, and so on, it can help to manage risk management and vendor and supplier relationships. Since SCM has a broader scope, if you already use other management software, to avoid overlaps, you should consider combining them with your current software. One other way is choosing an SCM that can be integrated rather easily with other software like ERP.
On contrary to the other warehouse management systems, Cloud-based WMS is a web-based software SaaS (software-as-a-service) model. This means that you can use Cloud-based Warehouse Management Systems with no need for installation and they provide a fast implementation. They are also noted for their flexibility, quick deployment, scalability, and security. It is a web-based software that can be used with any device with an internet connection (PC, mobile devices, tablets). Since hosting, configuration, and implementation are taken care of by the software vendor, you can save time and also lower the costs of updating and reinstallation. Cloud-based WMS is much easier to use and constantly updated according to the needs of businesses.
Because Cloud-based Warehouse Management Systems do not require hardware setup, and IT maintenance, you can reduce unnecessary fees.
Enterprise Resource Planning is a software that offers multifunctional management features for the whole organization. It is usually used for its core applications like chain planning, customer relationship management, accounting, human resources, sales, and marketing. Not all the ERP vendors offer a Warehouse Management System, so if you are thinking of controlling all the organization from one system, you should be careful when shopping for ERP software.
The biggest issue with ERP is its cost and. If you are a small or medium business, costing and some of the unnecessary core applications might be a trouble.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Warehousing
Covid-19 not only changed the personal and societal living, but it also changed the basic operations of businesses. One of the most affected businesses were of course; logistics and supply chains and therefore warehousing. Physical shopping like browsing for needs, groceries come to a full stop.
A sudden demand for e-commerce created huge stress on warehouses and supply chains. Because the old way of drop shipping was not enough to satisfy the needs of the customers and oversupplying the “non-essential” products created chaos in the warehouses.
Also, the “just-in-time” system to lower the costs of inventory did not help the warehouses. The unpredicted demand on the essential products that were usually shipped from the nearest markets put the warehouses and the transport industry in trouble. While some of the warehouses shut down due to the lack of enough storage, the importance of warehousing began to get attention.
Choosing the best system for your business can be challenging, it is important to work with a vendor that understands your businesses’ needs, and as Modaltrans we are here to help you.
Modaltrans is a cloud-based software that provides all-in-one business solutions for the logistics industry, which you can easily integrate with the ERP systems you use.
For all forms of logistics; freight forwarders, fleet operators, 3PL’s, shippers, Modaltrans offers an all-in-one system to ease your work-load.
With the WMS module we provide, you can control the day to day operations of your warehouse via integrated racking labels and a handheld terminal app with barcode reader for picking and putting away tasks. You can easily control your warehousing processes with our simple interface. We are offering assistance in every step of your journey.