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What is Warehouse Management

Warehouse management is about the management of a warehouse, a storage place for goods or a distribution center. Warehouse management is the total of all business processes that relate to goods and products that are stored in a warehouse and that take place both inside and outside such a storage location. Consider the administration of things upon delivery (arrival) or the management of everything that must be done when goods are delivered. For example, goods must be unpacked and given a place in the warehouse. The distribution of goods must also be coordinated: to which customer must a product be delivered and when?

Warehouse management system

To make warehouse management easier, many companies use a special computer system: a warehouse management system (WMS). A warehouse management system is used for the trinity 'inbound', 'storage' and 'outbound'.

Goods that arrive at a company must be placed in the warehouse. The 'impact' means that the warehouse management system indicates where the warehouse is located and what the best place is. For example, things that are sold a lot and therefore have to be picked up from the warehouse relatively often can best be stored in the warehouse so that they can be picked up quickly.

The 'storage' function of a WMS means that the system keeps track of where goods are stored and whether they have been moved. Another possibility is that the WMS may block items if necessary, for example because they may not be sent to customers because the shelf life has expired.

'Result' means that in the case of a sales order the WMS indicates where the requested product is located, so that it can be collected for delivery.

In which environment is a WMS useful?

The implementation of a warehouse management system is possible in practically any business environment. It can be a production company, a transport company, a retail chain or, for example, a wholesaler. Companies that implement WMS are usually companies that believe they have insufficient overview with a traditional (non-automated) administration.

How can a WMS improve business processes?

There are different warehouse management systems available on the market. They are all equipped with intelligent features that make the storage of goods more efficient. As a result, errors are less common. Stocks can often be smaller, because the management of such a stock is approached in a smarter way. For example: a WMS only instructs a forklift driver to put away a pallet if a pallet has to be picked up from the warehouse on the way back. As a result, a forklift driver never drives an empty car. And if a warehouse management system uses bar codes, it's possible to build in control steps during inbound and outbound processes.

A WMS prevents items from ending up in the wrong place, or that the right items aren't picked up. Another possibility of a WMS is the use of 'order levels'. If the quantity of a certain type of goods falls below a critical lower limit, the WMS warns that a new order is required.

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